The Rough Guide to the Blog

We have posted on a variety of topics at various points in time; here is a somewhat organised list of key posts, arranged (within topic) in the order you might like to read them.

Feel free to comment on anything, even old posts; we monitor the comment RSS feed and will see them. We always like interacting with our readers!


Theory in Psychology: These posts about about developing a coherent theoretical grounding for psychological science.
Research Blogging: These posts are about identifying projects we would like to do with other scientists. If you're interested, please let us know!
Reading Groups: We have worked our way through a few books on embodied cognition and ecological psychology  and will continue to do so. 
Review of Empirical Research: We work our way through research literature as a way to think the various problems through and identify ways forward. We've covered coordinated rhythmic movement, long distance throwing and the issue of specification in perception. 

Theory in Psychology

Embodied cognition

Embodied cognition is not what you think it is 
Theory, and why it's time psychology got one
Some ground rules for a theory of psychology  
A field spotter's guide to embodied cognition 
'Embodied Cognition Is Not What You Think It Is' - the paper! 
Embodied cognition in practice - some thoughts and an open invitation 
The embodied cognition of Tesco's gendered toys 
Grounded vs. embodied cognition: a (hopefully uncontentious) note on terminology
Is embodied cognition a no brainer?
Connecting the conceptual dots in embodied cognition
What Would It Take to Refute Radical Embodied Cognition?
On "The poverty of embodied cognition" (Goldinger et al, in press)
Is the Ecological Approach Radical Enough?
General Ecological Information Does Not Support the Perception of Anything

Embodied cognitive neuroscience

There's more to us than our brains - So what does the brain do? 
What Does The Brain Do, Pt 2: The Fast Response System
Mirror Neurons, or, What's the Matter with Neuroscience?
There's More Than One Way to Rhythmically Move a Lobster
Embodied solutions to neural delays: Information and Network Motifs
On why fMRI is bullshit, even when you're doing it right 
Radical Embodied Cognitive Neuroscience - A Frontiers Research Topic
Why don't giraffes fall over more often?
Are we Information-Processers?

Ecological Psychology

There is no poverty of stimulus
Poverty of stimulus and ecological laws
"Smart" perceptual mechanisms 
Runeson, the Ames Room and the Irrelevance of Equivalent Configurations 
Gibson vs Physics: Gibson Wins, at the Ecological Scale 
Task Specific Devices and the Perceptual Bottleneck
Task Dynamics And The Information They Create
The ecological approach to sporting performance
Ecological Representations
  1. Reply to Graziosi: In detail
  2. Reply to Hamlyn: In detail

Purple Perils 

Specification and Some of Its Consequences
Function vs Structure
Brains Don't Have to be Computers
From Specification to Convention
Oh crap. Re-thinking van Gelder
Tasks from the First Person Perspective
Information is typically dense and continuous
Relational Theories of Affordances are Functional, Not Mechanistic
The Affordances of Natural vs Designed Environments
Language, thought and the ecological approach
You Cannot Perceive a Relational Affordance

The Accidental Textbook

The Ecological Approach - The Accidental Textbook
The Nature of Ecological Perceptual Information
Evidence for the Kinematic Specification of Dynamics


There's No Prospective Information About Friction, or, Why I Fell Over on the Ice
Mirrors are Literally Windows to Another World
Prospective Control I: The Outfielder Problem 
A Taxonomy of Information  
A new direction for psychology
Ecological indirect perception
Visual Illusions and Direct Perception
What Kind of Thing is an Information Variable? The (Annoying) Case of Tau
Information use is shaped by bodily dynamics
The Information for Progressive Occlusion
The medium for direct perception (Notes on Van Dijk & Kiverstein, 2020)

The Information in Pictures

The affordances of objects and pictures of those objects 
The information available in pictures
Limits on action Priming by Picture of Objects


