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Budapest Conference on Cognitive Development

The Cognitive Development Center at the Central European University is pleased to announce the fifth annual Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development in Budapest, Hungary (January 7-9, 2016). BCCCD is the only annual conference entirely focused on cognitive development in Europe. Submissions from all areas within this field of research are welcome. Past BCCCD conferences included presentations on topics such as comparative cognition, cognitive bases of culture, conceptual learning, early social cognition, language, methodological issues, numeracy, or object cognition.
 Denis Tatone, Nazli Altinok (Conference chairs)

»  Renée Baillargeon , Department of Psychology, Illinois University (Urbana-Champaign) 
»  Nathan J. Emery, Department of Biological and Experimental Psychology, Queen Mary University

Heuristics and biases in children's explanations 
Organizer: Andrei Cimpian, Department of Psychology, Illinois University (Urbana-Champaign)

Read more: Budapest Conference on Cognitive Development

[extended deadline] Berlin Symposium on Reciprocity and Social Cognition

The deadline for submissions to this symposium has been extended to November the 1st.

A symposium on 'Reciprocity and social cognition' organized by Anna Strasser, Stephen Butterfill, Richard Moore, Olle Blomberg will take place at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain, 23–25 March 2015. The call for poster deadline is extended to November 1, 2014.

Reciprocity is a common feature of much social cognition. For example, when two people attend to the same object simultaneously they can do so merely in parallel or jointly; only the latter of which involves reciprocity. However, traditional accounts of the foundations of social cognition have largely ignored the existence of reciprocity and treated social cognition as a process that rests on observation rather than genuine interaction (e.g., Dennett, 1982; Davidson, 1994; Stich & Nicholls, 2003; Goldman 2006; Rizzolatti & Sinigaglia, 2008). Notable exceptions highlight reciprocity as a key feature of social cognition and joint action (Tomasello et al., 2005; Bratman, 2014). However, the precise nature of this concept has not always been clear, and debates across adjacent fields have remained somewhat disconnected.

In this three-day workshop we will try to clarify the concept of reciprocity and to explore for the first time how the notion of reciprocity can be used to illuminate debates in adjacent fields of cognitive science.

Read more: [extended deadline] Berlin Symposium on Reciprocity and Social Cognition

The Moral Domain: Conceptual Issues in Moral Psychology. Vilnius . 9-11 October 2014

The Vilnius Experimental Philosophy Lab,  the Departments of General Psychology and of Logic and History of Philosophy organize a conference on: The Moral Domain: Conceptual Issues in Moral Psychology, the 9-11 October 2014 at Vilnius University. Confirmed keynote speakers: Edouard Machery (Pittsburgh), Katinka Quintelier (Amsterdam), Paulo Sousa (Queen’s), Dan Sperber (CEU / Institut Nicod),  Stephen Stich (Rutgers).

What kind of norms and judgments count as moral? In other words, what constitutes the moral domain? This broad question is the main focus of the conference. We invite anthropologists, cognitive scientists, philosophers, psychologists, and other scholars to address these and related questions during the conference. Deadline for abstract: May 1, 2014.

Read more: The Moral Domain: Conceptual Issues in Moral Psychology. Vilnius . 9-11 October 2014

Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Moral Psychology, Seoul, March 2014

A conference on "Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Moral Psychology" sponsored by Korea University and the Rutgers University Research Group on Evolution & Cognition will take place at the Korea University, Seoul, South Korea / 20th-22nd March 2014.

Posters are invited from researchers around the world. Posters (or poster abstracts of approximately 250 words) should be submitted by e-mail to Prof. Stephen Stich, Department of Philosophy & Center for Cognitive Science, Rutgers University, USA: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or Mr. Min Woo Lee, Deptartment of Psychology, Korea University: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . not later than Feb. 1, 2014.

For a list of speakers and practical details, go here.

Society for Anthropological Sciences Annual Meeting, March 18–22, 2014. Albuquerque

The Society for Anthropological Sciences (SAS / SASci) will be holding its 10th annual meeting from March 18 – 22, 2014, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We invite scholars from any subdiscipline of anthropology, or from allied social sciences, to submit abstracts for papers, posters, or full sessions on any topic in anthropological science, broadly conceived. Deadline: October 15.

