Séminaires IPSY - IPSY Seminars

Agenda des séminaires (Les personnes extérieures à l’institut IPSY sont invitées à prendre contact avec l’organisateur du séminaire)


Vendredi 17 mai à 14h00
Local E241
Outliers : Why we shouldn’t kill them - How to handle outliers in statistical analysis
Stéphane Rothen, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève

Outliers have the bad habit of generating biased results. Even if it may sound appealing to remove them from the data set to be analyzed, this methods has many flaws. The purpose of this talk is to provide statistical tools able to handle outliers without producing biased estimates. These tools could be gathered under the somewhat weird name of "robust methods".
To make a long story short, robust statistics aims at producing consistent and reasonably efficient estimators or test statistics with stable level and power, when the postulated model is slightly misspecified.
Those methods will be presented first form a theoretical point of view, but briefly - don’t be (too) afraid - and then by specific examples using R.

Invitant : Alexandre Heeren

Jeudi 4 avril à 13h00
Salle du conseil A224

Reading the properties of the written language environment (Présentation en anglais)
Teresa Schubert, Harvard University

Learning to read is a statistical learning problem. Fluent readers have knowledge about letters and their relationships to sounds and meaning at multiple levels. In this talk I will focus on the relationship between letters themselves, such as knowing that 'A' and 'E' are vowels, and that 'a' and 'e' are the same letters in lowercase. I will explore what readers know about letters and how they might come to acquire this knowledge based on the text environment. Borrowing methods from distributional semantics, we calculated similarity between all characters (upper and lowercase letters, digits and punctuation symbols) from a large text corpus. This model generated a purely input-driven similarity space that includes divisions previously argued to depend on top-down processing – letter/digit status, case, consonant/vowel status. This type of statistical learning can help explain early divisions between consonant and vowel processing in reading. Furthermore, the learned similarity structure correlates with adult letter recognition behavior. From these results, I will argue that adult readers rely on a rich and continuous measure of similarity between alphanumeric symbols, based on distributed statistical properties.

Invitant : Gilles Vannucorps

Mardi 12 mars à 12h30
Auditoire Socrate 40

The attack of September 11, 2001: Flashbulb memories, collective memory and bearing witness
William Hirst
, New School for Social Research, New York (USA)

Even after substantial delays, people can remember both the details of the event of the attack of September 11, but also where they were when they learned about an event. Building on a 10-year longitudinal study of memories for 9/11, a study of the effects of ageing on flashbulb and collective memories of the attack, and the study of intergenerational transmission of flashbulb memories concerning 9/11, we explore the role of social identity and the functions of flashbulb memories. In particular, we examine the way the presence of a flashbulb memory allows one to give witness to an event that they may not have directly experienced.

Invitant : Olivier Luminet

Le séminaire sera précédé d’un lunch avec sandwiches à midi
Inscriptions au plus tard le mardi 5 mars : nadine.fraselle@uclouvain.be

Jeudi 28 février à 13h00
Salle du conseil A224

Seeing minds in motion: How is the perception of animacy connected to the rest of the mind?
Ben Van Buren
, KU Leuven

The goal of vision science is to figure out how we see. But perhaps an even more foundational question is: What do we see? Beyondseemingly simple features such as color and shape, recent work suggests that visual processing also extracts properties that are more intuitively associated with higher-level thought – such as the animacy and intentionality. Psychologists have long marveled at demonstrations in which simple moving shapes look alive and goal-directed (e.g. when they appear to be ‘chasing’ each other, or ‘trying’ to satisfy certain goals).However, this phenomenon has often been treated as an isolated curiosity, without a clear relationship to the rest of the mind. In this talk, I will present evidence that the perception of animacy and intentionality is connected to other perceptual and cognitive processes in far richer ways than have been previously imagined – interacting with and supporting several phenomena of perceived eye gaze, and profoundly influencing nearly all aspects of cognitive processing, including goal-directed behavior, memory, attention, and visual awareness. This work collectively shows how processes of social perception can provide a rich foundation for higher-level thought and behavior.

