ecological psychology

Special Issue on “Computational Models of Affordance for Robotics”. CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS

Gibson’s theory of affordance, in its adherence to bottom-up direct perception, is antithetical to the top-down inferential models often proposed by modern robotics research purporting to tackle it. Such research assumes internal representation to be sacrosanct, but given current developments, to what extent can this assumption now be re-examined? The recently proposed sensorimotor contingency theory furthers the theoretical argument that internal representation is unnecessary, and its proof- of-concept application in robotics as well as the subsequent explosion in deep learning methodology sheds new light on the possibility of equipping robots with the capacity for directly perceiving their environments by exploiting correlated changes in their sensory inputs triggered by executing specific motor programs. This re-examination of direct perception is only one of several issues warranting scrutiny in current robotic affordance research.

The aim of this special issue is to highlight the relevance of Gibson’s notion of affordance for developmental and cognitive robotics. The issue is focused on contributions from the current panorama of robotics with an emphasis on theories from the ecological, cognitive, developmental and sensorimotor accounts.


21st ENSO Seminar: TONY CHEMERO. Radical Embodiment and Real Cognition

The 21st ENSO Seminar will be presented by Tony Chemero!

Next week, Thursday 8th March @ 3pm UTC, Tony will present on Radical Embodiment and Real Cognition. The details of the talk, including the time in your own timezone, can be found on the ENSO webpage.


A persistent criticism of radical embodied cognitive science is that it will be impossible to explain “real cognition” without invoking mental representations. This talk will provide an account of explicit, real-time thinking of the kind we engage in when we imagine counter-factual situations, remember the past, and plan for the future. We will first present a very general non-representational account of explicit thinking, based on pragmatist philosophy of science. Then we will present a more detailed instantiation of this general account drawing on nonlinear dynamics and ecological psychology. This talk is based on a paper co-authored with Gui Sanches de Oliveira and Vicente Raja.



Special issue on the enactive approach


edited by

Roberta Lanfredini
Nicola Liberati
Andrea Pace Giannotta
Elena Pagni


This Special Issue is dedicated to building a bridge between different disciplines concerned in the investigation of the qualitative dimension of experience and reality. The two main objectives of the Issue can be summarized as follows:

  • to elucidate the need for a revision of categories to account for the qualitative dimension in various disciplines (that include, for example, the cognitive sciences, neurosciences, biology, linguistics, informatics, artificial intelligence, robotics, newly emerging computer technologies) in order to develop an ontology that can better account for the qualitative, dynamic and relational aspects of different domains of reality;
  • to explore the implications of the enactivist view for a relational and ecological account of the qualitative dimensions of life and cognition;