The Society for Anthropological Sciences, as both an independent organization (SaSci) and a section of the American Anthropological Association (SAS), promotes the scientific understanding of humanity through comparative, cognitive, quantitative, and evolutionary approaches. The Society seeks to fulfill the historic mission of anthropology to describe and explain the range of variation in human biology, society, and culture across time and space.

Read more: Society for Anthropological Sciences Annual Meeting, March 18–22, 2014. Albuquerque

iCog Cognitive Science Conference, Sheffield, 29 Nov - 1 Dec

iCog, An interdisciplinary conference for postgraduate and early-career researchers in cognitive science to take place 29 November - 1 December 2013, University of Sheffield. Deadline for submission of abstracts:20 September 2013

Guest speakers will be:
Margaret A Boden (Cognitive Science, Sussex)
Rita Astuti (Anthropology, LSE)
Andy Clark (Philosophy, Edinburgh)
Vyv Evans (Linguistics, Bangor)
Danielle Matthews (Psychology, Sheffield)
Edmund T. Rolls (Oxford Centre for Comutational Neuroscience; Warwick)

Read more: iCog Cognitive Science Conference, Sheffield, 29 Nov - 1 Dec

International Society for Philosophy, History and Soicial Sciences of Biology

The International Society for Philosophy, History and Social Sciences of Biology holds its 2013 conference in Montpellier, July 7-12. Proposals for sessions and contributions from biologists, ecologists, philosophers and historians of biology are welcome until March the 1st. (extended deadline), as well as interdisciplinary sessions. Website: www.ishpssb2013.org

Patterns of Biological and Sociocultural Evolution

International Conference on Evolutionary Patterns: Horizontal and Vertical Transmission and Micro- and Macroevolutionary Patterns of Biological and Sociocultural Evolution.May 27-29th, 2013,Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal. Deadline Submissions: February 1st, 2013

The 3-day International Conference aims to provide an interdisciplinary platform where evolutionary scholars from the exact, technological, life, human and sociocultural sciences can exchange ideas and techniques on how to conceptualize, model, and quantify biological and sociocultural evolution.

Plenary Speakers: Michael Benton, Tal Dagan, John Jungck, Carl Knappett, Daniel McShea, Alex Mesoudi, Mark Pagel, Tyler Volk, and Richard Watson.

Read more: Patterns of Biological and Sociocultural Evolution

Does Cognitive Science Need Anthropology?

An interesting debate (edited by Andrea Bender, Sieghard Beller, & Douglas L. Medin) on the role of anthropology in and for cognitive science was published in the latest issue of Topics in Cognitive Science (2012, vol. 4, no. 3). Due to constraints of space, only a small number of scholars could be invited to provide commentaries on a (previously circulated) introduction on the challenges to and prospect for a rapprochement between anthropology and the other cognitive sciences. The invitation aimed at a mixture of senior scholars and young scientists from different disciplines (including anthropology, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology). As this selection may have been too constrained and bypassed relevant perspectives on this debate, TopiCS opens a call for brief comments (deadline: October 15, 2012)

Read more: Does Cognitive Science Need Anthropology?

Call for papers: Panel on cognition and culture at the 17th World Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences

Rita Astuti and Denis Regnier organize a panel at the 17th World Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, titled, 'Evolving Humanity, Emerging Worlds'. The panel's page and call for contributions is here (deadline July 13th).

3rd Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development

The CEU Budapest Conference on Cognitive Development, organised by the Cognitive Development Center, is the only annual European conference focusing on cognitive development. The Third BCCCD will take place January 10-12, 2013. Invited speakers: Stanislas Dehaene (Collège de France) and Laurie Santos (Yale University). Invited symposium on 'Bayesian modeling of cognitive development' (Organizer: Noah Goodman - Stanford University). Submissions for symposium proposals and poster are welcome in all related topics and areas.