Affordances, Part 1: Affordances are real dispositions of the environment 
Affordances, Part 2: Affordances are relations between organism and environment 
Affordances, Part 3: Dispositions or relations - which is it?
F*cking affordances - how do they work?
The affordances of everyday things  
The affordances of objects and pictures of those objects  
Misperceiving the affordances in anorexia nervosa
Embodiment and design; the affordances of pedestrian crossings
Affordances are not probabilistic functions
Affordance-based control (Fajen 2005, 2007)
The Field is Full, Just Not of Affordances - A Reply to Rietveld & Kiverstein
Scarantino (2003) “Affordances Explained”


An Ecological Approach to Language
Language isn't magical (but it is special)

Language: A task analysis (kind of) 
Why does linguistic information mean what it does? 
A Taxonomy of Information
A Gibsonian analysis of linguistic information


Dynamic Mechanistic Explanations in Radical Embodied Cognitive Science
Thinking about representations in relation to mechanisms

#MechanismWeek (a week of posts commencing June 20th 2016)

  1. Mechanisms and Models of Mechanisms
  2. Cognitive Models Are Not Mechanistic
  3. Do Dynamic Models Explain?
  4. Ecological Mechanisms and Models of Mechanisms
  5. Mechanisms for Cognitive and Behavioural Science 

Representations & Why We Should Abandon Them

Whose representation? 
In which I finish talking about discrete computational representations 
What else could it be? The case of the centrifugal governor
Internal representation or behavioural dynamics?
A selection of problems with representation
Life and other vague categories
What's the difference between perception and conception?
Is it time to abandon the cognitive / non-cognitive distinction? 
Are we Information-Processers?
How Worried Are You By The Symbol Grounding Problem?

Dynamical Systems 

Perception, Action & Dynamical Systems 
Robots, Representation, & Dynamical Systems

Problems in Psychology  

The Small Effect Size Effect - Why Do We Put Up With Small Effects?
Psychological me at camera 3
The affordances of objects and pictures of those objects 
A new direction for psychology  
Social priming - of course it only kind of works
Replication will not save psychology
Psychology's real replication problem: our Methods Sections
The Perturbation Experiment as a Way to Study Perception

Theory in General

Assume the Cow is a Sphere
Is Cognition Extended?  

Research Blogging

How Information Gets Its Meaning

Specification & Its Discontents
Specification: What It Is, and Why We Need It
How Information Gets Its Meaning
Non-Specifying Variables in the Perception of Collisions
Individual Variation in the Use of Perceptual Information
Evolution vs.Specification  
A Way Forward on Specification  

Non-representational neuroscience

Radical Embodied Cognitive Neuroscience - A Frontiers Research Topic


Exploring Some Handwriting Data (Experiment 1)

Other Research Topics

Embodiment and design; the affordances of pedestrian crossings

Reading Groups 

Louise Barrett, Beyond the Brain

Review: Louise Barrett's "Beyond the Brain"

Tony Chemero, Radical Embodied Cognitive Science 

Chapter 1: Hegelian Arguments in Cognitive Science
Chapter 2: Embodied Cognition 
Chapter 3: Theories of Representation
Chapter 4: The Dynamical Stance
Chapter 5: Guides to Discovery 
Chapter 6: Information and Direct Perception
Chapter 7: Affordances, etc (Pt 1)

Chapter 7: Affordances, etc (Pt 2) 
   A Brief Pause to See Where I'm At 
Chapter 8: Neurophilosophy Meets RECS 
Chapter 9: The Metaphysics of Radical Embodiment

James J Gibson, The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception

Chapter 1 
Chapter 2
Chapter 3 
Chapter 4
Chapter 5

Chapter 5 Part 2
Chapter 5 Part 3 
Chapter 6 Part 1
Chapter 6 Part 2 

Harry Heft,  Ecological Psychology in Context: James Gibson, Roger Barker and the Legacy of William James's Radical Empiricism

Chapter 1: Intro + Prologue  
Chapter 2: William James and Radical Empiricism
Chapter 3: EB Holt 
  A Note on Holt on Visual Illusions
Chapter 4: Gibson
  Gibson (Pt IIa)
  The Problem of Two Minds
  The Problem of Time

