extended cognition

CFP: Understanding social cognition


EXTENDED DEADLINE: *August 31st, 2017*

Third Avant Conference
Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies

website: http://avant.edu.pl/trends3/index.html

October 20-22 2017
Maria Curie-Skłodowska University
Lublin, Poland

Within the social sciences, it is widely accepted that groups of people exhibit social properties and dynamics that emerge from, but cannot be reductively identified with the actions and properties of individual members. Nevertheless, psychology and cognitive science have only reluctantly embraced the idea that something similar might happen in the domain of mind and cognition.

Course on the new cognitive science

Agentes autónomos, sistemas sociales, y la nueva ciencia cognitiva

(Alternative title: Agentes autónomos y multiagentes)

Tutor: Tom Froese

This course will introduce ongoing debates in cognitive science about our changing understanding of the mind. Instead of being thought of as a digital computer inside the brain, mind is now widely considered to be an embodied, embedded and extended activity in the world. These ideas will be illustrated based on case studies of research in agent-based models and human-computer interfaces, with special emphasis on demonstrating how social interactions and technologies shape our mind. Students are not expected to program models nor to design interfaces, but to understand the implications of the new cognitive science and to apply them to their own research interests.

The course will be taught mainly in English to better prepare students for the special terms used by leading researchers in cognitive science.

The course starts on Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. Please consult the course website for more details.

Here is a video that introduces key topics of this course:

New paper analyzing transition to presence-at-hand

Cognitive and movement measures reflect the transition to presence-at-hand

Dobromir Dotov, Lin Nie, Kevin Wojcik, Anastasia Jinks, Xiaoyu Yu, and Anthony Chemero

The phenomenological philosopher Martin Heidegger’s proposed transition from readiness-to-hand to presence-at-hand and the hypothesis of extended cognition were addressed empirically in an experiment on tool use. It involved a video game of steering erratically moving objects to a target while performing a secondary cognitive task. A strong perturbation of the hand-pointer linkage in the video game induced the transition from ready-to-hand to present-at-hand. In Experiment 1, this perturbation resulted in decreased motor performance and improved recall of task-irrelevant features. Experiment 2 replicated these results and addressed additional questions. Measures of movement variability based on the multifractal formalism confirmed the hypothesized decrease in functional integration of the tool during the perturbation. Dynamical interactions allow user and tool to act as a system. The tool is properly described as ready-to-hand during normal operation but as present-at-hand during perturbation. Physiological measures showed that the ready-to-hand to present-at-hand transition does not necessarily lead to a stress response.