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…

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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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20th Herbstakademie Freiburg 2019: Synchronization in Embodied Interaction

It is part of the series of Herbstakademie meetings dedicated to the topic of complex systems in psychology, social sciences and the humanities. The conference will take place in the spring of next year (February 28 – March 2, 2019). It will be hosted by the University of Freiburg, Germany, and supported by the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) (

Information on the upcoming and on previous meetings of the Herbstakademie community is provided here:


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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CALL FOR PAPERS. Special Issue of the Journal Synthese: RADICAL VIEWS ON COGNITION

Guest Editor(s): Marcos Silva (Federal University of Alagoas) and Francicleber Ferreira
(Federal University of Ceará)

Special Issue Description:

Several contemporary philosophers have been developing tenets in pragmatism (broadly construed) to motivate it as an alternative philosophical foundation for a comprehensive understanding of cognition, opposed to a far-reaching representationalist tradition.
This long-established representationalist tradition in philosophy of mind and cognitive science defends that cognition is fundamentally content-involving. On the other side, some radical contenders advocate that cognition is neither basically representational nor does it involve, as in usual internalist views, processing or manipulating informational contents. They call attention to the importance of inherited and embodied practices and social interactions in order to understand relevant topics in perception, language and the nature of intentionality. They take seriously evolving biological systems and situated individuals interacting in communities over time as preconditions of our rationality, features often dismissed as not central in the representationalist and internalist tradition.