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PhD Talks

Tuesday 9 April 2024, 4.00PM to 5.00pm

Speaker(s): Erin Warden-English, Lydia Munns, Robert Brennan

  1. Erin Warden-English - "Binocular interference in chromatic adaptation: implications for the site of chromatic adaptation"
    Chromatic adaptation that occurs at a timescale longer than a few seconds could plausibly occur at various stages of the visual system, from the retina to the cortex. One common way to investigate whether an adaptation effect occurs retinally or cortically is to test whether there is transfer of the adaptation effect between the eyes (e.g. reference). However, tests of interocular transfer for chromatic adaptation have yielded mixed results, with some studies suggesting there is strong interocular transfer (Neitz et al., 2002), but most suggesting that there is no interocular transfer (Eisner and Enoch, 1982, Delahunt et al., 2004). Previous investigations of interocular transfer have either occluded the non-adapted eye or exposed the non-adapted eye to the normal daylight locus, which may have caused binocular suppression of adaptation. In this study, we adapted both eyes to luminance-matched red or blue filters, and compared the simultaneous monocular adaptation effects in each eye to the effects of binocularly adapting to the same colour. The results of this study will build on our previous studies, which investigated chromatic adaptation in terms of the effects of duration and intensity of an adapting environment on changes to our colour perception, as well as cortical responses to monocular versus binocular chromatic stimuli.
  2. Lydia Munns - "The role of bodily experiences during pregnancy on mother and infant outcomes"
    Background: Pregnancy is a transformative time for women and their bodies, and therefore thoughts and feelings about the body may change during this period. While previous research has established the impact of body dissatisfaction on factors such as antenatal attachment and maternal mental health, there's a notable gap in understanding its long-term relationship with postnatal factors. Therefore, we aim to explore the relationship between the pregnancy bodily experience (body satisfaction and interoceptive sensibility) and postnatal variables including maternal mental health and attachment.
    Methods: This project used longitudinal data from 143 pregnant mothers on levels of body satisfaction, interoceptive sensibility, postnatal attachment and maternal mental health.
    Results: Multiple regressions and a network analysis found low levels of body satisfaction and interoceptive body trusting to be associated with higher levels of anxiety and depression, and lower levels of postnatal attachment.
    Conclusions: Our results suggest that an interplay between feelings towards internal and external bodily cues are important for maternal wellbeing as well as attachment. Enhancing our understanding of how the pregnancy bodily experience relates to maternal wellbeing may help identify those at risk from negative outcomes as well as informing potential interventions."
  3. Robert Brennan - "Rethinking models of subtle dehumanization in social psychology"
    Several influential models of subtle or 'everyday' dehumanization have often been invoked to explain intergroup attitudes and harm.  The dual model of dehumanization suggests we subtly dehumanize outgroup members by denying them character traits that distinguish humans from other animals (e.g., sophisticated, civilised) or machines (e.g. interpersonally warm, open-minded).  Infrahumanization theory suggests we subtly dehumanize outgroup members by seeing them as experiencing uniquely human emotions (e.g., optimism, nostalgia) to a lesser extent than ingroup members.  We re-examine these models, considering recent critiques, such as how antisocial human traits and emotions are omitted from their frameworks.  Across eight highly powered studies (Ntotal = 992), we found no evidence of dehumanization occurring.  Controlling for trait desirability, our first set of studies shows harm to be predicted by negative evaluation (attributing undesirable traits to the target) rather than denying them uniquely human traits.  Rather than infrahumanization, the second set of studies finds intergroup preference to emerge when controlling for emotion sociality, with outgroup members being seen as experiencing antisocial emotions more strongly than ingroup members.  Supporting recent critiques challenging current conceptualisations of dehumanization, this work emphasises the importance of using robust theories and replicable findings when examining urgent social issues like intergroup prejudice.

Location: PS/B/020