University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Psychiatry & CPFT Thursday Lunchtime Seminar Series > Why it’s inconceivable that Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are one and the same: How emotion influences similarity perception

Why it’s inconceivable that Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are one and the same: How emotion influences similarity perception

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Abstract Similarity between experiences is key to meaning-making processes, such as categorisation, generalisation, and inference; it also influences how we encode and remember. Emotional similarity refers to the tendency to group stimuli together because they evoke the same feelings. Events that look different and have different semantic meanings can nevertheless evoke the same feelings. We may judge an image of a homeless person and an image of a person injured in a car accident as different, because they have different meanings, or as similar, because both evoke negative feelings. In this talk I will discuss the effect of emotion on similarity perception, as measured in behaviour and in the brain through representational neural similarity.

Biography Dr Deborah Talmi is a cognitive neuroscientist, interested in emotional cognition – the effect that emotional value has on our cognitive system. The core of her research is the emotional value of the events that we experience. To induce emotional value in the lab she uses monetary reward, pain and taste stimuli, and pictures that depict distressing scenes. Her aim is to understand how our brains convert such input to neural representation of value and subjective feelings. Her main focus is on how the emotional value of experience influences later memory for these experiences. For more detail on Dr Talmi, please visit: https://www.lucy.cam.ac.uk/fellows/dr-deborah-talmi

This talk is part of the Department of Psychiatry & CPFT Thursday Lunchtime Seminar Series series.

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