Note: This is the CFP for a symposium at AISB50 (aisb50.org) of which I am on the programme committee. I’ll happily respond to any questions in the comments. Cheers, Andrew.
Consciousness without inner models – a sensorimotor account of what IS going on in our heads
We invite abstracts for talks at a one-day symposium (2 April 2014), taking place as part of the AISB 50th Anniversary conference (Goldsmiths, University of London, 1-4 April 2014).
There has been much criticism over the years of the idea that conscious experience depends on inner representational models of the environment. Enactive accounts (e.g. Thompson 2007) and the sensorimotor account more particularly (O’Regan & Noë 2001; O’Regan 2011) have prominently criticized the reliance on inner models and they have offered an alternative way of thinking about experience. The idea of sensorimotor approaches is that experience involves the perceiver’s attunement to the way in which sensory stimulation depends on action. But how then should we conceive of what happens in the agent’s head to allow for this attunement? In this symposium we focus on two questions. First, how does an enactive sensorimotor theory offer guidance for the interpretation of neurophysiological findings? Second, how are its predictions about neural processes different from the predictions of representationalist accounts?
The first question, concerning the philosophical interpretation of neurophysiological findings, may be addressed by focusing on key processes such as corollary discharge or ‘efference copy’ and notions like ‘expectation error’ and ‘forward models’ in relation to the sensorimotor account or enactive accounts more generally. Here the main question is how to get the brain into view from an enactive/sensorimotor perspective. Where classical approaches speak of neural computation of properties of the environment, or the build-up of representations in the brain, what specific analysis can a sensorimotor account offer in its place? Addressing this question is urgently needed, for there seem to be no accepted alternatives to representational interpretations of the inner processes. Also robotic models of perceptual processes are often interpreted as mimicking the allegedly representational nature of neural processes. A sensorimotor account could help to avoid this bias towards interpretations based on the notion of inner models.
The second question, concerning the predictions following from an enactive/sensorimotor account, requires contrasting the neural processes that are postulated in representational theories, with the processes required by the enactive/sensorimotor account. Which processes postulated by representational accounts are rejected by the sensorimotor account or enactive accounts more generally? For example, why and when can neural ‘binding’ or ‘filling in’ be rejected? And are there processes that are specifically required by sensorimotor theory, which are not required by representational theories? In the part of the symposium addressing these questions we aim to clarify which constraints on inner processes are proposed by the sensorimotor account. If the sensorimotor account is right, these constraints will of course apply to neural processes as well as to robotic models of perception.
Abstracts of 700-1000 words, prepared for blind reviewing, can be submitted to Jan Degenaar at: Degenaar.firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “Sensorimotor Symposium” in the subject line.
Talks will be 30 minutes including discussion. The submission deadline is 3 January 2014.
Notifications of acceptance will be sent before the end of February.
- J. Kevin O’Regan (Université Paris Descartes, France)
- Fred Keijzer (University of Groningen, the Netherlands)
Jan Degenaar - Degenaar.email@example.com
(Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France)
Symposium website: http://lpp.psycho.univ-paris5.fr/feel/?page_id=129
AISB conference website: http://aisb50.org/
The latest issue of Artificial Life is a special issue based on selected papers from ECAL 2011. A number of Life and Minders have made contributions.
July 31st – August 2nd, 2014
Javits Center, Manhattan, New York, NY, USA
Sponsored by the International Society for Artificial Life (ISAL)
January 15, 2014 — Workshop/tutorial proposal deadline
February 1, 2014 — Science visualization competition deadline
March 31, 2014 — Paper/abstract submission deadline
We cordially invite you to submit papers to ALIFE 14: The Fourteenth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems. Since its inception in 1987, ALIFE has been the leading biyearly international conference in the field of Artificial Life — the highly interdisciplinary research area on artificially constructed living systems, including mathematical, computational, robotic, and biochemical ones. The understanding and application of such generalized forms of life, or “life-as-it-could-be”, have been producing significant contributions to various fields of science and engineering.
The upcoming ALIFE 14 will be held at the Javits Center located in the middle of Manhattan, New York, the world’s largest economic and cultural center. We hope you will find it a perfect place to discuss Artificial Life, the intellectual melting pot that mixes biology, computation, technology, art, philosophy, and more!!
The latest issue of Constructivist Foundations is dedicated to Computational Approaches to Constructivism. It includes contributions from a few regular Life and Minders.
Frontiers in Psychology (section Cognitive Science) has launched a call for papers for a new Research Topic on embodiment and intersubjectivity.
Deadline for abstract submission: 17 Jan 2014
Deadline for full article submission: 30 Apr 2014
An important amount of research effort in psychology and neuroscience over the past decades has focused on the problem of social cognition. This problem is understood as how we figure out other minds, relying only on indirect manifestations of other people’s intentional states, which are assumed to be hidden, private and internal. Research on this question has mostly investigated how individual cognitive mechanisms achieve this task. A shift in the internalist assumptions regarding intentional states has expanded the research focus with hypotheses that explore the role of interactive phenomena and interpersonal histories in conjunction with individual cognitive processes.
This interactive expansion of the conceptual and methodological toolkit for investigating social cognition, we now propose, can be followed by an expansion into wider and deeply-related research questions, beyond (but including) that of social cognition narrowly construed.
Our social lives are populated by different kinds of cognitive and affective phenomena that are related to but not exhausted by the question of how we figure out other minds. These phenomena include acting and perceiving together, verbal and non-verbal engagement, experiences of (dis-)connection, management of relations in a group, joint meaning-making, intimacy, trust, conflict, negotiation, asymmetric relations, material mediation of social interaction, collective action, contextual engagement with socio-cultural norms, structures and roles, etc. These phenomena are often characterized by a strong participation by the cognitive agent in contrast with the spectatorial stance of social cognition. We use the broader notion of embodied intersubjectivity to refer to this wider set of questions.
This Research Topic aims to investigate relations between different intersubjective phenomena, to help lay strong foundations for a science of intersubjectivity – the social mind writ large. We encourage contributions in psychology, neuroscience, psychopathology, philosophy, and cognitive science that address this wider scope of intersubjectivity by extending the range of explanatory factors from purely individual to interactive, from observational to participatory. We welcome novel theoretical proposals and empirical or modeling methodologies that investigate embodied aspects of social interaction, including cross-disciplinary work.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Bodily articulations of intersubjectivity (e.g., blinking, posture, gestures, salutations, the structure and timing of interpersonal coordination)
- The role of social interaction in inter-objectivity (shared use and meaning of objects and tools) and interpersonal spatiality
- The role of social interaction in psychopathology (e.g., autism, schizophrenia, depression) and psychosomatic disorders
- Language, interaction and embodiment
- Social engagement and the development of pretend play and imagination
- The intersubjective regulation of emotions and memory
- Second-person and interactive perspectives on imitation, development, and learning
- The development of interpersonal skills
- Advances in methodologies for interactive approaches, such as hyperscanning, thermal imaging, dynamical systems and information-theoretic analysis, etc. and their applications in neuroscience, psychology, psychopathology, and psychotherapy
- Embodied, interactive aspects of conflict and cooperation
- Interactive aspects of self-conscious emotions, such as shame, pride, guilt, etc.
- Real life vs. technologically mediated interactions
- Interactions beyond the dyad, collective intersubjectivity, social normativity, institutions, work, team cognition