Embodied Cognitive Science Unit (Tom Froese)
Listen to the October 2019 OIST Podcast “Embodied cognitive science with Professor Tom Froese”What is the mind? Traditionally, cognitive science has approached this question in terms of the hypothesis of a physical symbol system: the mind/brain is a computer, and cognition is computation. More recent approaches to cognitive science have questioned the adequacy of this hypothesis and have begun to advance alternative frameworks that substantially broaden the basis of the mind, leading to the rise of embodied, embedded, extended, and enactive (4E) cognition. These approaches develop in different ways a shared core commitment to the claim that agent-environment interaction is a foundational part of cognition, rather than just a secondary product of cognition. Together these approaches are broadly known as embodied cognitive science.
In this unit we pursue the implications of embodied cognitive science from the mind’s most basic expressions in adaptive behavior to its most complex manifestations in abstract thinking. Our interdisciplinary research is framed by a general interest in better understanding the major transitions from minimal cognition to human cognition, and our guiding insight is that changes in environmental mediation, especially sociocultural and technological mediation, have the potential to transform and potentiate the mind.
We employ a diversity of methods that are drawn from the intersection of computer science and complex systems theory: agent-based modeling, artificial neural networks, evolutionary robotics, time series analysis, virtual reality, sensory substitution interfaces, and human-computer interaction.
The IRCN Babylab (Tsuji lab) at University of Tokyo is seeking a postdoctoral candidate for the transdisciplinary project “Tracking developing sensitivity to dyadic interactions” in collaboration with the Softbank Beyond AI Institute and Tom Froese (Embodied Cognitive Science unit, OIST). The goal of this project is to develop a gaze-based minimal virtual reality paradigm to identify infants’ sensitivity to real-time, gaze-mediated dyadic interactions.
The Articel The Feeling Is Mutual: Clarity of Haptics-Mediated Social Perception Is Not Associated With the Recognition of the Other, Only With Recognition of Each Other from Tom Froese, Leonardo Zapata-Fonseca, Iwin Leenen, and Ruben Fossion gives further reasoning on why social interactions matter and discusses that our perceptual experiences are shaped by how we interact with one another.
Two papers and a commentary are now displayed in the Constructivist Foundations Journal, featuring lab members Manuel Heras-Escribano and Laura Mojica.
Manuel's addition to the journal include: