The Cognitive Science Seminar is one of the crown jewels of the Institute. It is both a course offering and a public lecture series.

Each semester's Seminar is organized around a different thematic area and offers seminars by national and international experts in the field. 

Talk are held in  FIT 405 on Wednesday's from 4 pm to 5 pm.  

Current Semester

Embodied Cognition
Lillian and Morrie Moss Chair of Excellence in Philosophy

The cognitive science seminar for Fall 2023 will focus on embodied (or 4E – embodied, embedded, extended, enactive) cognition, which presents an alternative to standard cognitivist views in cognitive science. 4E approaches motivate a number of contemporary debates and critical responses to questions about the role of brain, body and environment in cognition; notions of representation, affordance, affectivity, dynamical attunement; relations between perception and action, predictive processing and active inference. We’ll considers the strengths and weaknesses of the theories in question and discuss major criticisms and their possible resolutions. We’ll also discuss practical applications in the areas of education, humanities, economics, psychiatry and clinical reasoning. Guest speakers are from the fields of philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, cognitive archaeology, computer science and AI. 

Most of the talks will be held in person in FIT 405 from 4 pm to 5:15 pm. Attendance in person is recommended but you can access the talks via Zoom by registering at


Guest lectures

Aug 30 Louise Barrett (Psychology. U. Lethbridge). Beyond the brain
Sep 6  Detlef H. Heck (Neurology, U Minnesota Medical School) Bodily constraints on perception
Sep 13 Art Glenberg (Psychology, Arizona State). Embodied cognition in education.
Sep 20 Mark Johnson (Philosophy, U Oregon).  Embodied mind, meaning, and reason
Sep 27 David Kirsh (CogSci, UC-San Diego) Epistemic actions
Oct 4 Michael Wheeler (Philosophy, Stirling U, Scotland) Extended cognition
Oct 11 Anthony Chemero (Psychology/Philosophy, U Cincinnati) Ecological psychology
Oct 18 Karl Friston (Neuroscience, UCL London) Predictive processing and the free energy principle
Oct 25 Larry Shapiro (Philosophy, U Wisconsin) Conceptions of embodiment
Nov 1 Karenleigh A. Overmann (Anthropology and Cognitive Archaeology, U Colorado) Reading and writing: Extended cognitive states?
Nov 8   Takashi Ikegami (AI, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Okinawa, Japan). Embodied robotics
Nov 15  Ezequiel Di Paolo (Computer Science, U of the Basque Country, San Sebastian, Spain) Enactivism and Autopoiesis

Next Semester

Previous Semesters

Previous semester's Seminar themes:

  • Spring 2023 Agents: Why should they act?
    Bonny Banerjee, IIS and Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Fall 2022 Educational Assessment and Validity
    Leigh Harrell-Williams, Counseling, Educational Psychology & Research
  • Spring 2022 The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence
    David Gray, Philosophy
  • Fall 2021 Computational Linguistics for the Social Sciences and Humanities
    Leah Windsor, IIS and English (Applied Linguistics) and Alistair Windsor, Mathematical Sciences
  • Spring 2021 Emotion and Cognition
    Ulrike Griebel, IIS, and Kim Oller, Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Fall 2020 Reading Literacy, Foundational Skills, Comprehension, Knowledge, Assessment, and EdTech
    How cognitive science on reading literacy and assessment is transforming research and development (or if it isn’t, how it ought to).
    John Sabatini, IIS and Psychology
  • Spring 2020 The Brain Basis of Human Behavior
    Gavin Bidelman, IIS and Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Fall 2019 Language Across Modalities
    Leah Windsor, IIS and English (Applied Linguistics)
  • Spring 2019 Models of Human Learning
    Philip Pavlik, IIS and Psychology (Cognitive)
  • Fall 2018 Harnessing the Data Revolution:Science in the Age of AI
    Andrew Olney, IIS and Psychology (Cognitive)
  • Spring 2018 The Evolution and Development of Neurodiversity
    D. Kimbrouh Oller, Communication Scieces and Disorder, and Ulrike Griebel