ECSU's podcast - Connectomics

We’re excited to introduce the Connectomics podcast, a spinoff from the OIST Podcast, run by Mark James. This series will explore the intersection between embodied cognitive science, philosophy, culture, technology and design. Tune in here.

Mark James has been invited as a guest speaker at the Japan Society webinar

On October 20th, 2021, 7:00 pm EDT (Eastern Daylight Time), Mark James will be on a panel discussing the topic of “Adjusting to the New Normal: COVID-19 & Mental Health" Japan Society webinar, along with Jeremy Hunter (Claremont Graduate University) and Kaori Itokazu (OIST). Registration and more information about the event can be found here.


ECSU members will give talks at the IEEE CIBCB 2021 on 14th and 15th of October 2021.

Ivan Shpurov will give a talk on 14th October at 5:00 pm Melbourne time (AEDT) about "Artificial evolution of self-optimization in a Hopfield neural network".

Chen Lam Loh will give a talk on 15th October at 10:00 am Melbourne time (AEDT) about "An Oscillator Model for Interbrain Synchrony: Slow Interactional Rhythms Entrain Fast Neural Activity".

Tom Froese has been invited as a guest speaker to the online event of Consciousness Club Tokyo

On October 22nd, 2021, 5 pm JST (Japan Standard Time), Tom Froese will be giving a talk at the Consciousness Club Tokyo. Title of the talk "Introducing the irruption theory of consciousness". Registration and more information about the event can be found here.

Susana Ramirez Vizcaya has been invited as a guest speaker at the BRAIN Lab meeting

On October 28th, 2021, 8:00 am JST (Japan Standard Time), Susana Ramirez Vizcaya will be giving a talk on “An introduction to the enactive approach to addictions" at the BRAIN Lab meeting of the Department of Psychiatry in The University of British Columbia.

Tom Froese has been invited as a special guest speaker at the TRANSFORMATION SUMMIT 2021

On September 16th, 2021, Tom Froese gave a talk at the Ridgelinez TRANSFORMATION SUMMIT 2021 on "Toward a cognitive science of the metaverse", as part of the "脳科学に基づくメタバース活用と心豊かな暮らし" session along Hiroyuki Sato (佐藤 浩之), Ridgelinez Principal Innovation and Business Creation Practice Leader.

ECSU at Kinds of Minds

ECSU members presented posters at the RIKEN-OIST Joint Symposium "Kinds of Minds" on 7th of October 2021.

Tom Froese gave a talk about "Exploring embodied social cognition with AI and neuroscience" on 6th at the same symposium.

Ivan presented a poster on "Combining Self-critical dynamics and Hebbian learning to explain utility of bursty dynamics in neural networks".

Enactive Foundation Workshop held

Last week we held a small workshop within the Unit to discuss what we think a course on embodied cognitive science should talk about...

First Covid-19 survey data report is out!

The latest in our COVID-19 survey project, Our first data report is out!

Consciousness Talks 6, Talk bei Tom Froese and Yuko Ishihara

Consciousness Talks on Aug 18 to discuss Phenomenology & Embodied approach to consciousness with Yuko Ishihara & Tom Froese.

Tom Froese in Discover Magazine

Recent article in Discover Magazine featuring Tom Froese on how our brainwaves might synchronize when we cooperate on certain tasks. The article can be found here!

2 papers out in Alife 2021 Conference

Efficient Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity rule for Complex-Valued Neurons 


Evolution of Neural Complexity in Division of Labor Tasks 

Ekaterina Sangati, Soheil Keshmiri, Federico Sangati

Link to online paper

New Paper out!

In the paper we consider the reduction in brain size associated with the transition from the Paleolithic to Neolithic. Is it indicative of less cognition? Using agent modeling, we show how it could actually be indicative of socially extended cognition.

Invited Seminar: Fernando Rosas on high-order interdependencies in complex systems

On Monday, May 24, Fernando Rosas gave an online seminar to the Embodied Cognitive Science Unit entitled Towards a quantitative understanding of high-order interdependencies in complex systems. An extremely relevant topic given the unit's projects!

New article: Emergent Interaction: Complexity, Dynamics, and Enaction in HCI

The article Emergent Interaction: Complexity, Dynamics, and Enaction in HCI, authored by Dan Bennett, Alan Dix, Parisa Eslambolchilar, Feng Feng, Tom Froese, Vassilis Kostakos, Sébastien Lerique, and Niels van Berkel was published as part of CHI EA '21: Extended Abstracts of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

Tom Froese has been invited as a guest speaker to the online symposium "Francisco Varela, a thinker for our time".

