Talk 19th March: Matthew Spencer

Dr Matthew Spencer, a post-doctoral researcher in the Brain Embodiment Lab at University of Reading, will give a talk on:

Emergent representations from stochastic diffusion dynamics

Gordon Lecture Theatre at 3pm on Wednesday, March 19th All welcome.


Representationalist theories of mind hold that internal representations of objects in the environment underpin natural cognitive abilities. Cognitivist accounts of representation describe these representations as manipulable internal objects which maintain stable reference to external entities, but have  difficulty explaining how these symbols might be grounded such that they have meaning intrinsic to the agent. Alternatively, enactive cognitive science regards representations as behaviour-generating patterns or constraints on the agent’s continuous interaction with its environment. These patterns are conceived as being fundamentally grounded in and emergent from the constitutive autonomy enabled by agent- environment interaction. The enactive  approach describes a richer, more organic form of environmental coupling and therefore provides a compelling basis for the emergence of natural cognition.  In this talk, I explore the emergence of such enactive representations using Stochastic Diffusion Search (SDS) as a metaphor.


Talk 6th March: Prof. Barry Everitt FRS

Professor Barry Everitt FRS will give a talk entitled:

“Drug addiction: neural mechanisms underlying the development of compulsive drug seeking habits”

Professor Everitt is Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at Cambridge, and Master of Downing College. He is a world-leading expert on addiction, and a wonderful speaker.

Thursday 6-Mar at 1pm, in Meteorology GU01. All welcome.