Read more: 3rd Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development

Social Norms and Cultural Dynamics

The journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes has a  Call for Papers for a Special Issue on "Social Norms and Cultural Dynamics". Guest Editors: Michael W. Morris (Columbia University), Ying-yi Hong (Nanyang Technological University), Chi-yue Chiu (Nanyang Technological University). Submission Deadline: December 30, 2012.

Why do the people in a group—a corporation, profession or nation—tend to behave in similar, characteristic ways? Why do they respond to situations and approach problems differently than do the people in other groups? Cultural differences are seen even between firms in same industry, between occupations that overlap, and between adjacent countries —groups that essentially share the same environment—so cultural patterns are not simply adaptations to different environments. Humans differ from other social animals in this tendency of groups to accumulate cultural patterns, and this may explain how we broke away from other primates in developing more complex social organization (Baumeister, 2005). To understand culture and its role in organizational behavior, researchers have grappled with two related problems at different levels of analysis. First, what psychological mechanism causes individuals to behave in culturally characteristic ways? Second, how do these processes keep a population behaving in a certain set of ways (even as the individuals in one generation are replaced by a new generation), or, in other cases, generate cultural change over time? The first problem—cultural influence—arises in traditional organizational behavior research examining the extent to which national, corporate, or occupational traditions constrain a person’s judgments, decisions, or behaviors (e.g. Earley, 1989). The second problem—cultural persistence and evolution—arises in research investigating how collective-level patterns reproduce themselves over time (e.g., Boyd & Richerson, 1985; Harrison & Carroll, 2006; Weick & Gilfillan, 1971).

Read more: Social Norms and Cultural Dynamics

Conference on Social Cognition, Engagement and the Second-Person Perspective

Interdisciplinary Conference, University of Cologne (Germany), May 25-27, 2012 on Social Cognition, Engagement and the Second-Person Perspective. Deadline for poster submission: March 1st, 2012

What are the psychological processes and neural mechanisms enabling social cognition? How might social cognition be modulated depending on whether one is actively engaged in social interaction with someone or merely observing others interact? What is the impact of this distinction for research methodologies in social psychology and social neuroscience as well as for our understanding of conditions like autism? In particular, this conference brings together experts from various fields to promote the prospects of a second-person approach for future research into the foundations of social cognition.

Read more: Conference on Social Cognition, Engagement and the Second-Person Perspective

Theoretical Interventions in the Anthropology of Mathematics

We are seeking abstracts for a session entitled "Theoretical Interventions in the Anthropology of Mathematics" (Panel Organizers: Stephen Chrisomalis and Samar Zebian) to be held at the Society for Anthropological Sciences 8th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 22-25, 2012. Deadline for abstract: November 20, 2011.

A considerable body of important research bears directly on the relationship between mathematics and aspects of language, cognition, and culture.  However, disciplinary trends in anthropology and linguistics have insufficiently integrated this important work into basic theories of human behavior, cognition, and cultural variability.  We are seeking papers on any aspect of mathematics, numeracy, or number systems that clarifies and expands the theoretical contribution of the social-scientific study of mathematics beyond its current purview.  We particularly are interested in papers that bridge the various human sciences including cognitive science, anthropology, linguistics, psychology, history, and/or philosophy.

(More below the fold)

Read more: Theoretical Interventions in the Anthropology of Mathematics

The Knowledge Commons: Research and Innovation in an Unequal World

The St Antony's International Review (a peer-reviewed, academic journal established by graduate members of St Antony's College at the University of Oxford) is publishing a 'Call for Papers':

"The problem of common-pool management is an ancient and enduring question in public policy and governance. ...Yet much of the literature concerning the problems and benefits of common-pool systems does not obviously apply to the knowledge commons. Knowledge is distinct from limited resources like pastures in several regards. First, knowledge is composed of individuals’ cognitions, rather than material objects. Second, while pastures might be depleted by overgrazing, the knowledge commons seems to be threatened by what Paul David calls “over-fencing”: if key bodies of knowledge are closed off, then it is difficult to innovate. Third, knowledge exchange and innovation are arguably crucial for economic growth. Finally, a lack of knowledge about oneself and one’s environment deprives one of an essential human virtue: the ability to act as a knower"

