Research Topic

Radical Embodied Cognitive Neuroscience

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About this Research Topic

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 ...

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 (for details, see Barrett, 2011; Chemero, 2009; Wilson & Golonka, 2013).

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 welcome manuscripts from researchers in embodied cognition who can describe their research and the implications that it has for neuroscience, and from 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.

Key References
Barrett, L. (2011). Beyond the Brain: How the Body and the Environment Shape Cognition. New Jersey, Princeton University Press.

Chemero, A. (2009). Radical Embodied Cognitive Science. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.

Wilson, A. D. & Golonka, S. (2013). Embodied cognition is not what you think it is. Frontiers in Psychology 4:58. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00058


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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