Author: Tom Froese

Distinctive movement patterns during embodied interaction by adults with HFA

Well done to Leonardo for coordinating another excellent study of embodied social interaction!

Dr. Tom Froese

Our latest analyses suggest that mutual gaze avoidance by people with autism could generalize to mutual touch avoidance during embodied interaction.

Multi-scalar coordination of distinctive movement patterns during embodied interaction between adults with high-functioning autism and neurotypicals

Leonardo Zapata-Fonseca, Dobromir G. Dotov, Ruben Y. Fossion, Tom Froese, Leonhard Schilbach, Kai Vogeley, and Bert Timmermans

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be understood as a social interaction disorder. This requires researchers to take a “second-person” stance and to use experimental setups based on bidirectional interactions. The present work offers a quantitative description of movement patterns exhibited during computer mediated real-time sensorimotor interaction in 10 dyads of adult participants, each consisting of one control individual (CTRL) and one individual with high functioning autism (HFA). We applied time-series analyses to their movements and found two main results. First, multi-scale coordination between participants was present. Second, despite this dyadic alignment and our previous finding that…

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PHD SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX

PHD SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX: FROM SENSATION AND PERCEPTION TO AWARENESS

Corresponding author: Anil Seth (A.K.Seth@sussex.ac.uk)

We are delighted to invite applications for the second round of the Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship Programme in ‘From Sensation and Perception to Awareness’, hosted across multiple Schools at the University of Sussex. Up to **eight** fully funded positions will be awarded (for UK/EU applicants), starting Sep 2019. The aim of the programme is to bring together doctoral researchers from different disciplines to advance our understanding of the interactions between sensing, perception, and awareness in humans, animals, and machines. Applicants can select from a range of projects or propose their own. Pre-specified projects are divided into three main themes: (i) Human-computer interaction and digital arts, (ii) human cognitive neuroscience and computational neuroscience, and (iii) sensory neuroscience.

For more details and for how to apply please see https://www.findaphd.com/search/PhdDetails.aspx?CAID=3783 and https://www.sussex.ac.uk/sensation/applications. For more on the Programme please visit https://www.sussex.ac.uk/sensation/, and follow us on Twitter @SensationSussex. Email enquiries to Leverhulme@sussex.ac.uk. Application deadline is **31st January 2019**. The programme is co-directed by Anil Seth (Engineering and Informatics) and Jamie Ward (Psychology).

Summer school “Introduction to Enactivism” in Hokkaido, Japan

A recurring topic in our group’s meetings this year was the lack of an introductory level resource for people trying to learn about 4E cognition. This summer school could help!

Dr. Tom Froese

Next August I will be one of three instructors in a summer school on enactive philosophy of mind and cognitive science in beautiful Hokkaido, Japan! The other instructors are Shigeru Taguchi (phenomenology) and Masatoshi Yoshida (neuroscience), so this will be a truly interdisciplinary experience.

We are looking for motivated students to join us in this enactive summer school!

Title and abstract below. For more details please see the course website:

Introduction to Enactivism: Moving to Know, Knowing to Move

The aim of this course is to give an introduction to enactivism by lectures and experimental practices. Enactivism is a philosophical view on cognition and experience that Francisco Varela and other scholars developed. According to this view, cognition and experience are not just passive processes, but a kind of ”making up” of reality through our action.

In this course, students can examine to what extent the enactive view of experience is…

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Hector Gomez graduates with honors

Congratulations to Hector who graduated with honors from UNAM’s Bachelor’s degree in Psychology yesterday for his work with the Enactive Torch on movement complexity.

The title and abstract of his thesis are as follows:

Análisis de series de tiempo de actividad sensorimotora durante la interacción humano-máquina

Héctor Gómez Escobar

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Perspective piece on the concept of opioid addiction

Congratulations to Susana for coordinating this nice little perspective article!

Dr. Tom Froese

This perspective piece on opioid addiction resulted from a workshop on enactive approaches to psychopathology our group organized last year. The science of addiction is in desperate need of a better theoretical framework, and we hope to be able to contribute to its development in the coming years.

The Clinical Concept of Opioid Addiction Since 1877: Still Wanting After All These Years

Christian G. Schütz, Susana Ramírez-Vizcaya, and Tom Froese

In 1877, the psychiatrist Edward Levinstein authored the first monograph on opioid addiction. The prevalence of opioid addiction prior to his publication had risen in several countries including England, France and Germany. He was the first to call it an illness, but doubted that it was a mental illness because the impairment of volition appeared to be restricted to opioid use: it was not pervasive, since it did not extend to other aspects of the individuals’ life. While there has…

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New paper: Self-Optimization in Continuous-Time Recurrent Neural Networks

The core part of Mario’s Master’s thesis has now been published in Frontiers in Robotics and AI!

