Deroy, O., Longin, L., & Bahrami, B. (2024). Co-perceiving: Bringing the social into perception. WIREs Cognitive Science, e1681. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1681

Humans and other animals possess the remarkable ability to effectively navigate a shared perceptual environment by discerning which objects and spaces are perceived by others and which remain private to themselves. Traditionally, this capacity has been encapsulated under the umbrella of joint attention or joint action. In this comprehensive review, we advocate for a broader and more mechanistic understanding of this phenomenon, termed co-perception. Co-perception encompasses the sensitivity to the perceptual engagement of others and the capability to differentiate between objects perceived privately and those perceived commonly with others. It represents a distinct concept from mere simultaneous individual perception. Moreover, discerning between private and common objects doesn't necessitate intricate mind-reading abilities or mutual coordination. The act of perceiving objects as either private or common provides a comprehensive account for social scenarios where individuals simply share the same context or may even engage in competition. This conceptual framework encourages a re-examination of classical paradigms that demonstrate social influences on perception. Furthermore, it suggests that the impacts of shared experiences extend beyond affective responses, also influencing perceptual processes.