Theory of Embodied Cognition

The embodimenbt stance to cognition emphasizes the evolutionary, developmental, and processing continuity between sensorimotor behaviors and cognition. According to this perspective, higher cognition shares with sensorimotor behavior fundamental properties of neural processing such as stability, continuous online coupling across processes, spatial respresentations, and coordinate transforms. 

Dynamic Field Theory (DFT) is a theoretical framework that makes this stance concrete by providing a set of mathematically formalized concepts for understanding cognitive and sensorimotor processing. DFT captures the evolution of activation patterns at the level of neural populations, the level of description of neural networks that relates best to behavior and competence. 

Our research agenda incudes modeling  to account for neural and behavioral data as well as our own experimental program on naturalistic object-oriented movement tasks. 

    2018

  • Sequences of discrete attentional shifts emerge from a neural dynamic architecture for conjunctive visual search that operates in continuous time
    Grieben, R., Tekülve, J., Zibner, S. K. U., Schneegans, S., & Schöner, G.
    In T. T. Rogers, Rau, M., Zhu, X., & Kalish, C. W. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 429–434)
  • Anticipatory coarticulation in non-speeded arm movements can be motor-equivalent, carry-over coarticulation always is
    Hansen, E., Grimme, B., Reimann, H., & Schöner, G.
    Experimental Brain Research
  • A Neural Dynamic Architecture That Autonomously Builds Mental Models
    Kounatidou, P., Richter, M., & Schöner, G.
    In T. T. Rogers, Rau, M., Zhu, X., & Kalish, C. W. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 643–648)
  • 2017

  • A Neural Dynamic Architecture for Reaching and Grasping Integrates Perception and Movement Generation and Enables On-Line Updating
    Knips, G., Zibner, S. K. U., Reimann, H., & Schöner, G.
    Frontiers in Neurorobotics, 11(March), 9:1–14
  • Mouse Tracking Shows Attraction to Alternative Targets While Grounding Spatial Relations
    Lins, J., & Schöner, G.
    In Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society
  • A Neural-Dynamic Architecture for Concurrent Estimation of Object Pose and Identity
    Lomp, O., Faubel, C., & Schöner, G.
    Frontiers in Neurorobotics, 11(April), 23
  • A multi-joint model of quiet , upright stance accounts for the “uncontrolled manifold”-structure of joint variance
    Reimann, H., & Schöner, G.
    Biological Cybernetics, in press
  • A neural dynamic model generates descriptions of object-oriented actions
    Richter, M., Lins, J., & Schöner, G.
    Topics in Cognitive Science, 9(1), 35–47
  • Reaching for objects : a neural process account in a developmental perspective
    Schöner, G., Tekülve, J., & Zibner, S.
    In D. Corbetta & Santello, M. (Eds.), The selection and production of goal-directed behaviors: Neural correlates, development, learning, and modeling of reach-to-grasp movements Taylor & Francis
  • Dynamic Neural Fields with Intrinsic Plasticity
    Strub, C., Schöner, G., Wörgötter, F., & Sandamirskaya, Y.
    Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 11(August), 74
  • 2016

  • Nonlinear dynamics in the perceptual grouping of connected surfaces
    Hock, H. S., & Schöner, G.
    Vision Research, 126, 80–96
  • Developing Dynamic Field Theory Architectures for Embodied Cognitive Systems with cedar
    Lomp, O., Richter, M., Zibner, S. K. U., & Schöner, G.
    Frontiers in Neurorobotics, 10(November), 14
  • Coordination of muscle torques stabilizes upright standing posture: an UCM analysis
    Park, E., Reimann, H., & Schöner, G.
    Experimental Brain Research, 234(6), 1757–1767
  • Separating Timing, Movement Conditions and Individual Differences in the Analysis of Human Movement
    Raket, L. L., Grimme, B., Schöner, G., Igel, C., & Markussen, B.
    PLoS Computational Biology, 12(9), 1–27
  • Temporal asymmetry in dark-bright processing initiates propagating activity across primary visual cortex
    Rekauzke, S., Nortmann, N., Staadt, R., Hock, H. S., Schöner, G., & Jancke, D.
    J Neurosci, 36(6), 1902–1913
  • A neural dynamic model parses object-oriented actions
    Richter, M., Lins, J., & Schöner, G.
    In A. Papafragou, Grodner, D., Mirman, D., & Trueswell, J. C. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1931–1936) Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society
  • A neural process model of learning to sequentially organize and activate pre-reaches
    Tekülve, J., Zibner, S. K. U., & Schöner, G.
    In Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-Epirob), 2016 Joint IEEE International Conferences on
  • 2015

