Theory of Affect: Vanessa PhD planning

I will be presenting my ideas for a PhD project this year. This work is still very much in the planning phase, so all ideas and (constructive) criticism are welcome.

Theme: One of the ways in which we study what makes humans 'different' from other animals is in the study of cognitive differences. This work has focused a lot around the developmental abilities of children, and has looked especially at what tasks and tests chimpanzees can do successfully. Do chimpanzees have a Theory of Mind? Can they understand false belief? Do they demonstrate shared visual attention? These are topics we will discuss briefly with a look at the most recent evidence. The aim of this is to address what is missing in this research. By examining what studies have been done of child development, from birth to the age of four years, it is clear that emotional perception precedes any form of meta-representation or Theory of Mind. It is this emotional perception I would like to address in more detail, with a discussion on the what the next steps should be in this area of comparative research.