Our unit participated in the time capsule project! (2022-10-05)

Our unit took part of the OIST Time Capsule community project that conclude the celebration of OIST's 10th Anniversary. The purpose of this project is to take polaroid pictures of OIST's members across campus and keep them in a Time Capsule that will be opened for the institute's 30th Anniversary, in 2041! Great opportunity for the unit to show our best smiles and update our team's photos.

Abstract Accepted for Conference!

Rai Sato

Rai's submitted abstract was accepted for a conference. He will be attending and giving a presentation at the 24th International Congress on Acoustics (ICA2022) in Korea. Congratulations!

Research title

Real-Time Spatial Sound Rendering System Using LiDAR Sensor For Auditory Augmented Reality Application

Paper Accepted for a Conference

Natalya Weber

Natalya's submitted paper was accepted for a conference. She will be attending and giving an oral presentation at the IEEE Symposium Series On Computational Intelligence in Singapore. Congratulations!

Abstracts Accepted for Conference

Yi-Shan Cheng

Yi-Shan Cheng's submitted abstracts are accepted for two conferences. She will be attending and giving presentations at the Complexity and Sports Satellite in Spain and the Asia-Singapore Conference on Sport Science in Singapore. Congratulations!

Workshop - Enactive perspectives on consciousness and psychological flexibility

Tom FroeseMark James 

Dr. Tom Froese and Dr. Mark James will be holding a pre-conference workshop in Heidelberg, Germany on 21 September 2022, where they will discuss recent theoretical advances in the so-called irruption theory of consciousness. Flyer here.

New papers (and book chapter) out! (2022-09-02)

The Pandemic Experience Survey II: A Second Corpus of Subject Reports of Life Under Social Restrictions During COVID-19 in the UK, Japan, and Mexico

Mark James

Kazuma Takada talked about "The Design and Scalability of Online Experiment Platform" in Young Perceptionists' Seminar 2022 (YPS2022).

Kazuma Takada gave a presentation on "The Design and Scalability of Online Experiment Platform" at Young Perceptionists' Seminar 2022 (YPS2022) held on August 21-22, 2022 in Japan.

The experimental platform he is implementing allows for an easy division (experiment design by researchers and development by engineers), speed to publish experiments, and accurate data collection. He aims to design a framework that goes beyond previous online experimental platforms, focusing on the dual perspectives of the researcher and the engineer.

Workshop - Re-conceiving enaction as the irruption of consciousness

Dr. Tom Froese will hold a small workshop on the need to reboot enactive cognitive science, and introduce an exciting new approach to the science of consciousness at the University Clinic Heidelberg on June 30th, 2022. More information here.


New paper out! (2022-04-13)

Embodied Rationality Through Game Theoretic Glasses: An Empirical Point of Contact

Sébastien Lerique

The paper develops a game theoretic description of the Perceptual Crossing Paradigm, making it possible to evaluate how game theory currently accounts for -- or fails to account for -- the features of human behavior that Perceptual Crossing elicits. It then argues that Perceptual Crossing can now be used to empirically ground a debate between the enactive notion of embodied rationality and the classical notion of rationality-as-consistency.

New paper out! (2022-04-01)

Scientific Observation Is Socio-Materially Augmented Perception: Toward a Participatory Realism

Tom Froese

We are thrilled to announce this new essay arguing for a realism more fit for our times!

Key message: scientific observation is—like tool-use and perceiving more generally—irreducibly self, other-, and world-involving.

Link to online paper

Connectomics #2: Dr. Fred Cummins on embodiment as a frame for the sciences

In episode #2 of the Connectomics podcast, our unit’s staff philosopher ⁦Mark James speaks with Dr. Fred Cummin, head of the Cognitive Science program at University College Dublin. 

ECSU is in the news! (2022-01-28)

A discussion with Ridgelinez Ltd about how to use embodied cognitive science to design a more humane metaverse: (in Japanese)

New Paper out! (2022-01-27)

To Understand the Origin of Life We Must First Understand the Role of Normativity

Tom Froese

New commentary finally out: origins of life => origins of normativity!

