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IMPRS workshop: Perspectives on the ontogeny of mutual understanding


Human social interaction is enabled by mutual understanding, the development of which is crucial for children’s participation in the social world. The capacity for mutual understanding is increasingly a core issue for researchers in linguistics, cognitive science, neuroscience, and psychology, though each has traditionally approached the matter with different emphases and conceptualizations (theory of mind, common ground, intersubjectivity, perspective-taking, etc.). This diversity of terminology may obscure the real connections between these adjacent fields and the substantive overlap in their subject matter. As a step toward fostering cross-disciplinary exchange, this workshop provides a forum to share recent findings, and assembles complementary lines of research to promote productive collaboration across methods and perspectives.

We seek to address the following broad questions:

  • What is the nature of the link between interaction and mutual understanding in children's development?
  • What are the relative contributions of different types of participation (e.g., active engagement versus observation) in shaping these sociocognitive abilities?
  • What environmental or contextual features potentiate or constrain the development of intersubjective understanding?
  • How might different approaches enrich, complement and contextualize our understanding of social cognition, language, and interaction in human ontogeny?
Where and when:
Oct 1-2, 2015
Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, room 163
Academic organizers: Elliott Hoey, Julija Baranova, Elizabeth Manrique, and Will Schuerman
Workshop organizers: Zeynep Azar, Rick Janssen, Suzanne Jongman, Lisa Morano, Annika Nijveld, Lotte Schoot, Johanne Tromp
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
International Max Planck Research School for the Language Sciences
International Office of Radboud University
Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Radboud University

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