Invitant : Gilles Vannucorps

Jeudi 21 février à 15h30
Salle du conseil A224

Physiological link between alexithymia and psychosomatic diseases (Présentation en anglais)
Michiko Kano, MD, PhDAssistant professor, Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Science Behavioral Medicine,Tohoku University, Graduate School of Medicine, Tohoku University Hospital Psychosomatic Medicine

Alexithymia is a personality construct characterized as difficulty identifying feelings, difficulty describing feelings, externally oriented thinking, and limited imaginal capacity. Alexithymia was originally described from clinical observations of patients with classic psychosomatic diseases responding poorly to psychological intervention. Researches have been shown elevated alexithymia in patients with a variety of psychosomatic disorders including functional gastrointestinal disorders and chronic pain conditions. However, the mechanism of this link between the psychosomatic disorders and alexithymia is unclear. Some studies suggest that the altered interoception (the sensation of the internal state of the body) may underlie the link, though the results of the experiments are inconsistent. We have conducted several studies targeting on the physiological changes associated with alexithymia using neuroimaging and hormonal challenge in healthy volunteers and patients with irritable bowel syndrome. I will discuss the possible physiological link between alexithymia and psychosomatic diseases from the perspective of brain response to physiological stimulation, visceral sensation, and neuroendocrine responses.

Invitant : Olivier Luminet

Mercredi 13 février à 11h00
Salle du conseil A224

Sexual objectification beyond the metaphor (Présentation en anglais)
Jeroen Vaes, University of Trento, Italy

Objectification – reducing a someone to a something – represents a powerful and potentially damaging way in which we can see and treat others. Women are often the victim of processes of objectification that occur whenever a woman is reduced to her body or certain body parts losing out on her inner mental life and moral standing. What remains unclear is the extent to which a woman becomes an object when objectified. Does she actually become similar to a real object or is the object reference a mere metaphor? In the current presentation I will present a set of experiments that tackle this question analyzing both behavioral and neural responses showing that the metaphorical “woman object” is more similar to a real object compared to objectified men or non-objectified women. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the perception of women, when objectified, changes in essence beyond the metaphor making them truly more similar to objects than men.

Invitantes : Stéphanie Demoulin, Tina Chevallereau

Mardi 12 février de 11h00 à 12h30
Local : E139

Conducting Intervention Research: Methodological Considerations about Strategy Instruction in Writing (Présentation en anglais)
Dr. Teresa Limpo, University of Porto

An effective way to boost the writing competence of beginning and developing writers is through strategy instruction. The extent to which writers engage in strategic behaviors is a distinctive difference between skilled and less skilled writers. Less skilled writers rarely display a proactive and systematic use of strategies to regulate cognition, affect, behavior, and contexts. This poor strategic competence might be associated with difficulties in setting goals and action plans to orient writing, a limited repertoire of strategies and scant knowledge about their instrumentality, and emerging negative beliefs about writing and themselves as writers. Importantly, there is now substantial evidence that writing skills can be boosted through explicit instruction. Strategy-focused interventions are particularly suitable to that purpose by enhancing conscious, goal-directed, and effortful processing in writing (Harris & Graham, 2009). In this talk, I will discuss a set of methodological characteristics of writing interventions implementing strategy instruction and present two evidence-based intervention programs targeting planning and self-regulation skills in elementary and middle school children to exemplify how those characteristics can be operationalized in the field.

Invitante : Marie Van Reybroeck

Mardi 22 janvier à 11h00
Local : Socr 24

Social Media and Depression Symptoms: A Time Series Network Analysis (Présentation en anglais)
George Aalbers, University of Amsterdam

The relationship between social media and mental health is controversial. Some studies show that using social media correlates with beneficial outcomes, such as greater self-esteem, but others find that more social media use tends to co-occur with lower well-being. For example, people who spend more time on social media tend to experience higher levels of depression symptoms, loneliness, and stress.

Recent evidence suggests that the effect of social media depends on what people do when they access these platforms. In particular, passive social media use (PSMU) – i.e., scrolling through News Feeds, looking at friends’ photographs – might negatively influence mental health. Thus far, research has shown that PSMU correlates with depression symptoms, but their temporal relationship is unclear.