Lawrence Shapiro, Embodied Cognition

Review: 'Embodied Cognition', by Lawrence Shapiro 

Michael Turvey, Lectures on Perception

Reviews of Empirical Research

Coordinated Rhythmic Movement/Coordination Dynamics  

What Does Coordinated Rhythmic Movement Have To Do With Anything?
Coordinated rhythmic movement. - an introduction to an experimental paradigm
How to Build a Valid Measure of Behaviour
Coordination and the Haken-Kelso-Bunz Model  
Learning a Novel Coordination - The Dynamic Pattern Hypothesis  
Rates of learning and the dynamic pattern approach
Learning a Novel Coordination; Things Get Interesting 
Visual perception of coordinated rhythmic movements 
Establishing the Role of Perception in Coordination: Proprioception and Action Measures
A Perception/Action Model of Coordination  
Perceptual Learning Stabilises Action: A Test of the Bingham Model 
Identifying the Visual Information for Relative Phase
Visual feedback for training novel coordinations 
Lissajous feedback and coordination stability
Coordination dynamics and relative speed 
Using coordination to study learning across the lifespan
Muscle homology in coordinated rhythmic movements
Transfer of Learning a Novel Coordinated Rhythmic Movement

Throwing for distance and accuracy  

Task Dynamics And The Information They Create
The Task Dynamics of Throwing to a Maximum Distance 

What Limits the Accuracy of Human Throwing? 
The Evolution of Sex Differences in Throwing

Object Perception 

Hefting for a maximum distance throw
Is hefting to perceive the affordance for throwing a smart perceptual mechanism? 
Learning the affordances for maximum distance throwing 
The Size-Weight Illusion is Functional, and It's About Throwing
How do we perceive which objects afford throwing the farthest?
The Affordances of Prehistoric Objects

Target Perception

Quantifying the Affordances for Throwing for Distance and Accuracy

Space Perception

Perceiving long distances in action scaled units 

Throwing & Language

Did language emerge from the neural systems supporting aimed throwing? 
Shared neural resources for throwing and language: a whacky idea for an experiment

The Size-Weight Illusion

The Size-Weight Illusion Induced Through Human Echolocation
Expectations and the Size-Weight Illusion

Direct Learning

Direct Learning (Jacobs & Michaels, 2007)
Evaluating 'Direct Learning'
A Test of Direct Learning (Michaels et al, 2008)

Motor Abundance Hypothesis Analyses

Uncontrolled Manifold Analysis
What Can You Do With Uncontrolled Manifold Analysis?

'Embodied' cognition

"Moving Through Time" and embodied cognition 
Leaning to the left makes you believe odd things about embodied cognition
Does action scaling predict 'the embodiment of culture'? (No.)
Connecting the conceptual dots in embodied cognition

Various bits and pieces


Patient DF uses haptics, not intact visual perception-for-action to reach for objects
What are the units that perception measures the world in? Firestone vs Proffitt
What miming a steering wheel tells us about what we learn
Misperceiving the affordances in anorexia nervosa
Your Hand is Not a Perceptual Ruler
Information use is shaped by bodily dynamics


Perceiving causes: why knowledge doesn't trump perception
Cracking the Tough Nut of Chimp Tool Use 
Do our fingers wrinkle in the wet to improve our grip?
Can’t form a mental image? No big deal
A brief rant about waist-to-hip ratio
How Universal Is The Mind? 
The Bliss of Motor Abundance


  1. Good post. I appreciate for your efforts. Very useful for people. You cover all most all topics in psychology.

  2. Hi Andrew and Sabrina,

    Great work! I was wondering if there is reading group starting any time soon. And if so where can I sign up?

    1. Hi Wim; nothing is planned but I've just re-read Turvey et al and we're both about to read Hutto's Radicalising Enactivism so stay tuned. Just follow the blog and Twitter feeds for news!

  3. After reading your article titled 'Embodied cognition is not what you think' few months ago which I believe is going to be a seminal work, I just discovered your blog. And your blog is turning out to be inspirational too :)
    It is my first year as a doctoral student and I hope to contribute to the conversation on embodied cognition. However, the word 'cognition' keeps unsettling me because thinking through our body is still not the same as our body thinking.