Humans spend quite some time with reasoning about the thoughts, percepts, intentions and emotions of other people, and this task seems challenging sometimes. Still, our ability to do so enables us to understand others’ behavior and to successfully navigate in our interactions with them. Recent findings suggest that this capacity has a very quick, but non-conscious form as well, which contributes to humans’ success in real-time interactions. The question in the focus of my studies is how and to what extent people can access fellow human beings’ mental states without deliberation or mental effort. Specifically, do adults and children track what others pay attention to, and if yes, what are the prerequisites of such a spontaneous process?
Main research topics: Theory of Mind, attention, perspective taking
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