CNCC Collaborative Research Projects

Brain, Agency, Self, Intersubjectivity and Consciousness (BASIC)

This project examines the relation between phenomenologically relevant markers of self – e.g. a conceptual identification of the notion of “agency” and “ownership” – and particular patterns of brain activity. The aim is to further develop both empirical research and conceptual refinement, integrating into an interdisciplinary research field whose epistemological validity is supported by a solid anchoring in well-established research traditions.

Project Leader: Andreas Roepstorff, University of Aarhus, Denmark

Principal Investigators:
• Christopher Frith, University College London, UK
• Shaun Gallagher, University of Central Florida, Orlando, USA
• Anthony Jack, Washington University, St. Louis, USA
• Tatjana Nazir, Hôpital Lyon Université, France
• Marcus Raichle, Washington University, St. Louis, USA
• Dan Zahavi, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Associated Partners:
• Vittorio Gallese, Università degli Studi di Parma, Italy
• Patrick Haggard, University College London, UK
• Evan Thompson, University of Toronto, Canada
• Kai Vogeley, University of Cologne, Germany

Link to the BASIC website

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Unconscious boundaries of mind; research into the extended mind hypothesis (Boundaries of Mind)

Interaction with the environment can alter our way of conceiving things. Think for example how drawing sketches may help to find the solution to a problem. This project studies such reconceptualization and the factors that may be facilitating as well as impeding. It investigates the influence of preconceptions, the role of our visual system and the flexibility to switch from normal up to clinical limits.

Project Leader: Tjeerd Jellema, University of Hull, UK

Principal Investigators:
• Albert Postma, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
• Johan Wagemans, University of Leuven, Belgium

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The conscious experience of what is reachable: neural, behavioural, cultural and philosophical aspects (CEWR)

Previous studies have suggested that the conscious experience of what is reachable -  i.e. in the near space - is related to the true limit of action-capabilities of our own body. Within this theoretical context, the overall aim of the CEWR project is to show that being aware of what is reachable for oneself and others relies on self sensory-motor interactions

Project Leader: Yann Coello, Université de Lille, France

Principal Investigators:
• Joan Lopez-Moliner, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
• Angela Sirigu, Université Claude Bernard, Lyon, France
• Jeroen Smeets, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Associated Partners:
• Bernard Pachoud, Centre de Recherche en Epistémologie Appliquée, Paris, France
• Alan Wing, University of Birmingham, UK

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Consciousness in Interaction. The Role of the Natural and Social Environment in Shaping Consciousness (CONTACT)

The brains and bodies of cognitive agents (humans and animals) interact dynamically with both their natural and social environments. This project opposes the claim that brain activity by itself enables conscious experience and instead investigates the claim that explaining consciousness requires studying the interactions of animals and humans - and their brains - with the environment.

Project Leader: Cristiano Castelfranchi, Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione - CNR, Roma, Italy

Principal Investigators:
• Andy Clark, University of Edinburg, UK
• Susan Hurley , University of Bristol, UK / Finn Spicer, University of Bristol, UK
• Enrico Rambaldi, Istituto per la Storia del Pensiero Filosofico e Scientifico     Moderno - CNR, Milano, Italy
• Ed S. Tan, Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Associated Partner:
• Thomas Metzinger, Johannes Gutenberg - Universität Mainz, Germany

Link to the CONTACT website

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Metacognition as a precursor to self-consciousness: evolution, development & epistemology (METACOGNITION)

Metacognition, - i.e. thinking about thinking - may not be uniquely human, according to new experimental paradigms. This project critically examines the existence and nature of metacognitive abilities in non-human primates and develops comparative knowledge of metacognitive processes, by exploring how similar these capacities are in non-human animals, human children and human adults.

Project Leader: Joëlle Proust, Institut Jean-Nicod, Paris, France

Principal Investigators:
• Johannes Brandl, Universität Salzburg, Austria
• Hannes Leitgeb, University of Bristol, UK
• Josef Perner, Universität Salzburg, Austria
• Bernard Renault, Université Paris, France
• John David Smith, State University of New York at Buffalo, USA

Associated Partner:
• Josep Call, MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany

Link to the METACOGNITION website

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