We examined the link between PSMU and depression symptoms as part of a larger research program: the network perspective on mental disorders. Network theorists propose that mental disorders constitute a causal system of psychological problems, such as symptoms. Viewed from a network perspective, mental disorders develop when the activation of one psychological problem provokes other psychological problems. This perspective hypothesizes, for instance, that depression develops when insomnia triggers fatigue and concentration problems, which cause work-related problems. Such problems might provoke night-time worrying that worsens insomnia.

With this framework in mind, we reasoned: if people experience stronger depression symptoms after passively using social media, then this behavior could be a risk factor for depression. To investigate this, we conducted an experience sampling study in undergraduate psychology students. Using a smartphone app, students (N = 125) reported PSMU, depression symptoms, loneliness, and stress seven times daily for 14 days. Time-series network analysis (multilevel vector auto-regression) revealed statistical associations between PSMU, depression symptoms, loneliness, and stress.

In my talk, I will discuss results from this analysis, and suggest directions for future research on social media effects. I will also devote time to thoroughly introduce the network perspective on psychopathology, and how I hope it will benefit those who suffer from mental disorders.

Invitant : Alexandre Heeren

Mardi 22 janvier de 9h00 à 10h30
Local : Socr 23

L’apport du chien d’assistance chez l’enfant aveugle entre 2 et 3 ans. Etude longitudinale et comparative
Anna Galiano
, Université Lumière Lyon 2

La vision occupe une place importante dans le développement du jeune enfant. Elle est impliquée, entre autres, dans les acquisitions des habilités sensori-motrices, langagières, dans la construction de l’image de soi, de la représentation du monde qui l’entoure, dans les dynamiques relationnelles avec autrui. La survenue d’une déficience visuelle peut engendrer des perturbations développementales si l’enfant ne fait pas l’objet d’une prise en charge précoce et adaptée. Elles concernent trois domaines : le développement des compétences motrices (l’acquisition de la marche, de la motricité globale et fine), le développement des compétences socio-cognitives (l’acquisition du langage et l’utilisation du langage en contexte) et psycho-affectives (les relations d’attachement).
Les observations sur l’enfant voyant indiquent clairement des bénéfices issus de la relation chien-enfant. Ces bénéfices concernent le développement émotionnel, moteur, mais aussi les dynamiques relationnelles dans le cadre des interactions dans et en dehors de la famille. Des études portant sur des enfants atypiques, notamment des enfants avec un trouble envahissant du développement ou avec un retard mental, montrent qu’un médiateur animal peut avoir une influence positive dans le processus de développement de ces compétences. En particulier, ces études s’intéressent au médiateur canin et indiquent que la présence de celui-ci apporte un bénéfice tant à court terme qu’à long terme. Ce bénéfice est observé sur des aspects comportementaux, relationnels et physiologiques (par ex. réduction de stress).
Partant de ces constatations, nous nous sommes intéressés au chien d’assistance et à son apport pour des enfants aveugles de naissance en bas âge. Les premiers résultats issus de la première cohorte seront présentés et discutés.

Invitantes : Mariane Frenay, Marie-Anne Schelstraete, Anne Bragard

Jeudi 17 janvier à 13h00
Salle du conseil A224

Using eye movements and psychophysics to probe aspects of face perception in adults and children
Isabelle Mareschal, Queen Mary University of London

Measuring eye movements when people interact provides a rich source of information: a high-resolution spatiotemporal record of the cognitive and visual processes that guide our behaviour. In a first set of experiments we examined how eye movements reveal important information about people when they look at each other. We recorded people’s eye movements in two different experiments: (1) while they made eye contact with an actor on a screen (akin to a Skype scenario) and (2) while they engaged in “forced” periods of eye contact with another person in real life. In both conditions we found that participants’ eye movements revealed important information about the viewers. In a second set of experiments we used psychophysical methods to measure gaze direction and emotion perception in healthy and atypical adults and children and find subtle impairments that may interfere with healthy social interactions.

Invitante : Valérie Goffaux

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