Link to online paper

Mark James on Algo podcast (2022-01-15)

Listen to our unit’s staff philosopher ⁦Mark James⁩ discussing Embodied Social Cognition on Algo podcast together with Amjad Hussain:

We are working from home from 2022-01-13

The Japanese government announced that Okinawa would adopt “Prevention-Spreading Priority Measures” (quasi state of emergency) from January 9 to January 31, so our unit (along with everyone in OIST) is transitioning into remote-working conditions from tomorrow. 

New Paper out! (2022-01-04)

Joint Simon effect in movement trajectories

Ekaterina Sangati, Marc Slors, Barbara C. N. Müller, Iris van Rooij

New paper from our group's postdoc Ekaterina Sangati. This study of joint action casts doubt on the pervasiveness of co-representation, and instead points to a role for "offloading" of cognitive processes onto the resources of the body and the environment.

Link to online paper 

New pre-print out! (2021-12-21)

To understand the origin of life we must first understand the role of normativity

Tom Froese

Take-home message: The problem of the origins of life remains unsolved because it is at the same time the problem of how normativity first appeared in the universe.

Link to online paper

Best abstract at the "The Moral Roots of Quarantine: the East and the West" conference

ECSU postdoc Jamila Rodrigues was awarded for the best contributed abstract at the "The Moral Roots of Quarantine: the East and the West" conference that will be hosted online on December 16, 2021, by University of Macau.

Title: Missing Bodies, experiencing lack of touch and loneliness during pandemic times

Embodied cognitive science meets professional football!

On 10th of December, 2021, our unit was excited to launch this new adventure in collaboration with FC Ryukyu, which will look at the relationship between interpersonal coordination and team performance. Yi-Shan Cheng will work on this project for her PhD in our unit. You can read about the project here and find our unit's debut on Okinawa TV here.

New Paper out!

The enactive naturalization of normativity: from self-maintenance to situated interactions

Laura Mojica

New paper from our group's Laura Mojica. She proposes a way of going beyond normativity in nature as limited to the norm of self-maintenance of life.

Link to online paper

New Paper out!

Capacity for social contingency detection continues to develop across adolescence

Karlijn S. F. M. Hermans, Olivia J. Kirtley, Zuzana Kasanova, Robin Achterhof, Noëmi Hagemann, Anu P. Hiekkaranta, Aleksandra Lecei, Leonardo Zapata-Fonseca, Ginette Lafit,Ruben Fossion, Tom Froese, Inez Myin-Germeys

We have developed an approach to capturing real-time dyadic social interaction, which points to a new opportunity for identifying altered social development during adolescence.

OIST Foundation's Music Ambassador Eiko Kano participates in a pilot at ECSU

Does listening to classical music introduce structure into brain activity similar to auditory narrative? Last week we were fortunate to run a pilot EEG study with OIST Foundation's Music Ambassador Eiko Kano.

Mark James has been invited as a guest speaker at the ENSO Seminar Series

On November 11th, 2021, 9:00am UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), Mark James will be speaking on "Laying Down a Path to Walk In: Enaction, Design, and Multiscale Interventions for Change" at the ENSO Seminar Series. To join the live stream on YouTube click here

ECSU participated in a workshop at ELSI

On 21st October 2021, ECSU together with the Ikegami Laboratory and Nathaniel Virgo organized a workshop at the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) on the theme of artificial life. 

Mark James at the “Adjusting to the New Normal: COVID-19 & Mental Health" Japan Society webinar

In this discussion, our staff philosopher Mark M. James, joined a panel on the topic of adjusting to life at this phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. The panel spoke about how people are responding to the pandemic to manage their own wellbeing, how helping others can assist in that process, and the kinds of larger scale and longer term interventions that are necessary now. 

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.

Enactive Foundation Workshop held

On Friday the 1st of October we held a workshop within our unit that was organised around clarifying what the core themes of interest within our unit are. People are coming from a lot of different backgrounds into our unit and one challenge we face is developing a conceptual common ground. Part of the motivation of this workshop then was to to make the core themes explicit so that we have a number of well articulated topics that we will continue to refine through our work and  through our conversations.

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

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

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.

New preprint on schizophrenia

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

Tom Froese and Joel Krueger