Abstract zum Vortrag von Rosanne Rademaker

Dissociable reference frames in orientation recall: The oblique effect follows retinal coordinates, while repulsion from cardinal follows real-world coordinates.

Systematic differences in recall-error emerge when people report an orientation from memory after a brief delay. One is the classic oblique effect, with smaller replication errors for targets presented at cardinal compared to oblique orientations. Another is a repulsion away from the cardinal axes, with responses to near vertical and horizontal targets exaggerated to lie even further away from those axes than they actually were. To test the origins of these systematic differences in error, twelve participants were presented with randomly oriented gratings (between 1–180º) for 100 ms. on each trial, which they replicated (using a computer mouse) after a 1.5 s delay period. Critically, on half of the trials a rotating chin-rest tilted the head of participants 45º from upright – with tilt direction counterbalanced across participants. For several psychophysical experiments, many trials per tilt position were collected over the course of several days. Data show that the classic oblique effect is tied to a retinal coordinate frame, with better resolution for targets presented at orientations that are cardinal relative to the head, irrespective of its tilt. However, the repulsion from cardinal remained tied to real-world vertical and horizontal. We hypothesize that while the classical oblique effect is driven by retinal and cortical factors determined during visual development (such as the over-representation of cardinal orientations in visual cortex), the second 'repulsion' bias is due to a higher-level decisional component whereby representations are cropped relative to real-world cardinal coordinates. We furthermore found that when applying the same head-tilt manipulation with EEG, the population response over visual cortex represents a mixture of both retinal- and real-world reference frames. 

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Abstract zum Vortrag von Gerhard Reese

Umweltkrise = Verhaltenskrise? Individuelle und systemische Katalsyatoren nachhaltigen Handelns

Menschliches Verhalten ist immer eine Funktion des sozialen und gesellschaftlichen Umfelds. Gerade die globalen Krisen (z.B. Klimawandel, Verlust biologischer Vielfalt) erfordern zwar auch individuelle, aber vor allem systemische Veränderungen. Dieser Vortrag beleuchtet die Interaktion zwischen ‚Individuum‘ und ‚Systemebenen‘ sowie die Hebel, die den proaktiven Umgang mit den globalen Krisen begünstigen können.
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Abstract zum Vortrag von Prof. Dr. Tobias Hecker

Violence, trauma, and flight: drivers, consequences and prevention approaches for war-affected children and their families

Millions of people around the world are affected by war and displacement. People who experience war and violence have an increased risk for mental health problems. Though the number of studies on refugee children has increased in recent years, studies that examine the consequences of war, flight, and trauma from a family perspective, considering intra-family dynamics, are very rare. In his talk, Tobias Hecker will address the consequences of war, flight, and trauma from a family perspective. Based on studies in conflict settings, he will focus on the link between parental and child mental health, also considering potential family mediators, such as family violence or relationship quality. He will also present results on consequences of traumatic experiences beyond the direct mental health impairments, such as the cognitive development of the affected children or the willingness of displaced persons to return to their place of origin. He will provide an insight into a series of ongoing projects examine the impact of mental health interventions on intergenerational mental health, social, and economic outcomes.


Prof. Dr. Tobias Hecker is a Professor of Clinical Psychology and Violence Research at the Department of Psychology and Deputy Scientific Director of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence at Bielefeld University. He has a strong scholarly record of funding (>5 million Euro in the past 5 years) and publications (100+ in the past 10 years) in mental health and violence research with emphasis on violence against children, trauma and migration. Here, the funding within the Emmy-Noether Program of the German Research Foundation stands out. His research focuses on developmental psychopathology and combines the clinical with the developmental psychology perspective. Specifically, his work examined the drivers and consequences of war, violence, migration, and maltreatment in childhood, as well as the prevention and intervention efforts of violence and the resulting psychological consequences. He is the editorial board member of the Journal of Traumatic Stress and of Psychology of Violence. 

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Abstract zum Vortrag von Ian Thornton

Searching through sequences using the MILO task

Visual search tasks have taught us much about how we explore the world. A useful extension to the standard paradigm – where a single target must be located among a variable set size of distractors – is to consider search episodes that contain multiple targets. Here I will describe work using the MILO (multi-item localisation) task where participants must select randomly positioned targets in a pre-defined order (e.g., find the digits 1 through 8; Thornton & Horowitz, 2004;2020). Using a sequence makes it possible to explore the full temporal context of search. That is, the speed of selecting a given target in the sequence could be influenced both by where you’ve been (i.e., the previous target locations or retrospective context) and where you need to go next (i.e., the future target locations or prospective context). In this talk, I’ll focus on one specific finding from MILO studies: when searching through a sequence you have almost perfect memory for – and thus can effectively ignore – the locations of all previously selected items. I’ll argue that this implicates the use of a very precise inhibitory tagging mechanism. I’ll show how such tagging can be disrupted through increased cognitive load – either from inherent task demands or cognitive decline – and discuss new work exploring the possible connection to inhibition of return (IOR) as a foraging facilitator (Klein & MacInnes, 1999).

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Abstract zum Vortrag von Dr. Angelika Stefan

Interim Design Analyses: Can re-evaluating sampling plans improve study designs?

The scientific relevance of rigorous study designs has often been compared to the importance of architectural plans. Without a proper plan, a building may collapse. Without rigorous research design, a study may not withstand scientific scrutiny. However, unlike architects, researchers rarely re-evaluate their designs after the start of a study. In this talk, I want to outline a framework for intermediate design analyses that capitalizes on the advantages of the Bayesian statistical approach, and allows researchers to re-adjust their sample sizes based on information gathered over the course of a study. Using two examples, I will discuss how sequential sampling methods and interim design analyses can increase the informativeness and efficiency of study designs in practice.