Abstracts due July 30, 2011, Papers due November 18, 2011. More here

Cognitio - Nonhuman Minds: Animal, Artificial or Other Minds

3, 4, 5 July 2011 - UQÀM, Montreal

Cognitio is a young researcher's conference now held every two years at the Université du Québec à Montréal, under the auspices of its Cognitive Science Institute. Over the past several years, Cognitio has been a colloquium where many facets of the human mind were explored. We looked at the relationship between mind and its material substrate (2004), at human decision making (2005), at situated minds (2006), at social cognition (2007) and at the evolution of minds and cultures (2009).

The time has come to turn our attention to "nonhuman minds": to reflect on other minds, on minds that could have been and on minds that could be. Do our primate cousins have minds? And what about other animals? Does it make sense to think of "robot minds" and "artificial minds" in general?

This year, Cognitio will be held at the Université du Québec à Montréal on July 3rd, 4thand 5th 2011, just prior to the joint meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology (SPP) and the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology (ESPP). Submission of proposals for the conference is done through the EasyChair system. We are only asking for 600 words abstracts. EasyChair will allow you to upload a PDF paper if you want to, but only your abstract will be evaluated. The deadline for submissions is March 15th, 2011.

Workshop on the Social Brain (Cambridge, April 2011)

Social_BrainThe MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (Cambridge, England) is organising a worshop on "The Social Brain: Evolution, development, psychopathology and future directions" (Scientific Organisers: Dr Dean Mobbs, Prof. Trevor Robbins, and Prof. Ian Goodyer) on the 12th and 13th April, 2011. Application Deadline: 15th January, 2011. The aim: The aim of this workshop is to provide audience members with state of the art coverage of social neuroscience and make translational and theoretical connections between human brainimaging, comparative research, and neuropsychiatric disorders. We aim to keep the workshop small and extremely interactive.

Faculty: Ernst Fehr, Chris Frith, Uta Frith, Nicky Clayton, Robin Dunbar, Molly Crockett, Ben Seymour, Matt Lieberman, Jason Mitchell, Nikolaus Steinbeis, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Matthew Rushworth, John O'Doherty, Brian Knutson, Henrik Ehrsson, Tania Singer, Wako Yoshida, Nick Humphrey, Predrag Petrovic, Cindy Hagan, and Simon Baron-Cohen.

Read more: Workshop on the Social Brain (Cambridge, April 2011)

Society for Psychological Anthropology Meetings, April 2011

The Society for Psychological Anthropology Biennial Meetings will take place in Santa Monica, CA March 31-April 3, 2011. The theme: "Subjects and Their Milieux in Late Modernity: The Relevance of Psychological Anthropology to Contemporary Problems and Issues" : "In this conference, we continue to innovate within psychological anthropology and reach across subdisciplinary and disciplinary boundaries to explore new areas of practice and theory for the second decade of the 21st century. ... We will focus especially on the relevance of psychological anthropology to problems and issues in the contemporary world--from changing families, workplaces and local communities to religious groups, professions, and transnational institutions like consumer capitalism, world religions, and NGOs. ... Examples of possible panels and papers are ones on child and adolescent development; overlaps between psychological and medical anthropology; transforming perspectives on family, gender, and sexuality; memory and trauma; narrative and identity in institutional contexts; and rethinking theories and research strategies to explore new forms of communication, communities, and being alone. ...Both individual papers (15 minutes) and full panels (1 hour and 45 minutes) are welcome. Younger scholars are particularly encouraged to suggest panel, paper, or discussion group topics."

The deadline for submitting panel and paper proposals is December 1, 2010. More here.

Discovery in the social sciences

A workshop on "Discovery in the social sciences: Towards an empirically-informed philosophy of social science" will take place at the University of Leuven, Belgium, March 22-23, 2011. The aim of this workshop is to bring together scholars who are working in the philosophy of the social sciences, especially those interested in scientific practice. The theme is discovery in the social sciences. The keynote speakers are Alison Wylie (University of Washington) and Jack Vromen (Erasmus University Rotterdam). We invite submissions of extended abstracts (about 1000 words), and we are especially eager to hear from young researchers. Submission deadline for abstracts: 31 December, 2010. Here is the workshop's website.