  • Carry-over coarticulation in joint angles
    Hansen, E., Grimme, B., Reimann, H., & Schöner, G.
    Experimental Brain Research, 233(9), 2555–2569
  • Parsing of action sequences: A neural dynamics approach
    Lobato, D., Sandamirskaya, Y., Richter, M., & Schöner, G.
    Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics, 6(1), 119–135
  • Learning the condition of satisfaction of an elementary behavior in dynamic field theory
    Luciw, M., Kazerounian, S., Lahkman, K., Richter, M., & Sandamirskaya, Y.
    Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics, 6(1), 180–190
  • Task-specific stability of abundant systems: Structure of variance and motor equivalence
    Mattos, D., Schöner, G., Zatsiorsky, V. M., & Latash, M. L.
    Neuroscience, 310, 600–615
  • Motor equivalence during multi-finger accurate force production
    Mattos, D., Schöner, G., Zatsiorsky, V. M., & Latash, M. L.
    Experimental Brain Research, 233, 487–502
  • The Dynamics of Neural Activation Variables
    Reimann, H., Lins, J., & Schöner, G.
    Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics, 6(1), 57–70
  • The Neural Dynamics of Goal-Directed Arm Movements: A Developmental Perspective
    Zibner, S. K. U., Tekülve, J., & Schöner, G.
    In Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-Epirob), 2015 Joint IEEE International Conferences on (pp. 154–161)
  • The Sequential Organization of Movement is Critical to the Development of Reaching: A Neural Dynamics Account
    Zibner, S. K. U., Tekülve, J., & Schöner, G.
    In Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-Epirob), 2015 Joint IEEE International Conferences on (pp. 39–46)
  • 2014

  • A comparison between reactive potential fields and Attractor Dynamics
    Hernandes, A. C., Guerrero, H. B., Becker, M., Jokeit, J. -S., & Schöner, G.
    Circuits and Systems (CWCAS), 2014 IEEE 5th Colombian Workshop on
  • A neural dynamics architecture for grasping that integrates perception and movement generation and enables on-line updating
    Knips, G., Zibner, S. K. U., Reimann, H., Popova, I., & Schöner, G.
    In International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) (pp. 646–653)
  • Reaching and grasping novel objects: Using neural dynamics to integrate and organize scene and object perception with movement generation
    Knips, G., Zibner, S. K. U., Reimann, H., Popova, I., & Schöner, G.
    In International Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-EPIROB) (pp. 416–423)
  • Neural Fields
    Lins, J., & Schöner, G.
    In S. Coombes, beim Graben, P., Potthast, R., & , J. W. (Eds.) (pp. 319–339) Springer Berlin Heidelberg
  • Instance-based object recognition with simultaneous pose estimation using keypoint maps and neural dynamics
    Lomp, O., Terzić, K., Faubel, C., du Buf, J. M. H., & Schöner, G.
    In International Conference on Artificial Neural Networks (pp. 451–458) Springer
  • Reinforcement-Driven Shaping of Sequence Learning in Neural Dynamics
    Luciw, M., Kazerounian, S., Sandamirskaya, Y., Schöner, G., & Schmidhuber, J.
    In Simulation of Adaptive Behavior, SAB
  • Change occurs when body meets environment: A review of the embodied nature of development
    Maruyama, S., Dineva, E., Spencer, J. P., & Schöner, G.
    Japanese Psychological Research, 56, 385–401
  • Contrasting accounts of direction and shape perception in short-range motion: Counterchange compared with motion energy detection.
    Norman, J., Hock, H., & Schoner, G.
    Attention, perception & psychophysics, 76, 1350–70
  • A neural dynamics to organize timed movement : Demonstration in a robot ball bouncing task
    Oubbati, F., Richter, M., & Schöner, G.
    In 4th International Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics (pp. 291–298) Palazzo Ducale, Genoa, Italy
  • Autonomous Neural Dynamics to Test Hypotheses in a Model of Spatial Language
    Richter, M., Lins, J., Schneegans, S., Sandamirskaya, Y., & Schöner, G.
    In P. Bello, Guarini, M., McShane, M., & Scassellati, B. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2847–2852) Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society
  • A neural dynamic architecture resolves phrases about spatial relations in visual scenes
    Richter, M., Lins, J., Schneegans, S., & Schöner, G.
    In 24th International Conference on Artificial Neural Networks (ICANN) (pp. 201–208) Heidelberg, Germany: Springer
  • Dynamic interactions between visual working memory and saccade target selection
    Schneegans, S., Spencer, J. P., Schöner, G., Hwang, S., & Hollingworth, A.
    Journal of vision, 14(11), 9
  • Use of the Uncontrolled Manifold (UCM) Approach to Understand MotorVariability, Motor Equivalence, and Self-motion
    Scholz, J. P., & Schöner, G.
    In M. F. Levin (Ed.), Progress in Motor Control (Vol. 826, p. Chapter 7) Springer International Publishing
  • Embodied Cognition, Neural Field Models of
    Schöner, G.
    In Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience (pp. 1084–1092) Springer Berlin Heidelberg
  • Dynamical Systems Thinking: From Metaphor to Neural Theory
    Schöner, G.
    In P. C. M. Molenaar, Lerner, R. M., & Newell, K. M. (Eds.), Handbook of Developmental Systems Theory and Methodology (pp. 188–219) New York, New York, USA: Guilford Publications
  • Coordination Dynamics
    Schöner, G., & Nowak, E.
    In D. Jaeger & Jung, R. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience (pp. 1–3) New York, NY: Springer New York
  • 2013

