Successful self-other dynamics conference organised

On 6 July 2015, approximately 50 researchers from Birmingham and across the UK converged on the University of Birmingham for a one-day conference titled, 'It takes two to tango: A translational approach to self-other dynamics'.

The purpose of the conference was to foster an exchange of ideas on the ways self and other interact in a variety of contexts.  Topics ranged from fundamental self-biases in perception and attention to enhancing social communication in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Keynote addresses were delivered by Professor Ian Apperly (University of Birmingham) on the development of mindreading in adults and Professor Shihui Han (Peking University) on how culture and genetics affect self-representation in the brain. 

The morning symposium session addressed the 'nuts and bolts' of studying self and other in an experimental setting.  Speakers in this session were Dr Jie Sui (University of Oxford, Tsinghua University), Dr Jessica Wang (University of Birmingham), and Dr Andrew Surtees (University of Birmingham).  In the afternoon symposium on translating research into practice, speakers emphasised that communication between typical and atypical (eg, ASD) populations is a two-way street.  Participating in this session were Dr Geoff Bird (King’s College London), Dr William Mandy (University College London), Dr Lila Kossyvaki (University of Birmingham), and Dr Despina Papoudi (University of Birmingham). 

This successful conference was organised by a committee comprised of four doctoral researchers from the School of Psychology: Ahmad Abu-Akel, Katherine Ellis, Brad Mattan, and Lin Zhao.  The organising committee received funding from the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, which fully supported the event.