Julia Espinosa (University of Toronto, Canada) | Host: Joana Robalo
Julia Espinosa recently received her PhD from the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto. During her doctorate studies she investigated cognitive processes, primarily with pet dogs. Her main line of work investigates how dogs think and learn about the physical world, and in pre-pandemic times she designed interactive puzzles to explore how dogs make inferences using the physical properties of objects and recognize underlying causal relationships in the environment.
In this talk, Julia will focus on her research about physical and causal inferences, after an overview of some of the big questions that are gripping the field.
She will introduce dogs as a system for cognitive research that are unique in their position as domesticated, social carnivores that share the human ecological niche. Prior research has mainly investigated dog-human interaction and social cognition, while her work addresses the underexplored area of their ability to make non-social inferences about the physical world. Julia will also touch on a large-scale collaborative project she is organizing, ManyDogs, and the benefits of using a big team science approach with nonhuman subjects.
About Julia Espinosa and her work