Brown Bag Talk by A/P Marios Avraamides on 7 November


Speaker: A/P Marios Avraamides

Title: “Coordinating in spatial tasks: The influence of representational and social cues”

Date: 7 November 2014, 1-2pm

Venue: AS4/02-08 (Psychology Department Meeting Room)


Spatial memory supports the execution of many of our everyday activities. For example, we find our way to the office every day and we initiate movements to locate out-of-sight objects in our home because we are able to retrieve from memory information about where things are in the environment. Moreover, in many cases we communicate such information to others, e.g., when providing route directions to a visitor or a description of the layout of buildings in the city center.  In a series of studies conducted in my lab, Alexia Galati and I have investigated how various cues influence spatial memory and the linguistic descriptions people provide in communicative contexts. Specifically, in the studies that will be presented, we have examined how contextual social cues such as the availability of the conversational partner’s viewpoint and representational cues such as the intrinsic structure of the spatial configuration jointly determine the way  information is maintained in spatial memory as well as the perspective of descriptions that are produced. Overall, our findings suggest that people weigh multiple cues (including social ones) to make attributions about the relative difficulty of perspective taking for each conversational partner, and adapt behaviour to minimize their collective effort.

About the Speaker:

Marios Avraamides is an Associate Professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Cyprus where he directs the Experimental Psychology Lab. He has previously obtained a BA in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and an MSc and a PhD degree in Cognitive/Experimental Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University. Prior to assuming a position in Cyprus, he had worked as a postdoctoral  scientist at the University of California Santa Barbara (USA) and at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics (Germany).  In Fall 2012 he was a visiting scientist at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at Cambridge (UK). At the University of Cyprus he teaches courses on Cognitive and Experimental Psychology, Memory, Attention, and Perception. His research interests lie within the field of spatial cognition and include among others spatial memory, navigation, and perspective-taking.

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