Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Miriam de Boer(Donders series 273)

2 juni 2017

Promotors: prof. dr. I. Toni, copromotor: dr. I. van Rooij

Between the lines: A study into the cognitive, enural and endocrine underpinnings of generating communicative behaviours

Imagine yourself in the following situation: someone asks you for directions to the train station. What would be the best way to explain the route? You might think that generating a route description is very easy, but when you would take a closer look, you would find out that the processes underlying it are actually rather complex. One reason for this complexity is that the number of possible descriptions is infinite. For instance, there are various different wordings to relate to the same location. Or, when you and the person who lost their way do not speak the same language, there are many ways to explain the route with gestures and points. In this thesis, the cognitive, neural and endocrine underpinnings of the process underlying generating well-adjusted communicative behaviours were investigated. The findings in this dissertation seem to indicate that these processes, that initially seem social in nature, cannot be distinguished from general-purpose processes used for solving complex problems.