Conferences & External Workshops 2020 – 2023

GAP.11 Satellite Workshop

Scaffolding & Niche Construction: Conceptualization & Applications

16/09/2022, HU Berlin

Two concepts have proven central in the attempt to characterize the influence of extra-bodily factors on cognitive and affective phenomena: scaffolding and niche construction. The workshop addresses three central issues surrounding these concepts. First, although the phenomena of scaffolding and niche construction are widely discussed, there is no agreement on their conceptualization and their ontological status. Second, while both concepts originate in the field of biological evolution, they are also increasingly applied to socio-political, socio-technological, and ontogentic phenomena. What makes the notions of scaffolding and niche construction apt for such diverse areas of application? Third, most of the early research on scaffolding and niche construction highlighted their positive aspects while recent research includes applications in which potentially negative aspects take center stage (e.g. in political radicalization or the development of psychopathologies). To what extent is the debate enriched or watered down by this expansion of focus?

Link to schedule and full abstract:

Fourth Conference of the Second Cohort

Empirical Studies on Situated Cognition (ESSC)

08/07/2022, Osnabrück University

The fourth conference of the second cohort of PhD students of our RTG focuses on empirical aspects and studies that evolve around and support the idea of situated cognition. The event brings a mix of talks from our PhD students and invited keynote speakers from abroad. It is therefore our special honor to host Agnieszka Wykowska (IIT), Aaron Blaisdell (UCLA), and Simon Blackwell (RUB). For registration, please get in contact with Louis Loock (lloock{at}



10:10 – 11:25

KeynoteAgnieszka Wykowska (IIT): Using interactive protocols with physically embodied robots to study human cognition

11:30 – 12:15

PhDShadi Derakhshan (UOS): Exploring anticipatory gaze behavior while driving and being driven by an autonomous vehicle

12:15 – 13:30

Lunch break

13:30 – 14:45

KeynoteAaron Blaisdell (UCLA): The active rat: How rats reason about causal interventions

14:50 – 15:35

PhDGuillermo Hidalgo Gadea (RUB): Investigating embodied memory in pigeons with machine learning during a delayed matching to sample task

15:35 – 15:55

Coffee break

15:55 – 16:40

PhDFelix Schreiber (RUB): A lifespan approach using an Affective Episodic Future Thinking intervention to increase subjective and psychological well-being

16:45 – 18:00

KeynoteSimon Blackwell (RUB): Positive mental imagery: basic mechanisms and clinical applications



Third Conference of the Second Cohort

Situated Cognition Spring School (SCSS) 2022

Situated Cognition: Applications, Prospects and Limits

28 – 31/03/2022, Ruhr University Bochum

Our spring school brings together leading researchers in the field of the situated mind. We aim to exchange the latest advancements and ideas on situated cognition and show how these concepts also apply in the real world to tackle diverse problems. For this goal, interdisciplinary researchers from all ends of the spectrum are invited, like philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, animal research, or artificial systems. Highly promising doctoral students and early postdoctoral researchers from European or international universities and research institutions are cordially invited to apply for a talk or poster presentation. We will ensure an open and constructive setting to foster networking, intensive discussion, and exciting exchange with leading experts and fellow students of this research area.

Detailed information can be found here:




11:00 – 12:15Kristin AndrewsNorm Cognition in Nonhuman Animals


14:30 – 15:45Robert RupertStretching Cognition Beyond Its Causal-Explanatory Limits


09:00 – 10:15Henrik WalterStrange Beliefs and Situated Cognition


11:30 – 12:45Leon de BruinSituating the Self in Psychiatry


09:00 – 10:15Gudrun SchwarzerInfants’ Situated Visual Cognition


11:30 – 12:45Anne SpeckhardTrajectories into and back out of Terrorism and Violent Extremism – the Radicalization, Disengagement and Deradicalization Process


09:00 – 10:15Stefan KoppCognitive Systems for Dynamic Situated Communication


16:30 – 17:45Ferdinand C. Binkofski Words as Social Tools: An Embodied Perspective

Second Conference of the Second Cohort

Situated Affectivity & Social Understanding

10/12/2021, Online via Zoom

9:00WelcomeEvent is going to be online only (use Zoom link below)!
09:05 – 10:20Keynote
Dr. Lewis Chuang (LMU Munich)
Humans & Technology: Mind the Gap

10 minutesDiscussion Break
10:30 – 11:10PhD

Shadi Derakhshan (University of Osnabrück)
Head Position as a Robust Prediction for the Technology Acceptance

Model (TAM) in Self-Driving Vehicles – A Large Scale Virtual Reality Study

5 minutesCoffee Break
11:15 – 11:55PhD

Felix Schreiber (Ruhr University Bochum)
The Role of Guided Affective Episodic Foresight for Proactive Behavior
in 5-Year Olds

1 hourLunch Break
13:00 – 14:15 Keynote
Dr. Daniel Dukes
(University of Fribourg & Swiss Center for the Affective Sciences)
Two illustrations of the explanatory power of emotions

10 minutesDiscussion Break
14:25 – 15:05PhD

Maja Griem (Ruhr University Bochum)
Profiles of Animal Empathy

5 minutesTea Break
15:10 – 15:50Postdoc

Dr. Julia Wolf (Ruhr University Bochum)
Pretend Play and the Paradox of False Belief Understanding

10 minutesSnack Break
16:00 – 17:15 Keynote
Prof. Simone Shamay-Tsoory (University of Haifa)
The Empathic Brain: The Neural Underpinning of Human Empathy

17:15 – 18:15Informal Breakout Sessions

First Conference of the Second Cohort

Recent Debates in Situated Cognition

02 – 03/07/2021, Osnabrück University

First Conference Day: July 2nd 2021

13:00 – 13:15Introduction & Welcome
13:15 – 14:45Keynote Judith Martens (University of Vienna): Situated Agency:
A Threat or Opportunity for Autonomous Agency?
14:45 – 15:15Break
15:15 – 16:30KeynoteAlbert Newen (Ruhr-University Bochum):
Agency, Intentionality and Moral Responsibility
16:30 – 17:00Break
17:00 – 18:30KeynoteChristine Webb (Harvard University):
Agency: Bridging Science and Ethics
19:30Conference Dinner

Second Conference Day: July 3rd 2021

10:00 – 11:30KeynoteJoanna Raczaszek-Leonardi (University of Warsaw):
Felt movement and agency from the point of view of
ecological psychology
11:30 – 11:45Break
11:45 – 13:15KeynoteAnnemarie Kalis (Utrecht University):
Conceptualizing agency for situated cognition
13:15 – 13:30Closing