Read more: Discovery in the social sciences

Pragmatics of religious transmission

At the 10th international SIEF (Societé Internationale d´Ethnologie et de Folklore) Congress,  "People make places - ways of feeling the world" to take palce in Lisbon, 17 to 21 April 2011, a call for papers (deadline: October 15) on "The pragmatics of religious transmission: contexts, case studies and theoretical departures" for a panel convened by Ruy Blanes (University of Lisbon), Vlad Naumescu (Central European University), and Arnaud Halloy (Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis): 

"The issue of religious transmission and learning has become a thriving topic in the contemporary anthropology of religion. Driven by the creative tension between cognitive and culturalist approaches it prompts interesting debates and exchanges, and the exploration of new methodological and heuristic paths addressing the problem of transmission.

In this panel we invite our colleagues to explore pragmatic contexts of religious transmission: the complex of communicational and active conditions that affect (through perception, cognition, emotion, interaction and materiality) individuals engaged in religious action. From this perspective, religious transmission operates through both implicit and explicit regimes. It can take complex and defined forms in ritual contexts, but it can also impregnate various contexts of the quotidian through different dimensions and agencies: discipline, imagination or aesthetics. Taking these as fundamental dimensions of religious transmission, we invite participants to reflect on their articulation in concrete ethnographic cases."

Joint Action: What is Shared

Special issue of the Review of Philosophy and Psychology on "Joint Action: What is Shared?" Guest Editors: Natalie Sebanz & Stephen Butterfill.  Call for papers. Deadline for submissions: 15 August 2010.

Researchers have appealed to many kinds of sharing in explaining or characterising joint action.  Joint actions are variously said to involve shared intentions or goals, shared task representations, shared attention, shared common ground, and more.  Each putative case of sharing raises numerous questions.  Is talk of sharing in this context literal or metaphorical; and if metaphorical, how is the metaphor to be understood?  Is such sharing constitutively necessary for joint action?  What cognitive and conceptual demands does such sharing place on the agents?  How does such sharing facilitate joint action?  How does it develop?  What is its role in development?  What awareness of other agents of a joint action, if any, does such sharing require?  In what ways is such sharing apparent to us when we perceive or recognise joint actions done by others?  Further questions concern interactions and conceptual relations between the different kinds of sharing.  Do shared intentions interact with shared task representations?  How many kinds of sharing are involved in joint action—are intentions shared in the same sense that task representations are, for instance?  This special issue of the Review of Philosophy and Psychology aims to address questions such as these with contributions from social, cognitive and developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience and philosophy.

Read more: Joint Action: What is Shared

CFP : Conference on cognitive development, Central European University, Budapest

Invited Speakers : Ellen Markman (Stanford University), Josep Call (MPI EVA, Leipzig), and the hosts: György Gergely & Gergely Csibra (CEU)

The conference will be held on January 14-15, 2011. Deadline for symposia: 10th September, 2010, Deadline for posters: 10th October, 2010. Call for symposium and poster submissions - Official website.

Read more: CFP : Conference on cognitive development, Central European University, Budapest

From cognitive science to an empirically-informed philosophy of logic

A workshop in Amsterdam (December 7-8 2010) entitled "From cognitive science and psychology to an empirically-informed philosophy of logic" will bring together logicians, philosophers, psychologists and cognitive scientists to discuss the interface between cognitive science and psychology, on the one hand, and the philosophy of logic on the other hand. More specifically, we wish to investigate the extent to which (if at all), and in what ways, experimental results from these fields may contribute to the formulation of an empirically-informed philosophy of logic, taking into account how human agents, logicians and non-logicians alike, in fact reason.

