social interaction

Conference: Understanding others through Narrative Practices

Narrative practices matter to how we understand ourselves and others. Clarifying how they do so – how they can help or hinder such understanding and what other factors are involved – is vital in our efforts promote peaceful relations with one another. Bearing this in mind, this workshop explores the following four main themes:

1. How do narrative practices instil knowledge and moral values in ways that a matter to how we understand ourselves and others?
2. How might socio-cultural practices matter and make difference to cognition?
3. How might getting better understanding of embodied and implicit attitudes help in our efforts to overcome differences and divisions between individuals and groups?
4. To what extend do narrative practices enable and limit our capacity to understanding ourselves and others?

Members of the local community will deliver the two opening sessions of the workshop. Other contributions will examine the conference themes from the perspective of academic philosophy, drawing on philosophy of mind and cognition; philosophy of psychology, philosophy of action, epistemology and ethics.

5th of April, 2019 – University of Wollongong, Australia


Simposio Cognición 4E UAEM

Estimados colegas, 

El año pasado publicamos un número especial en el journal Adaptive Behavior alrededor de las investigaciones en 4E Cognition (cognición corporeizada, incrustada, enactiva, extendida) en México: Spotlight on 4E Cognition Research in Mexico

Con el afán de darle una continuidad a este esfuerzo y seguir difundiendo el interés en estas investigaciones, los invitamos a participar en el Simposio 4E Cognition, que se llevará a cabo en el marco del 5to Coloquio Internacional de Ciencias Cognitivas, del 25 al 27 de septiembre del 2019 en la Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos (UAEM, Cuernavaca, México).

En este CFP, damos la bienvenida a propuestas de ponencias forzosamente relacionadas con las perspectivas 4E que incluyan, pero no se limiten a los siguientes temas:

– Embodied AI
– Cognición animal
– Continuidad entre vida y mente
– Interacción social
– Autonomía y agencia
– Perspectivas ecológicas a la cognición
– Teoría sensorio-motora
– Tesis de la mente extendida
– Interacción humano-computadora
– Neurociencia cognitiva
– Psicopatología


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…)

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:


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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Referential communication as a collective property of a brain-body-environment-body-brain system: A minimal cognitive model

Jorge I. Campos and Tom Froese

Referential communication is a complex form of social interaction whereby agents manage to coordinate behavior with respect to features that are not immediately present during the interaction. A famous example from nature is the bee waggle dance. The authors used an minimal cognitive approach to create a model of referential communication that is sufficiently minimal to permit a full dynamical analysis, and yet still complex enough so that the results provide a useful perspective onto the processes that could be involved in natural referential communication. The task is for two embodied agents to interact in a “hive” area such that one of the agents (the receiver) is able to move to a specific “target”, the location of which is only available to the other agent (the sender). The task implicitly requires adopting the right role (sender vs. receiver), disambiguating between translational and communicative motion, and switching from communicative to target seeking behavior. Similar to the waggle dance, the best solution involved a correlation between duration of contact and distance to be traveled. Dynamical analysis revealed that this behavior cannot be attributed to the sender in isolation.



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.

CFP: LangEnact II


25 September – 27 September 2017

Call deadline: 28 April 2017

By Stephen J. Cowley, University of Southern Denmark ( 

The Centre for Human Interactivity invites you to contribute to LangEnact II, Meaning Without Representation: Grounding Language in Sensorimotor Coordination to take place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 25-27 September, 2017 at the University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.

Radical embodied approaches to language offer an alternative to neurocentric alternatives. They are inspired, on the one hand, by Wittgenstein’s focus on communities and Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of the body. On the other, they build on how Hutchins and Kirsh opened the way to studying cognition beyond the brain. Accordingly, meaning – and, in human forms of life, language – are taken to derive from what Francisco Varela and Humberto Maturana call the enactment of a world and a mind:

“(…) cognition is not the representation of a pre-given world by a pre-given mind but is rather the enactment of a world and a mind on the basis of a history of the variety of actions that a being in the world performs” (Varela, Thompson, Rosch, The Embodied Mind, MIT Press, p. 9).

Until recently, those rejecting computational views have tended to neglect language. In putting this to rights, we address “meaning without representation” by asking how language can be, on the one hand, an effective means of interpersonal coordination and, on the other, grounded in individual bodies that bring forth an encultured and lived world. The conference places this question at the confluence of two traditions: while enactive linguistics makes embodiment central to rethinking French theories of ‘enunciation’ and the nature of langues (language-systems), the distributed-ecological perspective builds on cognitive science by tracing language, not to verbal patterns, but to how people coordinate bodily movement as they make their way in a (partly) common world.  (more…)

Another Master’s thesis published

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

Minimización de la red neuronal artificial de agentes encarnados evolucionados para comunicarse referencialmente

Jorge Iván Campos Bravo

En este proyecto realizamos una minimización de la red neuronal del modelo generado por Williams et al. (2008), en dicho modelose implementan dos agentes en un ambiente mínimoen el que pueden interactuar entre ellos, pero no poseen canales especializados para comunicarse.

Su tarea es sencilla, el transmisor necesita informar al receptor la posición de un objetivo en el ambiente y el receptor necesita llegar a la posición del objetivo.

En nuestro modelo, ambos agentes utilizan la misma copia estructural de red neuronal recurrente en tiempo continuo para controlar su sistema sensorio-motor; dicha red neuronal artificial consta de tres neuronas para ambos agentes.

Se realizaron modificaciones al sistema sensorio-motor y al ambiente original para adaptar el nuevo sistema neuronal, sin perder la esencia de la motivación principal, generar comunicación referencial entre los agentes.