Call for Papers: ‘Inter-identities’ in Life, Mind, and Society’

A key feature of complex systems is that they arise in interaction with the environment, including other complex systems with which they relate. The challenge they pose is double, because they entail systemic relations among parts and relationships of the constituted entity with other systems, their boundaries being often fuzzy. Thus, in addition to “vertical” complexity, the “horizontal” organization of this identity needs to be accounted for in interactions with others and the environment. Studying interactive processes of this kind in biological, cognitive, and social systems is a pending task for several fields of science and philosophy. The scope of natural and artificial examples and topics for thinking and modelling is wide in domains including the physiological, evolutionary and medical realm, also the mental and intersubjective, and extending to socio political agencies.

‘Inter-identity’ is a word we have composed with the aim to integrate the various dimensions and phenomenologies encountered by research into these kinds of complexities within a single expression. Issues of identity in biological, cognitive and social, biomedical, educational and political systems closely relate to aspects of individuality and individuation, but we are particularly interested in identifying phenomena occurring at the intersections and as the result of relations beyond individuality. Certainly, these problems are also relevant in artificial or computational models and devices built for research on living, cognitive and social phenomena. To solve these issues, we need to combine theoretical and empirical (operational) approaches, as a number of similarities can be drawn across domains or areas of research.

We propose this Research Topic within the multidisciplinary scope provided by Frontiers precisely to put together different descriptions of complex systems that comprise ‘inter-identities’, within the biological, cognitive and social spheres, along with the necessary conceptual philosophical work required to deal with the variety of cases, and with a special emphasis on theoretical and philosophical issues of Psychology.

Keywords: complexity, individuality, interaction, agency, relational autonomy



ENSO 24 — Harry Heft — Places as Emergent Dynamic Structures in Everyday Life

The 2018-2019 ENSO season continues next week with Harry Heft, from Denison University, on “Places as Emergent Dynamic Structures in Everyday Life”.

 3pm UTC, on Thursday 8th November

The details of the talk, including the time in your own timezone (watch the daylight savings change!), can be found on the ENSO webpage.

As ever, if you would like to join us in the live session to participate in the discussion you would be welcome to do so. If you are interested in doing so, please send an email to, and we will send an invitation link to the YouTube Live session when things kick off. We welcome all researchers with an interest in participating.

The opportunity for discussion will continue on the ENSO webpage after the talk also. (more…)

Call for Workshops, Special Sessions & Tutorials: The 2019 Conference on Artificial Life (ALIFE 2019)

The ALife2019 Organizing Committee invites proposals for Workshops, Special Sessions and Tutorial to be held in conjunction with The 2019 Conference on Artificial Life (ALIFE 2019), which will be held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK on 29 July – 2 August, 2019.

We especially encourage proposals that relate to the theme of ALIFE 2019: How Can Artificial Life Help Solve Societal Challenges?


How Music Connects: Social Sensory Consciousness in Musical Ritual

Collective coupling and coordinated joint action in musical ritual settings are core elements of human cultural practices around the world.

Studies of ritual and social cognition have paid increasing attention to the rich embodied, temporal, and sensorial dimensions of social coupling during ritual practice.

In this paper, Ximena González-Grandón explore inclusive perspectives which believe that to take embodied and experimental aspects of synchronized movement seriously it is necessary to include the activation of the entire motor body and peripheral nervous system.

Successful social and musical coupling relies upon the transient synchronization of distinct frecuency oscilations throughout the entire body, and this synchronization allows for brief temporal windows of social communication sustained by special kinds of shared bodily consciousness.

Link to the full article: How Music Connects: Social Sensory Consciousness in Musical Ritual

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…

View original post 165 more words

Congress: Time, the body and the Other (Youtube Playlist of the Lectures)

Time, the body and the Other: Phenomenological and Psychopathological Approaches.
13th – 15th September 2018, Heidelberg

Youtube Playlist of the Lectures Link:

This conference aims at exploring and discussing the intertwinement of temporality, embodiment and intersubjectivity from phenomenological and psychopathological approaches. (more…)

Call for Papers. CIM19: Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology. “Embodiment in Music”

Embodiment  is the idea that our mental life, including musical subjectivity, depends directly on our body – its internal biological norms, and its patterns of activity in the environment – rather than just on the brain.

Research and theory on how we engage with, and make sense of, music is more than ever concerned with movements, gestures, sensorimotor couplings, and motor resonances. These are now recurrent themes in the music research community and are increasingly understood as features central to musical learning, emotion, development, perception, and  performance, among others.

The centrality of body and action for human musicality has also promoted a debate for understanding the history and cultural diversity of musical subjectivity: how the rich interplay between embodied and social factors contribute to the development of musical styles and identities across different historical, geographical, and cultural contexts.
However, the real implications this framework can offer for our understanding of music and musicality remain unclear. What does it really mean for music cognition to be
embodied ?


5E Cognition: Virtual Embodiment and Artificial Intelligence

The University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy (UTCP) in collaboration with University of Cincinnati is hosting a workshop exploring topics related to Enactive and Ecological accounts of Embodied Cognition, Comparative Chinese and Japanese Philosophy, and Artificial Intelligence. The workshop will be held at the University of Tokyo campus on December 6th and 7th 2018.

5E Cognition refers to the coalition of enactive, extended, embedded, ecological, and embodied theories of cognition and action. The general scope of the workshop is to discuss the implications of Artificial Intelligence, virtual environments, and technological artifacts through the interdisciplinary lens of 5E Cognition. They plan to explore the ways in which human action, perception, and cognition may be profoundly changed by our increasingly digital world. How technology expands, augments, and inhibits the human capacity for ethical and social practice is of particular interest.


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…

View original post 59 more words