Humans, as well as other animals, automatically imitate others actions, a process that builds rapport, liking, and affiliation between individuals. Work in the SoBA Lab is primarily interested in further understanding the neurobiological foundations that underpin this copying behaviour. Recent work in the lab has investigated how perceptions of animacy influence the neural control of imitation - see media attention. Other work on this topic investigates how individual differences in fundamental personality characteristics determine the propensity to automatically imitate others, as well as how social signals from the face modulate imitative tendencies.
Butler, E. E., Ward, R., & Ramsey, R. (2016). The influence of facial signals on the automatic imitation of hand actions. Frontiers in Psychology, 7 (1653).
Butler, E. E., Ward., R. & Ramsey, R. (2015). Investigating the relationship between stable personality characteristics and automatic imitation. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0129651.
Klapper, A., Ramsey, R., Wigboldus, D. H. J., Cross, E. S. (2014). The control of automatic imitation based on bottom-up and top-down cues to animacy: Insights from brain and behaviour . Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 26(11), 2503-2513.
Wang, Y., Ramsey, R., & Hamilton, A. F. de C. (2011). The control of mimicry by eye contact is mediated by medial prefrontal cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 31,12001-12010.