Vision in the Real World

We will examine studies examining three topics (time, causality and theory of mind) in three different participant groups (children, adults, and non-human animals). Our aim will be an integration of evidence across these groups to address what it is to understand these topics.

Topics covered may include:

  • Development of thinking about time
  • Non-human animals’ understanding of time
  • Heuristics and biases in human adults’ thinking about time
  • Children’s thinking about causality
  • Folk physics in non-human animals
  • Adults’ thinking and reasoning about causes
  • Development of theory of mind
  • Theory of mind in non-human animals
  • Theory of mind in human adults

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe empirical evidence about the nature of higher cognitive functions (time, causality, theory of mind) in children, adults and non-human animals.
  • Critically evaluate the methods used with different participant groups.
  • For each topic evaluate the developmental and evolutionary relationships suggested by the evidence.
  • Integrate evidence from children, adults and non-human animals to evaluate what it means to `understand' time, causality and theory of mind.
  • Demonstrate a breadth of knowledge concerning cognitive function in humans and other animals.
  • Demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of cognitive function by synthesising a well reasoned argument based on their own knowledge of the topic.