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Merle Fairhurst, Ph.D.

Merle Fairhurst, Ph.D.

Academic Assistant

Research Topics

Social interaction, sensory perception, integration, dynamic exchange,

Short Biography

Merle Fairhurst holds a diploma in music and completed her undergraduate and postgraduate training in Physiological Sciences and Neuroscience at the University of Oxford with her doctoral work entitled "Dissecting the pain experience using psychological intervention and functional MRI". Her postdoctoral training has included two research fellowships with the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (Leipzig) firstly within the Music, Cognition and Action group (2009-2012) and then in the Early Social Development group (2012-2013). Before starting at the LMU, she completed a research fellowship at the Centre for the Study of the Senses at the University of London (2014-2017). She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Neuroscience group. Her present work focuses on the sensory and indeed multisensory bases of social interactions, with a focus on somatosensory and auditory signals that allow us to coordinate our actions and become aligned in body and mind. Specifically, she uses psychophysical and neuroimaging techniques to investigate the integration and modulation of sensory information during contextually and socially rich multisensory events.

Further Information

Recent Publications
van der Steen, M.C., Jacoby, N., Fairhurst, M.T., & Keller, P.E. Sensorimotor synchronization with tempo-changing auditory sequences: Modeling temporal adaptation and anticipation. Brain Research 2015

Koehne, S., Behrends, A.,Fairhurst, M.T., Dziobek, I. Fostering Social Cognition through an Imitation- and Synchronization-Based Dance/Movement Intervention in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Controlled Proof-of-Concept Study. 2016

Gallotti, M., Fairhurst M. T., Frith, C. Alignment in social interactions. Consciousnes and Cognition 2017

Recent Talks
Fairhurst, M.T., Deroy, O. Trusting Our Senses: Metacognition and Confidence Across Sensory Modalities. ICPS 2017, Vienna 23-25th March 2017

Fairhurst, M.T. The perceptual bases of mental alignment and reciprocity OCCAM 2017, Osnabrueck 6-8th July 2017

Fairhurst, M.T. Mental alignment and reciprocity: Characterising dynamic, reciprocal two-way interactions. Discrete and Continuous Models in the Theory of Networks. ZiF, Bielefeld, 27th November to 1st December 2017

Fairhurst, M.T. What is special about touch? ISATCA, Dresden, 1-2 February 2018