Exploring the Impact of Experience on Perception Throughout the Lifespan

Several ongoing projects in the Social Brain in Action Laboratory seek to understand how healthy development and ageing interact with different kinds of experience to shape social perception and learning. In the ageing domain, we have explored how prior motor expertise and current physical abilities shape action prediction, and we are currently examining observational learning of complex dance sequences among an older adult population.

In the developmental domain, we have examined the impact of perceptual and motor experience (or lack thereof) among young infants and how this shapes their perception of human and artificial agents. Currently, we are  performing brain imaging and behavioural work with pre-teens to chart the profile of observational learning at this critical stage of develop, with the long-term aim to compare how physical and visual experience shapes perception in early, middle and later life.

Upcoming work in the SoBA Lab will explore in more depth the relationship between life experience and social perception via the ERC-funded Social Robots project. One core strand of this project addresses how toddlers' and older individuals' interactions with artificial agents develop across time, as mesaured by behavioural and brain-based measures.

Selected publications:
Diersch, N., Jones, A. & Cross, E. S. (2016). The timing and precision of action prediction in the aging brain. Human Brain Mapping, 37(1), 54-66.

Diersch, N., Mueller, K., Cross, E. S., Stadler, W., Rieger, M. & Schütz-Bosbach, S. (2013). Action prediction in younger versus older adults: Neural correlates of motor familiarity. PLoS One

Grossman, T., Cross, E. S., Ticini, L. F. & Daum, M. M. (2013). Action observation in the infant brain: The role of body form and motion. Social Neuroscience, 8(1), 22-30.

Diersch, N., Cross, E. S., Stadler, W., Rieger, M., & Schütz-Bosbach, S. (2012). Representing others' actions: The role of expertise in the aging mind.  Psychological Research, 76(4), 525-541.

Cross, E. S. & Burke, D. M. (2004). Do alternative names impair proper name retrieval?  Brain and Language, 89(1), 174-181.