On May 20th, 2021, Tom Froese will be speaking at the Tribute Day event. Registration and information for the event can be found here.

Tom Froese will be speaking at 10:40am CEST (Central European Summer Time) with Andreas Weber on "Life, The Living, Autonomy, and Self-organisation".

Tom Froese will give lecture in the Ouroboros Seminar 2021

The Units PI, Tom Froese will present two classic articles of Varela in the Ouroboros Seminar 2021.

The lecture will be held on 21st April 2021 at 10:00 CEST.

Watch the live-stream on YouTube, or if you missed it, find this and other talks of the series on the "Mind and Life Europe" youtube channel.

ECSU Whack-A-Mole

The new ECSU Whack-A-Mole is finally created and is ready to be optimized for the upcoming trials this year!

Embracing ECSU Teamwork

With spring upon us, many new changes are going on for the ECSU team. We are embracing the changes, and moving forward with great momentum.

Starting 2021 With Strong Motivation

Happy New Year's from The ECSU team! With 2021 here, we are hard at work getting things together to have a productive and powerful year. We are expecting phenomenal things in 2021.

Hiring! Data Scientist

The ECSU team is in search of a data scientist who has expertise in experimental design, statistics, and analysis of nonlinear time series, such as EEG, physiology, and body movement.

More information can be found here.

Hiring! Neuroscientist with EEG expertise

Currently, the ECSU is looking for a talented neuroscientist with EEG expertise to work on a 3-year long project. The position will include integrating brain-body hyperscanning and HCl to assist in the development of social-interaction-based early detection system for schizophrenia.

More information can be found here.

Dyadic Interactions in a Comparative Perspective workshop

Join ECSU this afternoon as we host a workshop on Dyadic Interactions in a Comparative Perspective. Information on the workshop can be found here.

Tokyo ALIFE 2020 Session 4 | Symbiotic View of Life

Tom Froese, among other speakers, come together to discuss a different view of life. That we are simply a member that is part of an amazingly large ecosystem. You can watch the session here.

ALife looks at exploration of new thoughts, theories, and ideas, while also focusing on Open-Ended Evolution - how life continuously and creatively evolves.

Season's greetings from The ECSU Team

Happy Halloween to all! Hope the holidays were scary and fun for everyone!

Open position for Postdoctoral Fellow (Project Researcher) (Tsuji Laboratory)

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.

New article on Embodied Cognition has been released

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.



New Papers and Commentary Out Now in Constructivist Foundations Journal

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:

Papers published in the Artificial Life Conference Proceedings

Three papers have been succesfully posted in The 2020 Conference on Artificial Life by members of the lab. More information can be found here.

The three papers from the lab are:

Poster accepted at International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence and Brain Science

ECSU Special Research student Georgina Montserrat Resendiz Benhumea is going to present her research at the International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence and Brain Science held in Oktober of 2020!


Blog Post on

Visiting Researcher Manuel Heras-Escribano published a Blog Post relating to his recent paper on the evolutionary role of affordances on the

New Paper by former special research student Ana Lucía Valencia

The paper by former Special research student Ana Lucía Valencia and Tom Froese explores "What binds us?" and doings so explores

Inter-brain neural synchronization and its implications for theories of human consciousness

New Paper out by visiting researcher Lorena Lobo from UAM

The paper written by visiting researcher Lorena Lobo and her research group at UAM in Spain, focusses on Dynamic Touch as Common Ground for Enactivism and Ecological Psychology to show

Experiences of Social Distancing during COVID-19 - A Survey

Has social distancing affected your experiences of self, others, and the world? Our group in Japan is collaborating with three UK institutions on a cross-cultural phenomenological study of the role of social interaction in human experience. Please participate and share this survey link:

New Article on Action in Perception

In the Article we propose an experimental approach for putting the enactive theory of perception on more solid empirical foundations. "Where Is the Action in Perception? An Exploratory Study With a Haptic Sensory Substitution Device"

New Paper by visiting researcher Manuel Heras-Escribano

ECSU visiting researcher from spain, Manuel Heras-Escribano, published a new paper titled "The evolutionary role of affordances: ecological psychology, niche construction, and natural selection".

In the paper ecological psychology meets niche construction theory, pointing to a new synthesis of cognitive science and evolutionary biology.

