Sensorimotor Life: An Enactive Proposal, OUP 2017

Sensorimotor Life: An Enactive Proposal

By Ezequiel A. Di Paolo, Thomas Buhrmann, Xabier E. Barandiaran, 2017, Oxford University Press.

How accurate is the picture of the human mind that has emerged from studies in neuroscience, psychology, and cognitive science? Anybody with an interest in how minds work – how we learn about the world and how we remember people and events – may feel dissatisfied with the answers contemporary science has to offer.

Sensorimotor Life draws on current theoretical developments in the enactive approach to life and mind. It examines and expands the premises of the sciences of the human mind, while developing an alternative picture closer to people’s daily experiences. Enactive ideas are applied and extended, providing a theoretically rich, naturalistic account of meaning and agency. The book includes a dynamical systems description of different types of sensorimotor regularities or sensorimotor contingencies; a dynamical interpretation of Piaget’s theory of equilibration to ground the concept of sensorimotor mastery; and a theory of agency as organized networks of sensorimotor schemes, as well as its implications for embodied subjectivity.

Written for students and researchers of cognitive science, the authors offer a fuller view of the mind, a view better attuned to the experiences of people who live, work, love, struggle, and age, thrown into a world of meaningful relations they help create. Additionally, the book is of interest to neuroscientists, psychiatrists, and philosophers of science.


“Toward a phenomenology of plant life” – IAS-Research Talk by Michael Marder

Michael Marder, Ikerbasque Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country (Vitoria-Gasteiz) was invited to give an IAS-Research Talk on October the 22nd at 10:15. We recorded his talk and it is now available online at:

“Emergence of Turn-taking Behaviour on Agency Detection Simulation and Behavioural Turing Test Experiment.” IAS-Research Talk by Hiro Iizuka

Dr. Hiro Iizuka will be giving a talk on “Emergence of Turn-taking Behaviour on Agency Detection Simulation and Behavioural Turing Test Experiment.”

Date and place: 4th September 2012, at 14.30, Room B1, Carlos Santamaría Building.

Abstract: In this talk, I will talk about a simulation study for agency detection and human experiments for behavioural turing test. These are recent results of series of my work using perceptual crossing paradigm where the interaction of agents or humans is restricted into simple sensor and motor. In the agency detection it is investigated how the embodied agents can establish a live interaction and discriminate this from interactions from recorded motions that are identical to the live interaction but cannot react contingently. In the behavioural turing test, it is investigated how the human can discriminate with the non-human moving objects. Both studies support that the turn-taking behaviour plays an important role to achieve the tasks and we will see how the simple embodied interaction can evolve to communicative interaction.