Person Perception

A critical aspect of social interaction is understanding who other people are and how we might expect them to behave. For example, one may expect a robber and a butcher to act very differently whilst in possession of a knife. Thus, appreciating the meaning of social interactions depends crucially on understanding others’ identity.Ongoing research in the lab is investigating how aspects of another person’s identity, such as body-shape and group membership, are integrated in the brain. For example, a history of experience with a romantic partner is likely to shape one’s representation of her identity. Even when we meet a stranger for the first time we have access to a rich array of information pertaining to identity, such as gender, age and skin colour. Such categorising and stereotyping of others based on group membership plays a vital role in how we understand and engage with other people, which is why we aim to understand their underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms.


Selected publications:
Butler, E. E., Saville, C. W. N., Ward, R., & Ramsey, R. (2017). Physical attraction to reliable, low variability nervous systems: Reaction time variability predicts attractiveness. Cognition, 158, 81 - 89.


Greven, I. M., & Ramsey, R. (2017). Person perception involves functional integration between the extrastriate body area and the temporal pole.Neuropsychologia, 96, 52-60.

Greven, I. M., Downing, P. E. & Ramsey, R. (2016). Linking bodies and traits in the human brain. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11, 641-651.


Ramsey, R., van Schie, H. T., & Cross, E. S. (2011). No two are the same: Body shape is part of identifying others. Cognitive Neuroscience, 2, 207-208.  

Ramsey, R., & Hamilton, A. F. de C. (2010). Understanding actors and object-goals in the human brain. NeuroImage, 50, 1142–1147.

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