Read more: From cognitive science to an empirically-informed philosophy of logic

Conference on Intercultural Pragmatics. Madrid 2010

The goal of this 4th International Conference on Intercultural Pragmatics and Communication (web site: http://conference.clancorpus.net/) is to promote both theoretical and applied research in pragmatics. Three parallel sessions will be held according to the following topics:

Pragmatics theories: meaning, role of context, semantics-pragmatics interface, explicature, implicature, speech act theory, etc.
Intercultural aspects of pragmatics
: research involving more than one language and culture or varieties of one language, lingua franca, intercultural misunderstandings, effect of dual language and multilingual systems on the development and use of pragmatic skills
: usage and corpus-based approaches, teachability and learnability of pragmatic skills, pragmatic variations within one language and across languages, developmental pragmatics, etc.


Read more: Conference on Intercultural Pragmatics. Madrid 2010

Summer Institute in Cognitive Science: The origins of language

Summer Institute in Cognitive Science: The origins of language. 21-30 June 2010, Montreal: When in human evolution did language appear? Did it appear suddenly or gradually? What were the physiological, cognitive, and social prerequisites of language? The Summer Institute, organized by the Cognitive Science Institute (UQAM, Montreal), the Université René Descartes (Paris) and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig), will bring together 40 of the world leading specialists of these questions, among which Michael Arbib, Terrence Deacon, Stevan Harnad, Ray Jackendoff, Giacomo Rizzolatti, Duane Rumbaugh, Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, Dan Sperber, Kim Sterelny, Maggie Tallerman, Ian Tattersall, Michael Tomasello, Stephanie White, and David Sloan Wilson.

Read more: Summer Institute in Cognitive Science: The origins of language

Grounding the Social Sciences in the Cognitive Sciences?

The workshop on "Cognitive Social Sciences-Grounding the Social Sciences in the Cognitive Sciences?" (here) is to be held at CogSci 2010 in Portland, Oregon, on August 11, 2010. This workshop is aimed at exploring the cognitive (psychological) basis of the social sciences and the possibilities of grounding the social sciences in cognition (psychology).

Read more: Grounding the Social Sciences in the Cognitive Sciences?

Encultured Brain conference 8 Oct. 2009 at the U. of Notre Dame

The Encultured Brain conference will be held 8 October 2009 at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. This conference will promote neuroanthropology, which aims to integrate anthropology, social theory, and the brain sciences. As the first conference exclusively in this area, The Encultured Brain will provide a vision for the future of this line of integrative research, sparking conversations and establishing connections across disciplinary boundaries.

Abstracts must be submitted by September 4th, 2009.

Read more: Encultured Brain conference 8 Oct. 2009 at the U. of Notre Dame

Conference on comparative social cognition


The ESF Research Networking Programme "The Evolution of Social Cognition" (CompCog) (www.compcog.org) is proud to announce its opening meeting in Budapest, 13-16 May 2009.

Thanks to the support of leading scientists from around the world we have managed to put together an exciting program that covers many interesting areas of comparative social cognition with emphasis on


This is a call for scientists interested in the field to come to this meeting. There will be no registration fees, but participants have to cover their costs. We are happy to help in organising the travel as well as the accommodation through our partner company, Chemoltravel.

To celebrate this event and to support the best young and enthusiastic researchers in their early career our budget allows for providing financial support for 35 participants (Note that the support for travel costs is 250 Euros). Twenty applicants will also get the possibility to present their research in a short oral paper, others will have the opportunity to bring a poster.

In order to apply, we need applications by the 5th April 2009. Applicants are asked to fill in a form, with a brief CV, their research interest, and proposed abstract. All applications will be considered but there will be a preference for those that are judged to relate closer to the main topics of the meeting. Please consult the preliminary program.

Applications and any other correspondence should be sent to:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

There is a limit for the total number of participants to 120 people. Apart from the supported applications other participants will be accepted on a "first come first served" basis. Therefore participation is bound to prior registration by sending in the following form. Participants will be informed whether their registration is accepted.

We are looking forward seeing you in Budapest.

