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Developmental Psychology Seminar Series

November 20, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Guest Speaker: Lindsay Bowman, Assistant Professor of Psychology - University of California, Davis


“The Neural Basis of Social-Cognitive Development: Pathways to Adaptive and Maladaptive Social Behavior"


Abstract:  Visual Humans navigate a complex social world. We communicate, cooperate, empathize; we process the changing expressions, actions, and interactions around us; we reason about the covert contents of the mind to predict and explain overt behavior. In short, we develop social cognition—a crucial understanding of the self and others that allows and constrains these fundamental skills.

How does social cognition develop? And how does it support these critical social skills? This talk brings together several studies that use neuroscience data to address these two broad questions. In the first set of studies, using EEG/ERP, fNIRS, and fMRI methods, data reveal a unique neural network supporting young children's understanding of the mind and mental states (i.e., "theory of mind"), and they illuminate biological and cognitive processes that may pace young children's theory-of-mind development. In the second set of studies, ERP data reveal intriguing connections between the neural system supporting face- and emotion-perception, and children's development of prosocial behavior and social anxiety.


Speaker Bio: Lindsay C. Bowman is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in developmental psychology. With experience as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Maryland Child Development Lab and as a research fellow in the Labs of Cognitive Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, her work brings together unique perspectives on neuroscience, cognition, and social understanding in the developmental context. She uses a combination of neuroscientific and behavioral methods to illuminate developing cognition and pathways to adaptive and maladaptive social behavior across infancy and childhood.



SSM 217 - El Capitan Meeting Room

University of California, Merced

5200 N Lake Rd

Merced, CA 95343

Contact Information

Professor Bortfeld