Call for Abstracts – Pretend Play and E-Cognition

When: 19-20 September 2019
Where:University of Antwerp, Belgium


This conference seeks to explore if and how E-Cognition theories, which aim to understand cognition through the interplay between the brain processes, bodily capacities and environmental contexts, can improve our understanding of pretend, imaginative and creative practices.

E-Cognition refers to a young field of interdisciplinary research on embodied, embedded, enactive, extensive and ecological cognition, as well as ecological psychology, sensorimotor theory and dynamical systems theory.

Pretend play practices include playing with objects ‘as if’ they were another, role playing, make-believe play, having imaginary friends, making-up new games, creating rules in games, confabulating, storytelling, making fictional scripts, and acting.

The conference will address newest developments in philosophical theories of E-Cognition in the field of pretense and imagination, as well as latest empirical studies on pretend and creative forms of play from psychological research.

Confirmed keynotes:

Thalia Goldstein – George Mason University, USA
Arkadiusz Gut & Monika Chylinska – Catholic University Lublin, Poland
Vasuvedi Reddy – University of Portsmouth, UK
Agnes Szokolszky – University of Szeged, Hungary
Martin Weichold – Regensburg University, Germany


Abstracts are invited on, but not limited to, the following themes / questions:

  • Which cognitive skills are needed in order to pretend play? Does pretense, imagination or creativity require representing, and if so, what form of representing?
  • What is needed in order to develop imaginative skills and creativity? How does the material and social environment affect such development?
  • What is the role of affordances, theory of mind, scripts, metaphors, affectivity or social cognition in pretend play practices?
  • What is the scope of the E-Cognition theories on our understanding of pretense, imagination and creativity?
  • Can E-Cognition explain pretend play? Can E-Cognition guide new empirical research on pretend play?

Submission details:

We invite submissions for a 20-minute presentation, followed by 10-minute discussion.

Abstracts must be approximately 500 words in length, not including references, submitted in MS-Word or PDF format.

Abstracts must be submitted to the e-mail listed below, on or before 31-May-2019.

Notification of acceptance: 21-June-2019

E-mail contact and abstract submission:

Website: TBA

The workshop is sponsored by the University of Antwerp, and the Research Foundation Flanders


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