CRC 991

Sensorimotor Representations and Concepts

Traditionally, cognitive scientists argued for a view of the mind in which perception, cognition and action were seen as distinct (classical sandwich). Recently, this view of the human mind has been questioned and a call for renegotiation of the relations between input, central processing and output systems of the mind has been put forth. In particular, proponents of ‘embodiment’ argue that the human body plays a crucial role in cognition, while proponents of ‘grounded cognition’ argue that cognition is ultimately analyzable into sensorimotor representations. The focus of this two-day workshop will be on theoretical questions related to the ‘grounding cognition thesis’ and the implications stemming from the claim that sensorimotor representations play a crucial role in cognition. An attempt will be made to address, amongst others, the following issues:  

  • Are sensorimotor representations, and therefore our abilities to perceive and to move, necessary conditions for cognition?
  • Are sensorimotor representations sufficient for cognition, or a further, possibly amodal code is required?
  • Does conceptual thought always have a sensorimotor counterpart? Do sensorimotor representations play the role of a mere starting point for cognition, after which the latter becomes independent?
  • Do impairments in sensorimotor abilities entail impairments in cognitive abilities? If so, does the reverse relation hold?
  • Does cognition influence sensorimotor perception, (top-down effects on perception)?

Contributions to the workshop should be related, but not limited, to the above questions.

 List of Contributors

  • Pierre Jacob                             
  • Wolfgang Prinz
  • Corrado Sinigaglia
  • Byron Kaldis
  • Dan Weisskopf                       
  • Andreas Engel                         
  • Nivedita Gangopadhyay          
  • Jennifer Cook                          
  • Alexander Maye                       
  • Martin Fischer                         
  • Gottfried Vosgerau