A couple of years ago, Sabrina and I were chatting about the brain and running into the problem that we just don't know enough about how it works. We realised that what we needed to do was host a conference, invite some useful people, and pick their brains for a few days.
We've had two goes at funding such a conference; we've had a lot of interest from the academics we've contacted but no luck convincing anyone to give us any money. Over the process, however, we got Tony Chemero (author of Radical Embodied Cognitive Science) involved, and he recommended Louise Barrett to us (that's how we came across her excellent book). The four of us have been scheming for a while to try and make this a reality, and two things have developed.
First, we are going to host a workshop on Radical Embodied Cognitive Neuroscience, hopefully at the Lorentz Centre in the Netherlands. Before that can really be worth doing, however, we've realised we need a little more momentum, so we've advanced our plans and are about to announce a Research Topic at Frontiers in Psychology. We'd like to invite all interested parties to play.
The goal is simple: we want this to be a virtual conference, in effect, where people pose problems and offer solutions to the problem of developing a radical (non-representational) embodied cognitive neuroscience. We want real collaborations to come out of this, so we want people coming looking for ways to help and be helped. And we want to create a resource that we can point to to shape discussions at future workshops.
What we need from you
I've pasted the text of the call we will run below. If you are interested in submitting something to this, send us your name, affiliation and email address (either in the comments below or email us, firstname.lastname@example.org). At this point, this commits you to nothing; we just need a decent length list of people to initially invite to submit, to indicate that there is going to be enough interest. If you change your mind later there's no problem.
Any thoughts on the call, let us know. We all like that this call is short, direct and to the point; too many of these research topic calls are inflated by too much detail. But if there's any flags, let us and know.
If you can help us by promoting this post on social media, that would also be excellent. We are looking to cast a wide net.
Andrew Wilson, Leeds Metropolitan University
Sabrina Golonka, Leeds Metropolitan University
Louise Barrett, University of Lethbridge
Anthony Chemero, University of Cincinnati
Radical Embodied Cognitive Neuroscience
In the past 25 years, theories of cognition have undergone a paradigm shift. There is a growing understanding that behavior emerges from the complex interplay between embodied cognitive systems and the environment. However, these developments have been slow to influence theories of the brain. Cognitive neuroscience emerged from traditional theories of cognition, in which behavior is generated by internal mental representations and computations on these representations. Cognitive neuroscience, therefore, currently investigates the neural implementation of these representations. Theories of embodied cognition qualitatively change this job description for the brain: instead of representing the world, the brain is part of an embodied system that flexibly engages with a richly perceived environment.
The purpose of this Research Topic is to re-imagine neuroscience in terms of radical (non-representational) embodied cognition. This Research Topic will bring experts in perception, action, and cognition together with leading neuroscientists for the purpose of mapping out the initial steps towards this new neuroscience. We would like the Research Topic to generate productive collaborations between cognitive scientists and neuroscientists. With this in mind, we invite manuscripts from researchers in embodied cognition who can describe their research and the implications that it has for neuroscience and neuroscientists whose research is shaped by embodied cognition.
We are looking to cover a variety of topics in embodied cognition: perception, action, language, development, comparative/animal research and theory, robotics, neuro-rehabilitation and any other work that touches on this broad topic. We also welcome papers that are critical of the non-representational research programme, although we recommend that these work to offer solutions to problems. Papers can be any of the standard Frontiers types and can feature original research within the remit of the call, theoretical considerations, descriptions of relevant technologies and methods and how these might further the empirical programme, etc.
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