  • Autonomous robot hitting task using dynamical system approach
    Oubbati, F., Richter, M., & Schöner, G.
    In IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (pp. 4042–4047) IEEE
  • Autonomous Reinforcement of Behavioral Sequences in Neural Dynamics
    Kazerounian, S., Luciw, M., Richter, M., & Sandamirskaya, Y.
    In International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN)
  • A software framework for cognition, embodiment, dynamics, and autonomy in robotics: cedar
    Lomp, O., Zibner, S. K. U., Richter, M., Ranó, I., & Schöner, G.
    In International Conference on Artificial Neural Networks (pp. 475–482) Springer
  • Learning the Perceptual Conditions of Satisfaction of Elementary Behaviors
    Luciw, M., Kazerounian, S., Lakhmann, K., Richter, M., & Sandamirskaya, Y.
    In Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS), Workshop "Active Learning in Robotics: Exploration, Curiosity, and Interaction"
  • Using Dynamic Field Theory to Extend the Embodiment Stance toward Higher Cognition
    Sandamirskaya, Y., Zibner, S. K. U., Schneegans, S., & Schöner, G.
    New Ideas in Psychology, 31(3), 322–339
  • 2012

  • Autonomous reinforcement of behavioral sequences in neural dynamics
    Kazerounian, S., Luciw, M., Sandamirskaya, Y., Richter, M., Schmidhuber, J., & Schöner, G.
    In IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics (Vol. 1, pp. 1–2) Ieee
  • Naturalistic arm movements during obstacle avoidance in 3D and the identification of movement primitives.
    Grimme, B., Lipinski, J., & Schöner, G.
    Experimental brain research, 222(3), 185–200
  • A Dynamic Field Architecture for the Generation of Hierarchically Organized Sequences
    Duran, B., Sandamirskaya, Y., & Schöner, G.
    In A. E. P. Villa, Duch, W., Érdi, P., Masulli, F., & Palm, G. (Eds.), Artificial Neural Networks and Machine Learning – ICANN 2012 (Vol. 7552, pp. 25–32) Springer Berlin Heidelberg
  • Sensorimotor Learning Biases Choice Behavior: A Learning Neural Field Model for Decision Making
    Klaes, C., Schneegans, S., Schöner, G., & Gail, A.
    PLoS computational biology, 8(11), e1002774
  • The Function and Fallibility of Visual Feature Integration: A Dynamic Neural Field Model of Illusory Conjunctions
    Lins, J., Schneegans, S., Spencer, J., & Schöner, G.
    Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, (128)
  • A Neuro-Behavioral Model of Flexible Spatial Language Behaviors
    Lipinski, J., Schneegans, S., Sandamirskaya, Y., Spencer, J. P., & Schöner, G.
    Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition., 38(6), 1490–1511
  • Functional synergies underlying control of upright posture during changes in head orientation
    Park, E., Schöner, G., & Scholz, J. P.
    PLoS ONE, 7(8), 1–12
  • A robotic architecture for action selection and behavioral organization inspired by human cognition
    Richter, M., Sandamirskaya, Y., & Schöner, G.
    In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS
  • A neural mechanism for coordinate transformation predicts pre-saccadic remapping
    Schneegans, S., & Schöner, G.
    Biological cybernetics, 106(2), 89–109
  • How visual information links to multijoint coordination during quiet standing
    Scholz, J. P., Park, E., Jeka, J. J., Schöner, G., & Kiemel, T.
    Experimental Brain Research, 222, 229–239
  • A neural-dynamic architecture for flexible spatial language: intrinsic frames, the term “between”, and autonomy
    van Hengel, U., Sandamirskaya, Y., Schneegans, S., & Schöner, G.
    In 21st IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (Ro-Man) 2012 (pp. 150–157)
  • 2011