New Preprint on depression and schizophrenia

Temporality and affectivity in depression and schizophrenia: Commentary on Lenzo and Gallagher

Tom Froese

New Article on unsupervised learning

New article out! Our model leads to a new hypothesis about the function of sleep in the nematode worm. "Unsupervised Learning Facilitates Neural Coordination Across the Functional Clusters of the C. elegans Connectome". It was published in Frontiers in Robotics and AI and can be found here.


Christin Puthur won Fake Life Recognition Contest Award

Phd. Student Christin Puthur, won the the first Place of the Fake Life Recognition Contest Award, with her work done during her rotation in the Embodied Cognitive Science Unit.

KICKS 2020 Application was granted

Dr. Froese's project proposal "Gaze-based minimal virtual reality paradigm for tracking developing sensitivity to dyadic interactions" was selected for funding. The project will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Sho Tsuji at the International Research Center for Neurointelligence of the University of Tokyo.

Can AI become conscious

The first interview about our new unit in the Japanese press got released!

In the Interview with Froese and Tani they discuss wether AI can become conscious... the article is in japanese and was published by the ITmedia news. You can find it here.

Froese will be invited speaker at Conference dedicated to Francisco Varela

Froese will give a talk as an invited speaker at a conference dedicated to Francisco Varela, held in France at the "Centre culturel international de Cerisy".

New article on perceptional crossing

The new article titled "Investigating real-time social interaction in pairs of adolescents with the Perceptual Crossing Experiment" reveals in the largest perceptual crossing study yet, that when adolescents engage in mutually responsive embodied interaction their social awareness is heightened.

Froese to give invited talk at TOKYO ALIFE 2020

Froese will give a talk as an invited speaker at the TOKYO ALIFE 2020
He will be accompanied by several members of his Unit, who will attend the academic part of the event.

Froese was Editor in Chief for the latest issue of Adaptive Behavior

Froese edited the latest issue of Adaptive Behavior. Its a special collection featuring a target article by Villalobos and Razeto, which leads to a fascinating dialogue between different approaches to embodied cognition.

New preprint on schizophrenia

Lost in the socially extended mind: Genuine intersubjectivity and disturbed self-other demarcation in schizophrenia

Tom Froese and Joel Krueger

New conference series

We are launching a new conference series: the "International Conference on Embodied Cognitive Science" (ECogS)! Please find attached the conference poster for the inaugural conference, ECogS 2020.

The circular motif in the middle is designed to visually represent the overlapping six founding disciplines of cognitive science - anthropology, neuroscience, philosophy, AI, psychology, and linguistics - from an embodied cognition perspective.

Unit booth at Science Festival

Members of our unit will showcase our research to the public at this year's OIST Science Festival on Saturday, Nov. 16! Come find us at booth #14, Lab 1, Level D. Learn about how we perceive the world by interacting with different kinds of mobile robots and by trying out vision inversion goggles!

Presentation at the Neural Oscillation Conference

Ana Lucia will give a presentation at the Neural Oscillation Conference 2019: Towards Integrative Understanding of Human Nature, which will take place in Kyoto, Nov. 17-19. Her poster is on the topic: "Inter-brain synchrony of neural oscillations: implications for our understanding of human nature".

Participation in SWARM 2019 conference

Our unit will participate in the upcoming SWARM 2019 conference with a talk and two posters! Here are the details: 

Students will participate in ICSB 2019

Two of our students, Ana and Alejandro, will each present a poster featuring their thesis research during the "Systems Biology for Neurosciences and Neural Circuits" session of the 20th International Conference on Systems Biology.

Commentary on different constraints on brain evolution

Fish are an ancient and diverse group of vertrebrates, which makes them an interesting comparative group for studies of mammalian brain evolution. However, caution is required given their distinctive embodiment and environment: cold-blooded bodies and life-long growth in an oxygen-poor habitat.

New article on the sensorimotor basis of audition

We published an article on auditory perception as an active perceptual modality! Here is the reference:

Froese, T. and González-Grandón, X. (in press). How passive is passive listening? Toward a sensorimotor theory of auditory perception. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences. Doi: 10.1007/s11097-019-09641-6

First Visiting Research Students arrived!

Welcome to OIST!

Today four new Visiting Research Students, Alejandro, Ana, Caro, and Itzel, arrived to our unit. They will spend this quarter working in the unit in order to finish their dissertations, which they had begun in the 4E Cognition Group at UNAM in Mexico City under the supervision of Dr. Froese.