Visual and Social Neuroscience

Roberto Caldara

University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Roberto Caldara has an original interdisciplinary profile in visual and social neuroscience. He is interested on how visual information is processed and integrated by humans, from micro eye movements into macro neural processes. His expertise includes behavioral, computational modeling, electrophysiology (EEG), functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), brain damaged patients and eye movement approaches with adults, and more recently studies with healthy and clinically diagnosed children. Prof. Caldara has produced a number of high-quality original publications and introduced novel methods in eye movements and EEG analyses. Prof. Caldara’s group has developed a statistical toolbox for analysing eye movement data – iMap4 – as well as other original statistical approaches and experimental designs for eye movements. Professor Caldara and collaborators have demonstrated that adults from Eastern and Western societies employ different perceptual strategies for processing visual information, notably during face recognition and the decoding of facial expressions of emotions.

Course Description

Our social behavior results from a combination of social-cognitive and social-affective processes. This course on Visual and Social Neuroscience will discuss about the neural bases underlying social interaction and social cognition. It will provide students with an overview of the structure and functioning of the human brain, the main cognitive functions and their associated functional areas, the key topics in this interdisciplinary field and its methods. It will demonstrate how understanding visual and social information processing in humans is important for interaction, and highlight a key role of eye movements to this aim. Students will design small experiments and have the possibility to acquire behavioral data, eye movements in laboratory and ecological settings, as well as electrophysiological signals. They will have a practical understanding of such techniques, with considerations on their advantages and limitations. They will also have hands-on tutorials on data and signal processing, with methodological and theoretical considerations.

Date

November 9th, 2018