  • The temporal dynamics of global-to-local feedback in the formation of hierarchical motion patterns: psychophysics and computational simulations.
    Hock, H. S., Schöner, G., Brownlow, S., & Taler, D.
    Attention, perception & psychophysics, 73(4), 1171–94
  • Limb versus speech motor control: a conceptual review.
    Grimme, B., Fuchs, S., Perrier, P., & Schöner, G.
    Motor control, 15(1), 5–33
  • Autonomous movement generation for manipulators with multiple simultaneous constraints using the attractor dynamics approach
    Reimann, H., Iossifidis, I., & Schöner, G.
    In 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA2011
  • A neural-dynamic architecture for behavioral organization of an embodied agent
    Sandamirskaya, Y., Richter, M., & Schöner, G.
    In IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL EPIROB 2011) (pp. 1–7)
  • Motor equivalence and self-motion induced by different movement speeds
    Scholz, J. P., Dwight-Higgin, T., Lynch, J. E., Tseng, Y. -W., Martin, V., & Schöner, G.
    Experimental Brain Research, 209(3), 319–332
  • Dynamic Neural Fields as Building Blocks of a Cortex-Inspired Architecture for Robotic Scene Representation
    Zibner, S. K. U., Faubel, C., Iossifidis, I., & Schöner, G.
    IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development, 3(1), 74–91
  • Making a robotic scene representation accessible to feature and label queries
    Zibner, S. K. U., Faubel, C., & Schöner, G.
    In Proceedings of the First Joint IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL EPIROB 2011)
  • 2010

  • Motor Abundance Contributes to Resolving Multiple Kinematic Task Constraints
    Gera, G., Freitas, S., Latash, M., Monahan, K., Schöner, G., & Scholz, J.
    Motor Control, 14, 83–115
  • Measuring Perceptual Hysteresis with the Modified Method of Limits: Dynamics at the Threshold
    Hock, H. S., & Schöner, G.
    Seeing and Perceiving, 23, 173–195
  • Motor control theories and their applications
    Latash, M., Levin, M. F., Scholz, J. P., & Schöner, G.
    Medicina (Kaunas), 29(6), 997–1003
  • Natural human-robot interaction through spatial language: a dynamic neural fields approach
    Sandamirskaya, Y., Lipinski, J., Iossifidis, I., & Schöner, G.
    In 19th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, RO-MAN (pp. 600–607) Viareggio, Italy
  • An embodied account of serial order: how instabilities drive sequence generation
    Sandamirskaya, Y., & Schöner, G.
    Neural Networks, 23(10), 1164–1179
  • Serial order in an acting system: a multidimensional dynamic neural fields implementation
    Sandamirskaya, Y., & Schöner, G.
    In Development and Learning, 2010. ICDL 2010. 9th IEEE International Conference on
  • Scene Representation for Anthropomorphic Robots: A Dynamic Neural Field Approach
    Zibner, S. K. U., Faubel, C., Iossifidis, I., & Schöner, G.
    In ISR / ROBOTIK 2010 Munich, Germany
  • Scenes and tracking with dynamic neural fields: How to update a robotic scene representation
    Zibner, S. K. U., Faubel, C., Iossifidis, I., Schöner, G., & Spencer, J. P.
    In Development and Learning (ICDL), 2010 IEEE 9th International Conference on (pp. 244–250) IEEE
  • 2009