Dr. Tom Froese

We were able to generalize the powerful self-optimization process to continuous-time neural networks, the class of neural networks most used by evolutionary robotics.

Self-Optimization in Continuous-Time Recurrent Neural Networks

Mario Zarco and Tom Froese

A recent advance in complex adaptive systems has revealed a new unsupervised learning technique called self-modeling or self-optimization. Basically, a complex network that can form an associative memory of the state configurations of the attractors on which it converges will optimize its structure: it will spontaneously generalize over these typically suboptimal attractors and thereby also reinforce more optimal attractors—even if these better solutions are normally so hard to find that they have never been previously visited. Ideally, after sufficient self-optimization the most optimal attractor dominates the state space, and the network will converge on it from any initial condition. This technique has been applied to social networks, gene regulatory networks, and neural networks, but its application…

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Latest issue of Adaptive Behavior!

This attempt to bring together enactive and ecological approaches to deal with the problem of representation should be of interest!

Dr. Tom Froese

The latest issue of Adaptive Behavior is out with a nice mix of content.

I picked the article by Julian Kiverstein and Erik Rietveld on “Reconceiving representation-hungry cognition: an ecological-enactive proposal” as my editor’s pick, so it’s available for free!

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New article on entraining chaotic dynamics

Dobri’s study, in which many of our group got involved as participants, has finally been published!

Dr. Tom Froese

We show that it is possible for a participant to interactively control a chaotic system by entraining with its dynamics, with the effect that they become more regular while the participant becomes more chaotic.

This has implications both for researchers interested in controlling chaotic systems, and also for practitioners in movement rehabilitation.

Entraining chaotic dynamics: A novel movement sonification paradigm could promote generalization

Dobromir Dotov and Tom Froese

Tasks encountered in daily living may have instabilities and more dimensions than are sampled by the senses such as when carrying a cup of coffee and only the surface motion and overall momentum are sensed, not the fluid dynamics. Anticipating non-periodic dynamics is difficult but not impossible because mutual coordination allows for chaotic processes to synchronize to each other and become periodic. A chaotic oscillator with random period and amplitude affords being stabilized onto a periodic trajectory by a weak input if…

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New paper on iterated learning at the origins of life

Many thanks to Jorge for all of his hard work in generating the results that formed the basis for this new paper on the origins of the genetic code!

Dr. Tom Froese

Jorge, Nathaniel and I have published an extension of our iterated learning approach to the origins of the genetic code in the Proceedings of the Artificial Life Conference 2018. We unexpectedly found that the most likely sequences in which amino acids get incorporated into the emerging genetic codes in our simulation model exhibit a remarkable overlap with the sequence predicted in the literature based on empirical considerations.

We will present this work at the ALIFE conference in Tokyo as part of the special session on “Hybrid Life: Approaches to integrate biological, artificial and cognitive systems”.

An iterated learning approach to the origins of the standard genetic code can help to explain its sequence of amino acid assignments

Tom Froese, Jorge I. Campos, and Nathaniel Virgo

Artificial life has been developing a behavior-based perspective on the origins of life, which emphasizes the adaptive potential of agent-environment interaction even at that…

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Psychological study on chaos control

Here is a little summary of the results of the study that Dobri conducted in our group!

Dr. Tom Froese

Dobri Dotov and I have published an extended abstract in the Proceedings of the Artificial Life Conference 2018 about the study that he realized at UNAM. We suggest that the results have implications for how we should think about how to stabilize the behavior of complex adaptive systems with which we can interact.

We will present this work at the ALIFE conference in Tokyo as part of the special session on “ALife and Society: Transcending the artificial-natural divide”.

Mutual synchronization and control between artificial chaotic system and human

Dobromir Dotov and Tom Froese

Dexterous assistive devices constitute one of the frontiers for hybrid human-machine systems. Manipulating unstable systems requires task-specific anticipatory dynamics. Learning this dynamics is more difficult when tasks, such as carrying liquid or riding a horse, produce unpredictable, irregular patterns of feedback and have hidden dimensions not projected as sensory feedback. We addressed the issue of coordination with…

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