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Abstract zum Vortrag von Dr. Christoph Strauch (Universität Utrecht)

Understanding why and how we move visual attention – a perspective on low-level stimulus features and cost

Deciding how, whether, and where to move the eyes is arguably one of the most frequent decisions that humans make, but which factors determine its outcome? In my talk I will focus on two factors that shape this decision besides the top down goals of the beholder.

First, I will talk about how low-level stimulus features (such as contrasts, spatial frequencies etc.) drive eye movements across the lifespan. Saliency maps, computational models of human visual attention based on these features, are generated using eye movements across a wide range of visual scenes, but validated using only few participants. Generalizations across individuals are generally implied, however. Here, I present gaze data of 8,325 participants to a single image to test for generalization across participants to test for their ability to generalize across participants. Strikingly, models performed well on participants aged 18-35, but poorly for other age groups, with children in particular. Modelling and understanding gaze behavior beyond college-student like samples thus requires an approach which incorporates knowledge on differences in gaze behavior across the lifespan or at least validation on (age)-diverse samples.

Second, I introduce a cost perspective to how we shift our attention. I propose that not all shifts of attention are equally costly – and therefore ‘cheaper’ and more ‘expensive’ options will be weighed against each other. Using pupil dilation, a potent marker of attention in general and the arguably closest physiological correlate to mental effort, we assessed the mental costs associated with planning shifts in covert attention and the costs associated with saccades. We found saccades to be more costly than shifts in covert attention as indexed by stronger pupil dilation during planning. Furthermore, we found cardinal saccades to be significantly less costly than oblique saccades. Likely, these pupil dilations reflect the complexity of motor planning as the decisive driver of these differences in cost rather than the motor execution itself.

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Abstract zum Vortrag von Ara Norenzayan

Religion and Global Cultural Variation

The world we live in is teeming with cultural diversity in beliefs, values, and preferences (cultural traits). While we know that geography, ecology, and national culture play important roles, there is conflicting views on whether religious traditions are also potential drivers of this diversity. How much of the global variability in cultural traits can be traced to religious traditions and to religious commitment?  To answer this question, cultural distances between religious groups were measured and compared to distances between nation-states and to other demographics, drawing on a global sample from the World Values Survey (88 countries, N=243,118). We find that around the world, people who affiliate with the same religious tradition and have similar levels of religious commitment share all kinds of cultural traits. Despite their heterogeneity, the “Big 5” world religions – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism -- as well as secularism, share cultural traits that have persisted across geographical, linguistic, and political divides. I discuss some limitations on what we can infer from these findings, and conclude with thoughts on the place of religion and secularism in the cultural evolution of human societies.

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Abstract zum Vortrag von Dr. Julian Decius

Lernen im Arbeitskontext – lästige Pflicht oder unterschätzte Chance?

In einer sich ständig wandelnden, dynamischen Arbeitswelt ist kontinuierliches Lernen und Weiterentwicklung der Mitarbeitenden unerlässlich – sowohl für die eigene Beschäftigungsfähigkeit als auch für den organisationalen Erfolg. Der Vortrag differenziert diverse Formen des arbeitsbezogenen Lernens und stellt den Wirkungsgrad des Lernens entlang verschiedener Dimensionen (wie z. B. Technologie, Simulation oder Individualisierung) auf Basis neuer (noch unveröffentlichter) metaanalytischer Erkenntnisse vor. Ein besonderer Fokus wird im weiteren Verlauf auf das informelle Lernen am Arbeitsplatz gelegt. Am Beispiel von Industriebeschäftigten in mittelständischen Unternehmen werden die Konzeptualisierung und Operationalisierung des informellen Lernens sowie Wechselwirkungen mit Arbeitsanforderungen, Ressourcen und Job Crafting dargestellt. Abschließend erfolgt ein Ausblick auf ein neuartiges konzeptuelles Modell zu „New Learning“ inklusive einer ersten empirischen Validierung und Diskussion der theoretischen und praktischen Implikationen.

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Abstract zum Vortrag von Prof. Mark Vollrath (TU Braunschweig)

"How to behave as an automatic car so that humans like them - and why this question?"


The development and introduction of automatic cars has been based on the assumption that

automatic driving is safer than human driving, thus decreasing crash risk. The first part of the

talk examines this assumption taking different levels of automation into account, showing that

it will probably take decades before this positive effect will arise. Thus, from a buyer’s point of

view, automatic cars will have to provide other positive features besides safety. These include

personal benefits like being able to safely engage in other activities while driving. However,

from a user experience perspective it should also be fun to be driven by an automatic car or,

at least, it should be a comfortable, pleasant experience. This is especially true for the passenger

or buyer of the automatic car, but also for other traffic participants interacting with this car. The

driving behavior of the automatic cars plays a crucial role to achieve this. Results from

experimental studies including two basic driving scenarios are presented to give an idea of how

to behave as an automatic car so that humans like them. It will be interesting to see, whether

this will really be a sufficient motivation for a wide-spread acceptance of automatic cars given

their likely cost-range.

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Abstract für den Vortrag von Katharina Schnitzspahn

The effects of mood and stress on cognition in aging

Research suggests that cognitive resources decline with old age, while emotional resources stay stable or even improve. I will present several lab-based studies suggesting that prospective memory (i.e. the ability to remember and perform intended actions in the future) in young adults is impaired by negative mood and acute stress, while performance in older adults is not affected. I will also show some applied studies conducted in participants’ everyday lives that suggest a slightly different pattern: Stress and negative mood in both age groups is negatively associated with prospective memory, while positive mood is associated with better performance. The potential role of emotion regulation, intrusive thoughts and motivation for explaining the observed results will be discussed based on models of emotion-cognition interactions.

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