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The Nature of Imaginative Cognition

Dr. Deena Skolnick Weisberg

Thursday, September 25, 2008, 12:00pm - 07:00pm

Rutgers University, Department of Psychology

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As children learn about the world around them, they gather a great deal of evidence from their senses -- how things look, sound, and feel. But children can also interact with world representationally, not just physically. They can get outside of their own egocentric perspectives to imagine the content of others minds, the possible results of their own or others actions, and the events and entities in pretend and fictional scenarios. Indeed, many aspects of their cognitive lives in development and adults' cognitive lives at maturity depend on the ability to mentally represent more than just the physical world of the senses. In this talk, I explore two aspects of children's and adults' interactions with non-real representations: the organization of multiple possible worlds and the ways in which information flows across the reality/fantasy boundary.

Dr. Deena Skolnick Weisberg