25 October 2013

Coordination, Collaboration and Cooperation: An interdisciplinary workshop

An Interdisciplinary Workshop 
Convenors: Federica Amici (MPI-EVA, Leipzig) and Lucas Bietti (Telecom ParisTech)
January 30 - 31, 2014
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6

The aim of this workshop is to provide a better integration of our understanding of the automatic processes driving coordination mechanisms with the particular social contexts in which those processes unfold. Furthermore, we will play particular attention to the benefits that the coordination of multiple behavioral channels in social and human-robot interactions may give by fostering cooperative behavior, improving problem-solving and decision-making as well as shaping collaborative processes in social learning, in non-human primates, humans and socially intelligent robots. 

To check the final program, please take a look at the workshop website: www.cccworkshop.org

3 October 2013

New project: Effects of Joint and Multimodal Remembering on Collaborative Learning (DistributedLearning)

Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship for Career Development (2013-2015)
Funding: European Commission, FP7
Host institute: Telecom ParisTech | Department of Economic and Social Sciences 

In collaboration with Michael Baker (Telecom ParisTech)

Often remembering in learning activities is supported by the social and material environment in which the specific activities unfold. Hence, by paying particular attention to role of joint remembering in multimodal interactions in relation to educational and work environments, the general aims of this project are: i) to examine how collaborative learning is grounded in successful joint remembering processes; and ii) to explore the central role the integration of linguistic, embodied, social and material resources play in collaborative learning activities, by transforming them into distributed practices across space and time. 

1 September 2013

New publication: Reminders as Interactive and Embodied Tools for Socially Distributed and Situated Remembering

Bietti, L.M. (2013). Reminders as interactive and embodied tools for socially distributed and situated remembering. SAGE Open 3: doi:10.1177/2158244013501331

Abstract: Current approaches to socially distributed remembering maintain that remembering is a fluid action coordinating minds, bodies, and the physical and the social world to accomplish particular goals. That is, the act of remembering is always an active reconstruction of the past in the present. How this act of remembering unfolds is highly dynamic and malleable and is contingent on the means by which the recollection is communicated and the social and material environments in which these processes unfold. These communicative acts of remembering are always embodied, multimodal, and interactive. However, so far, little attention has been paid to the influence that the interplay of multiple behavioral channels have in collaborative remembering in small groups. The aim of this exploratory study is to demonstrate the central role that questions have as embodied and interactive tools for collaborative remembering in two small group multimodal interactions in natural settings. This study suggests that questions acting as a reminder in multimodal activities of collaborative remembering foster the formation of specific types of interactional sequences with their own temporal dynamics.

11 August 2013

New publication: Embodied reminders in family interactions

Bietti, L.M. & Galiana Castelló, F. (2013). Embodied reminders in family interactions: Multimodal collaboration in remembering activities. Discourse Studies 15 (5) doi: 10.1177/1461445613490010 [Online before print]

Abstract: The aim of our study is to show the ways in which family members coordinate their minds, bodies and language in a functional and goal-oriented manner when they are jointly remembering shared events that they had experienced together as a group. So far, little attention has been paid to the influence that the interplay of multiple behavioral channels have in collaborative remembering in small groups. Our goal is to specifically examine the central role that direct questions have when they act as embodied reminders through the interanimation of multiple behavioral channels (language, pointing, eye-gaze, etc.) in family interactions. The video data for analysis comes from an ongoing project on how collaborative remembering takes places among small groups of Argentinean Spanish speakers as each group recalls a vacation taken together several years ago.

4 July 2013

Benefits and costs of collaboration for collective memory

In a previous volume of Current Directions in Psychological Science “Collaboration Both Hurts and Helps Memory: A Cognitive Perspective” (Vol. 20, 2011) a very interesting paper about the costs and benefits of remembering together by Suparna Rajaram (visit the website of Rajaram’s lab at Stony Brook University)

The abstract begins: “Humans spend a majority of their lives in a social context. So historically, several disciplines have pursued a study of the social aspects of memory. Yet, research on memory in cognitive psychology has, for more than a century, concentrated mainly on individuals working in isolation. A recent shift in this orientation has led to a rapid growth in cognitive research revealing both counterintuitive and complex effects of collaboration on learning and remembering. For example, despite subjective reports to the contrary, collaboration impairs a group’s recall performance compared to its potential. Yet, individual group members also show improvements in recall after collaboration. This article highlights the role of cognitive mechanisms in producing these and other benefits and costs of collaboration and in shaping both individual and collective memories.”

21 June 2013

Remembering: Bridging Biology and Culture

Where: Aarhus University
When: 19-21 August, 2013
Remembering was the title of Sir Frederick Bartlett’s pioneering book, which presented the theory of schemata. By letting his participant’s read a story from a cultural context very different from their own and subsequently asking them to remember it, they changed the details according to their cognitive schemata. In this year’s MindLab retreat, we focus on memory as a process. We examine the context-sensitivity of remembering from biological and cultural angles and in normal and clinical populations. We approach this subject broadly and zoom in on various processes, which come together each time we remember, and which can be initiated spontaneously as well as deliberately. These are processes related to neuro-connectivity, brain-patterns, resting state, mind wandering, episodic future thought, mental time travel, self, development, cross-cultural and historical factors. We look forward to exploring the interplay between biology and culture with you.
MINDLab is a cross-cutting neuroscience and cognition research framework at Aarhus University, funded by the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation as part of the Danish government’s UNIK initiative, aiming to promote world-class research at Danish Universities.
MINDLab is based on collaborations among leading research groups across Faculties and Institutes at Aarhus University. The project addresses central scientific problems within culture, music, language and memory. Combining this knowledge with research on novel technologies to examine the living brain, and on the most devastating neurological and psychiatric disorders, we hope to create new means to preserve and recover function and quality-of-life. MINDLab will also develop new forms of teaching and sharing of knowledge, exploiting crucial synergies across traditional disciplines.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers
    Merlin Donald, Professor Emeritus, Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada
    Patricia J. Bauer, Emory
    David C. Rubin, Duke
    Karl Szpunar, Harvard 
    Jonathan Smallwood, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences 
    Qi Wang, Cornell
See retreat program here ...