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Learning how to make good decisions in an uncertain world
Reny Kiryakova (Research Postgraduate - Dept. Psychology)
The world is complicated, and consequently so is making decisions in it. How do you know where to start looking for your keys when you’ve misplaced them? How do you know that your cat is hungry when it meows? Adults can solve these problems very easily and with very little effort simply by using what they know from before (e.g., your keys are most likely to be where you usually put them). Can children do this, too? I will discuss how children cope with such uncertain situations, what can make it easier to deal with them, and hint at why some children may be better at it than others.
Mind Your Step: Learning to Walk in Complex Environments
Imagine walking across a very messy play room. You have to carefully avoid tripping on toys or bumping into furniture - all whilst keeping your balance. Now imagine your balance isn’t very good and you can’t control your legs and feet so accurately. This is the reality for young children! I will discuss some of the surprisingly clever strategies that very young children use to safely move around the cluttered, everyday world.
My virtual body: Using VR to understand own-body awareness
How do you know that your body is, in fact, yours, and not someone else’s? For adults this is simple: your body is the one that looks like you, moves when you tell it to, and the one you see when you look down. But for children, the problem may be more complicated – they are trying to keep track of a body that is constantly changing size and shape! I will discuss how we can use technology such as virtual reality to better understand children’s grasp of their own bodies.