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Om Connected Minds
The theme for this volume is social cognition, construed from a psychological and collective point of view. From the psychological point of view, the question is to understand how the human mind processes social information; how it encodes, stores and uses it in the social context. From a collective point of view, the question is to understand how individual cognition is influenced (improved, increased or impaired) by social interactions, for instance in communicating and collaborating with intelligent agents. These two dimensions of social cognition are obviously interdependent: the psychological dimension makes the collective dimension possible, which can in return modify the psychological dimension.The book is divided into four parts. The first part is about socio-cognitive skills. Among those, we count face recognition, imitation learning, embodied social interaction, cheater detection and psychological concept acquisition. The second part is about persons and memories: stereotypes, attraction judgements and impression formation are the subjects at hand. The third part is about understanding each other. A key part of that understanding is the motor system (whether or not we see it as a "mirror"), but community membership itself can also contribute to our understanding of others. The fourth and final part is about social cognition in societies. This section is unified by the common goal of understand how social cognition actually influences the structure of different societies, whether whole cultures, specific social networks, rural communities or even groups of caterpillars!