Elena Jazin, Department of Development and Genetics, Uppsala University

Ádám Miklosi, Department of Ethology, Eötvös Loránd University

PS: You will find shortly a bit more information also at www.compcog.org

Changing Minds: Cultures and Cognition in Evolution


Cognitio 2009 - Changing Minds: Cultures and Cognition in Evolution
Montreal, Canada
June 4th, 5th & 6th 2006.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[version française ci-après]

Cognitio 2009 invites graduate students and young researchers in cognitive science, anthropology, biology, psychology, computer science, philosophy, or any discipline concerned with cognition, evolution, and culture to present their work at the conference.

Suggested topics include:

  • comparative psychology and animal cultures;
  • culture and cognition in cross-cultural perspective;
  • evolutionary psychology and the adapted mind;
  • cognitive neurosciences and cultural learning;
  • the modelisation of cultural evolution;
  • the evolution and origins of language;
  • the evolution of culture and cognition in the human lineage;
  • epistemological issues related to the study of cognition, evolution, and culture.

Submission of proposals for the conference is done through the EasyChair system (see http://cognitio.uqam.ca/2009). We are only asking for 600 words abstracts. EasyChair will allow you to upload a PDF paper if you want to, but only your abstract will be evaluated.

Deadline for submission IS NOW MARCH 13th

Keynote speakers:

* Joseph Henrich
Canada Research Chair in Culture, Cognition, and Evolution
University of British Columbia

* Frédéric Bouchard
Philosophy Department
University of Montreal


Cognitive Science, which now includes disciplines such as cognitive genetics, evolutionary developmental neuroscience and cognitive anthropology, is unfolding a fresh view of the mind and its relation to culture, fresh yet strangely reminiscent of pre-20th century conceptions of the mind, from Plato to Freud. According to this view, much of cognition is done by unconscious automatic processes, evolved by natural selection to solve specific adaptive problems faced by hominids and early humans. To ensure the replication of their genetic builders, some of these automatic processes may even produce aspects of culture as extended human phenotype. Many cognitive scientists add an adapting mind to this adapted mind, a conscious analytical rule-following processor that can, on occasion, override actions planned by the automated processes. The conscious processor's main task is to adapt the general goals of genes (replicate) to the local environment in which the individual bearing those genes finds herself. To do so, the conscious processor possesses a general learning mechanism that allows it to reproduce any identifiable cultural item(from local norms to local prosody and local food preferences), a learning mechanism that also opens it to rogue cultural items: mind viruses. The nature of the cultural items being copied and of the conscious processor's copying mechanism may even be such that a whole new type of evolutionary process is going on over our minds: the evolution of cultural variants, or memes. If this is so, we, that is our conscious self, are but a battleground in which genes and memes fight for the right to activate our muscles.

[french version]

Cognitio 2009 invite les étudiants des cycles supérieurs et les jeunes
chercheurs en sciences cognitives, anthropologie, biologie,
psychologie, informatique, philosophie ou tout autre discipline
abordant la cognition, l'évolution et la culture à présenter leurs
travaux lors du colloque. Les sujets proposés sont:

  • la psychologie comparative et les cultures animales;
  • la culture et la cognition dans une perspective transculturelle;
  • la psychologie évolutionniste et l'esprit adapté;
  • la modélisation de l'évolution culturelle;
  • l'évolution et les origines du langage;
  • l'évolution de la culture et de la cognition dans la lignée humaine;
  • les questions épistémologiques liées à l'étude de la cognition, de l'évolution et de la culture.

La soumission de propositions de communication se fait à l'aide du
système EasyChair (voir http://cognitio.uqam.ca/2009). Un résumé de 600 mots doit être joint à la demande. EasyChair vous permet de joindre aussi un article en PDF si vous le désirez, mais seul votre résumé sera évalué.

La date limite pour l'envoi de résumés EST MAINTENANT LE 13 MARS.

