social cognition

Second Workshop on Enactive Approaches to Mind in Health and Disease

We are pleased to announce the 2nd Workshop on Enactive Approaches to Mind in Health and Disease, organized by 4E Cognition Group.  From January 22 – 24, 2019.

You can find the complete program below.

For any doubts please write to:

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Body of Knowledge: Art and Embodied Cognition conference: CFP

Body of Knowledge: Art and Embodied Cognition 27-29 June 2019, hosted by Deakin University – Melbourne, Australia

BoK2019 will continue to pursue the goals initiated at BoK2016, organized and directed by Simon Penny, bringing together interdisciplinary researcher- practitioners including cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, philosophers of mind, physiologists, psychologists, anthropologists, computer scientists, artists and designers to explore a range of emerging theories of cognition including enactive approaches, embodied and social cognition. The aim of BoK2019 is to foster conversations that increase the potential for knowledge transfer and celebrate diverse forms of embodied expertise. Therefore, the conference thematics will be expanded to emphasize cultures of practice and communities of practitioners that offer perspectives on inclusion, diversity/neurodiversity and disability. To this end, BoK2019 will foreground social cognition, enabling the productive tensions between neuroscience and enactive theories of cognition to be drawn out for analysis. (more…)

E-Approaches to Social Difference and Disparity

Theme: E-Approaches to Social Difference and Disparity

Type: Conference

Institution: University of Wollongong

Location: Wollongong, NSW Australia

Date: March 13th-14th

Submission Deadline: December 30th, 2018

We are soliciting applications for contributing speaker sessions our upcoming conference at the University of Wollongong: Given that embodied and enactive approaches to cognition put the lived body, intersubjectivity, and interaction at the very core of their research paradigms, discussions of how aspects of our lived identities can shape our cognitive processes would be a natural application. Topics in this literature often include how our socio-cultural situation influences how we think, how we comport ourselves, and how we perceive others who are similarly or differently situated. Despite this, there is a shortage of literature in which these frameworks are used to directly discuss the influence of gender, race, or sexuality on perception, social cognition, and other cognitive processes. This conference intends to address how we might take race, gender, and sexuality into account in answering core questions of philosophy of mind using enactive and embodied approaches to cognition. While work like this is important in itself, we are also interested in implications this research could have for issues in ethics and epistemology. (more…)

Sensitivity to social contingency in adults with high-functioning autism

As part of his doctoral research, Leonardo Zapata-Fonseca coordinated this analysis of embodied social interaction. Great team effort!

Sensitivity to Social Contingency in Adults with High-Functioning Autism during Computer-Mediated Embodied Interaction

Leonardo Zapata-Fonseca, Tom Froese, Leonhard Schilbach, Kai Vogeley, and Bert Timmermans

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be understood as a social interaction disorder. This makes the emerging “second-person approach” to social cognition a more promising framework for studying ASD than classical approaches focusing on mindreading capacities in detached, observer-based arrangements. According to the second-person approach, embodied, perceptual, and embedded or interactive capabilities are also required for understanding others, and these are hypothesized to be compromised in ASD. We therefore recorded the dynamics of real-time sensorimotor interaction in pairs of control participants and participants with High-Functioning Autism (HFA), using the minimalistic human-computer interface paradigm known as “perceptual crossing” (PC). We investigated whether HFA is associated with impaired detection of social contingency, i.e., a reduced sensitivity to the other’s responsiveness to one’s own behavior. Surprisingly, our analysis reveals that, at least under the conditions of this highly simplified, computer-mediated, embodied form of social interaction, people with HFA perform equally well as controls. This finding supports the increasing use of virtual reality interfaces for helping people with ASD to better compensate for their social disabilities. Further dynamical analyses are necessary for a better understanding of the mechanisms that are leading to the somewhat surprising results here obtained.

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CFP: Understanding social cognition


EXTENDED DEADLINE: *August 31st, 2017*

Third Avant Conference
Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies


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.

Master’s thesis published

The first thesis of our group has been published. Please find the title and summary below.

Un modelo de robótica evolutiva para el reconocimiento explícito de agencialidad

Leticia Cruz Bárcenas

El estudio de la cognición social ha sido abordado principalmente desde dos perspectivas. Por un lado tenemos, el punto de vista del individualismo ampliamente usado en la cognición social, donde se plantea que la interacción y cognición social es el resultado de capacidades cognitivas individuales. Por otro lado, tenemos la perspectiva interaccionista enfocada en que el comportamiento resultante de dos o más individuos reside en los mecanismos colectivos de la interacción dinámica. A pesar de la existencia de estos enfoques, el estudio del rol en la interacción social no ha sido prioritario en las investigaciones de cognición social. Algunas de las dificultades enfrentadas en este sentido están relacionadas con la identificación de características cualitativas y cuantitativas esenciales durante el fenómeno (Lenay & Stewart, 2012).

Con el fin de tener de mejores herramientas analíticas, Auvray et al. (2009) propuso un modelo minino de cognición social que reduce este fenómeno a sus elementos más básicos. Haciendo uso de este modelo se realizó un experimento cuyo objetivo era identificar los mecanismos subyacentes debido al reconocimiento de un sujeto con intencionalidad. Los resultados mostraron que el comportamiento de los individuos propiciaba la interacción con el otro, así como la discriminación del resto de los objetos del ambiente debido a los movimientos oscilatorios individuales.

Con el fin de continuar esta línea de investigación, el presente trabajo muestra un modelo sintético que simula los resultados obtenidos en el experimento original. Utilizando robótica evolutiva se implementó un modelo para investigar la dinámica de interacción en el reconocimiento explícito de agencialidad entre agentes artificiales. El modelo demostró que existe se preserva una interacción cuando los agentes están interactuando entre ellos a pesar de que existan otros objetos/obstáculos en el ambiente.