Grant winners – 30 July 2015

A round-up of recent recipients of research council cash

July 30, 2015
Grant Winners header

Leverhulme Trust

Research project grants

Analysing genome-wide patterns of DNA sequence variation and evolution in Drosophila

Nanoparticles with synergistic roles: sensing and drug delivery

Revealing the fundamental nature of time-dependent, wave-generating reconnection

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Standard Research

Single crystal growth at Warwick

Advances in polymer material for energy security – POLYMAT

Pore-scale study of gas flows in ultra-tight porous media

Economic and Social Research Council

Research grants

Dementia-friendly architecture: reducing spatial disorientation in dementia care homes

Flexible and habitual mechanisms of human navigation

“End of” or “start of” life? Visual technology and the transformation of traditional post mortem

Growth in grammar: a multi-dimensional analysis of student writing between 5 and 16

In detail

Award winner: David Williams
Institution: University of Kent
Value: £278,648

Metacognition and mind-reading: one system or two?

The ability to monitor one’s own thoughts is termed “metacognition”, whereas the ability to monitor others’ thoughts is termed “mind-reading”. Some researchers theorise that distinct psychological mechanisms underpin metacognition and mind-reading, and that metacognition is evolutionarily and developmentally prior to mind-reading. Others contend that the two functions rely on exactly the same core psychological mechanism, and metacognition actually emerged as a by-product of the evolutionary need to mind-read others. This project will test these theories by employing multiple kinds of metacognitive tasks across two sets of experiments. The first will manipulate the demands of metacognitive tasks to establish whether the kinds of tasks used to test metacognition in non-human primates really do require awareness of one’s own thoughts. In the second, the team will assess metacognitive monitoring among adults with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and neurotypical adults of similar age and general intelligence. These experiments will allow the team to decide between the competing theories of the relation between metacognition and mind-reading. Additionally, it is hoped that the project will improve understanding of the nature of cognitive functioning in people with ASD.

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