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Intersubjectivity - one aspect of social cognition

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Intersubjectivity is one aspect of social cognition. It mostly relates to what's going on when we entertain a relationship with someone, so social cognition is broader. And to be honest, what neuroscience is doing at the moment is to study a very artificial or almost caricatural form of intersubjectivity, because in intersubjectivity, yes, we can have dyadic interaction, but a substantial part of our social interactions imply the simultaneous relationship with a group of people, and for technical limitations we are still forced to study social cognition at the level of dyadic interaction, which of course tells you only part of the story. Ideally, it would be very interesting to study brain activity in a group of people that are freely interacting, so say five, six people. So what's going on when people are helping each other to move a piece of furniture from one room to another room. This is a very basic example of cooperative behaviour which ideally should be studied in a real situation, but at the moment the technology doesn't enable us to do so. But hopefully in a few years we will be able more and more to move out of the artificial set-up of a neuroscience lab and perform some of our experiments in real-life situations. That's the ultimate goal, to approximate as best we can real situations we normally face in our everyday life. At the moment we're still somehow forced to carve out from real-life situations dyadic interactions, which have strong limitations, because you understand that even if you see the face of someone telling you something or smiling at you or showing disgust at you when you lie totally mobilized in an FMRI machine in a noisy environment looking at a bi-dimensional rendition of what the other is doing or telling or feeling, it's a very artificial approximation of the real-life interaction. So the future will probably enable us to approximate more and more real interactions, but we're not there yet.

Added on 01 May 2017

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