Conférenciers invités :

Joseph Henrich
Chaire de recherche du Canada sur la culture, la cognition et l'évolution
Université de la Colombie-Britannique

Frédéric Bouchard
Département de philosophie
Université de Montréal

Thématique :

Les sciences cognitives, qui incluent maintenant des disciplines telles que la génétique cognitive, les neurosciences évolutionnistes du développement et l'anthropologie cognitive, mettent présentement de l'avant une nouvelle façon d'aborder la relation entre l'esprit et la culture. Cette nouvelle façon de voir n'est toutefois pas sans rappeler certaines conceptions de l'esprit qui prévalaient avant le 20e siècle, de Platon à Freud. Selon cette conception, une partie importante de la cognition est prise en charge par des processus inconscients qui ont évolué par sélection naturelle pour résoudre les problèmes auxquels étaient confrontés les hominidés et les premiers humains. Pour assurer la réplication de leurs véhicules génétiques, certains de ces processus pourraient même produire certains aspects de la culture, dès lors comprise comme un phénotype étendu. De nombreux chercheurs en sciences cognitives ajoutent à cet esprit adapté un esprit en adaptation : un processeur analytique conscient, capable de suivre des règles et, à l'occasion, de prendre le pas sur les actions planifiées par les processus automatiques. La principale tâche de ce processeur conscient est d'adapter l'objectif global des gènes (se reproduire) à l'environnement local dans lequel se trouve l'individu porteur de ces gènes. Pour ce faire, le processeur conscient possède un mécanisme d'apprentissage général qui lui permet de reproduire tout item culturel identifiable (qu'il s'agisse de normes, de prosodies ou de préférences alimentaires locales). Ce mécanisme d'apprentissage est toutefois vulnérable à des items culturels rebelles : les virus de l'esprit. La nature des items culturels copiés et du mécanisme de copie mise en oeuvre par le processeur conscient pourrait même mener à l'apparition dans nos esprits d'un tout nouveau type de processus évolutionniste: l'évolution de variantes culturelles, ou de mèmes. Si c'était le cas, nous (c'est-à-dire notre moi conscient) ne serions qu'un champ de bataille où gènes et mèmes s'affrontent pour déterminer qui a le droit d'activer nos muscles.

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Workshop on Pragmatic Development

Workshop on Pragmatic Development, 22, April 2009, Lyon, France.
Call for Posters
. Deadline: 13, February


How children come to understand and produce gestures and speech in context-specific ways is an issue addressed from different perspectives in a number of fields. The aim of the workshop is to bridge disciplinary and cultural boundaries in order to explore the developmental processes enabling humans to achieve complex communicative goals. We want to bring together researchers who specialise in relevant subfields of pragmatic development, others with expertise in relevant cognitive prerequisites, as well as linguists and philosophers who may analyse the importance of the data for existing pragmatics theories. Among others, we want to address the following issues: (1) Are there common principles and processes at play in the use of context in communication at all stages of early development? And, if so, which ones? (2) How could we better take into account cultural differences concerning pragmatic development? (3) Which are the theoretical frameworks that best allow us to explain the latest empirical findings? How do they compare to each other? Can they be teased apart empirically?

Invited speakers: Richard Breheny, György Gergely, Bart Geurts, Erika Nurmsoo, Napoleon Katsos, Aylin Küntay, Ulf Liszkowski, Ira Noveck, Dan Sperber

Organizers: Gerlind Große, Danielle Matthews, Nausicaa Pouscoulous, and Michael Tomasello

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Cultures and Cognition in Evolution. Young researchers conference in cognitive science, Montréal, June 4-6, 2009

Changing Minds: Cultures and Cognition in Evolution - Cognitio 2009
Young researchers conference in cognitive science
Montréal, June 4th, 5th & 6th 2009

The goal of this conference is to show current (theoretical and empirical) trends in cognitive science, and to allow academic exchanges between young researchers of various disciplines interested by the same topics. Graduate students in cognitive science, psychology, linguistics, robotics, biology, philosophy, neuroscience and experimental economics will be presenting.

The theme for this year is the evolution of culture and cognition.

Submission of proposals for the conference is done through the EasyChair system. We are only asking for 600 words abstracts. EasyChair will allow you to upload a PDF paper if you want to, but only your abstract will be evaluated.

The deadline for submissions is February 20th, 2009.

Keynote speakers: Joseph Henrich and Frédéric Bouchard


Additional information