Visiting Researchers

Visiting Researchers

Max (Massimiliano) Cappuccio

Email: m.lorenzo@uaeu.ac.ae

Website: https://uaeu.academia.edu/MassimilianoCappuccio

Dates of visit: July 1 – August 5, 2015 & July 15 – August 15, 2017

Project title 1: Embodied Cognition and Sport Psychology – the Pre-Reflective Roots of Skill

Project title 2: Social Cognition and Social Robotics – Empathy and Reciprocity in Human-Robot Interaction

Project title 3: The Mind-Upload Hypothesis – Personal Identity, Information Patterns, and the Individuation of Mental Contents

Max Cappuccio’s recurrent visits to Wollongong aim to continue and expand his ongoing research collaborations with Prof. Dan Hutto and Dr. Michael Kirchhoff. Together, in the past few years, they have designed and started three interdisciplinary projects that apply the theory and the methods of embodied/enactive cognition research to some of the most rapidly trending areas of techno-scientific inquiry:

  • The first project aims to develop original explanatory models for empirical applications in sport psychology research and training practice. The project investigates the psychological principles that govern the performance of athletes under pressure, the cognitive aspects of skill acquisition and disruption, and the mechanisms that trigger the “choking” effect in competitive sport environments.
  • The second project applies models of social cognition theory to research in social robotics and human-robot interaction. The team will investigate the psychological mechanisms and the normative preconditions that facilitate anthropomorphism, empathy, and trust for artificial autonomous embodied agents. The project will focus on the therapeutic and research applications of a new generation of social robots specifically designed to interact with children diagnosed with autistic syndrome disorders.
  • The third project proposes a critical investigation into the theoretical possibility of “mind-upload”, that is the hypothesis that consciousness and mental contents could be fully digitized and reduced to software run by computers. If a whole mind could be transferred to a computational device, then humans could in principle achieve immortality through technological means. By assessing the metaphysical and empirical preconditions of embodiment, the project will discuss the minimal requirements for a mind to preserve its original identity through a mind-upload procedure.

Max Cappuccio (PhD, State University of Pavia) is Associate Professor of Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science at UAE University, where he directs the Interdisciplinary Cognitive Science Laboratory. He has a background in philosophical psychology and philosophy of mind, with an empirically and phenomenologically oriented approach to embodied cognition. His research publications focus on the scientific and technological applications of enactive cognition and extended cognition theories. His work critically explores various hypotheses about the mechanisms underlying embodied and social forms of intelligence. Key topics of his research include: theory and history of artificial intelligence research; pre-reflective intelligence and the frame problem; habitual action, dynamical systems theory, and motor intentionality; skill acquisition and disruption; joint attention through gesture and gaze; empathy and mirror neurons; social robotics and human-robot interaction. He is one of the organizers of the yearly Joint UAE Symposium on Social Robotics, held in collaboration with UAE University and NYU Abu Dhabi, and the International Conference in Sport Psychology and Embodied Cognition, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Sport Council. He is currently editing the MIT Press Handbook of Embodied Cognition and Sport Psychology.

Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza

Email: jilunda@linfield.edu

Website: https://linfield.academia.edu/JesusIlundainAgurruzahttps://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jesus_Ilundain-Agurruza

Dates of visit: August 20 – September 2017, 2017

Project title: Minds in Skilled Performance: Explanatory Framework and Comparative Study.

This is an ARC funded study under the leadership of Prof. Daniel Hutto. Specifically, the goal is to continue developing an interdisciplinary account that establishes links with rich traditions of thought outside of Anglo-American Analytic philosophy: Phenomenology, Pragmatism and Japanese “do,” clarifying and recontextualising what they have to offer to contemporary thinking about skilled performance.

Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza is Professor & Chair of the Philosophy Department at Linfield College (Oregon), where he received the 2011-2012 Samuel H. Graf Faculty Achievement Award and was 2008-2009 Allen & Pat Kelley Faculty Scholar. In 2013-15 he served as president of the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport (IAPS). He has published Holism and the Cultivation of Excellence in Sports and Performance: Skillful Striving (Routledge 2016), numerous articles in Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, Sports, Ethics, and Philosophy, and other journals, and many book chapters on anthologies in sports, martial arts, and comparative philosophy. He has also co-edited a book on philosophy and cycling. His current research interests and projects are interdisciplinary and center on the fertile fruitful relationships among skills, cognition, phenomenology, and East Asian culture and philosophy in expert performance. An avid cyclist, swimmer, and budding freediver, he also enjoys sparring with his Regenyei steel longsword.

Tom Froese

Email: t.froese@gmail.com

Website: https://froese.wordpress.com

Dates of visit: Oct. 28 – Nov. 11, 2017

Project Title: The human mind as a complex system

The purpose of Tom Froese’s stay is to consolidate his collaboration with Daniel D. Hutto, Professor at the University of Wollongong, which began during Dr. Froese’s stay at UOW as a VISA Fellow in 2016. More specifically, the goal is to continue developing an interdisciplinary account of the human mind that incorporates Dr. Froese’s work on complex multi-agent systems and computational models of social interaction with current work at UOW on the philosophy and archaeology of the sociocultural origins of the modern human mind.

Tom Froese is a faculty member of the Department of Computer Science in the Institute for Applied Mathematics and Systems Research (IIMAS) at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He is a member of the Center for the Sciences of Complexity (C3), and the coordinator of the 4E Cognition Group. He received his MEng in Computer Science and Cybernetics from the University of Reading, UK, and his DPhil in Cognitive Science from the University of Sussex, UK. He has worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, at the Department of General Systems Studies of the University of Tokyo, and at his current department at UNAM. Currently he is involved a diverse range of projects with the aim of analyzing and integrating the dynamics and phenomenology pertaining to life, mind, and sociality. Froese is Editor-in-Chief of Adaptive Behavior.