  • A layered neural architecture for the consolidation, maintenance, and updating of representations in visual working memory.
    Johnson, J. S., Spencer, J. P., & Schöner, G.
    Brain research, 1299, 17–32
  • A layered neural architecture for the consolidation, maintenance, and updating of representations in visual working memory.
    Johnson, J. S., Spencer, J. P., & Schöner, G.
    Brain research, 1299, 17–32
  • A counterchange mechanism for the perception of motion.
    Hock, H. S., Schöner, G., & Gilroy, L.
    Acta psychologica, 132(1), 1–21
  • Swing it to the Left, Swing it to the Right: Enacting Flexible Spatial Language Using a Neurodynamic Framework
    Lipinski, J., Sandamirskaya, Y., & Schöner, G.
    Cognitive Neurodynamics, 3(4)
  • An Integrative Framework for Spatial Language and Color: Robotic Demonstrations Using the Dynamic Field Theory.
    Lipinski, J., Sandamirskaya, Y., & Schöner, G.
    In 31th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2009 Amstredam, NL
  • Behaviorally Flexible Spatial Communication: Robotic Demonstrations of a Neurodynamic Framework
    Lipinski, J., Sandamirskaya, Y., & Schöner, G.
    In B. Mertsching, Hund, M., & Z., A. (Eds.), KI 2009, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (Vol. 5803, pp. 257–264) Berlin: Springer-Verlag
  • Redundancy, self-motion and motor control
    Martin, V., Scholz, J. P., & Schöner, G.
    Neural Computation, 21(5), 1371–1414
  • Temporal stabilization of discrete movement in variable environments: an attractor dynamics approach
    Tuma, M., Iossifidis, I., & Schöner, G.
    In IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) (pp. 863–868)
  • 2008

  • Dynamic Field Theory as a framework for understanding embodied cognition
    Schneegans, S., & Schöner, G.
    In P. Calvo & Gomila, T. (Eds.), Handbook of cognitive science: An embodied approach (pp. 241–271) Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier
  • 2004

  • Shorter latencies for motion trajectories than for flashes in population responses of cat primary visual cortex
    Jancke, D., Erlhagen, W., Schöner, G., & Dinse, H. R.
    The Journal of Physiology, 556(3), 971–982
  • 2002

  • Timing, Clocks, and Dynamical Systems
    Schöner, G.
    Brain and Cognition, 48, 31–51
  • 1999

  • The distribution of neuronal population activation (DPA) as a tool to study interaction and integration in cortical representations
    Erlhagen, W., Bastian, A., Jancke, D., Riehle, A., & Schöner, G.
    Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 94(1), 53–66
  • Parametric population representation of retinal location: Neuronal interaction dynamics in cat primary visual cortex
    Jancke, D., Erlhagen, W., Dinse, H. R., Akhavan, A. C., Giese, M., Steinhage, A., & Schöner, G.
    J Neurosci, 19(20), 9016–9028
  • 1995

  • Dynamics of behavior: Theory and applications for autonomous robot architectures
    Schöner, G., Dose, M., & Engels, C.
    Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 16, 213–245
  • 1986

  • A stochastic theory of phase transitions in human hand movement
    Schöner, G., Haken, H., & Kelso, J. A. S.
    Biological Cybernetics, 53, 247–257

    2018

  • A neural dynamic model for the perceptual grounding of spatial and movement relations
    Richter, M.
    Doctoral thesis, Fakultät für Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • 2017

  • Koartikulation bei menschlichen Armbewegungen
    Hansen, E.
    Doctoral thesis, Fakultät für Biologie und Biotechnologie, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • 2014

  • Nachweis und Analyse elementarer Invarianten als Bausteine menschlicher Armbewegungen
    Gimme, B.
    Doctoral thesis, Fakultät für Biologie und Biotechnologie Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • Dynamic Field Theory of Visuospatial Cognition
    Schneegans, S.
    Doctoral thesis, Fakultät Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • 2013

  • Principles of selective stabilization in high-dimensional state spaces: statistical concepts, dynamic modeling and robotics
    Reimann, H.
    Doctoral thesis, Fakutlät f¨ür Mathematik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

The Institut für Neuroinformatik (INI) is a central research unit of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. We aim to understand the fundamental principles through which organisms generate behavior and cognition while linked to their environments through sensory systems and while acting in those environments through effector systems. Inspired by our insights into such natural cognitive systems, we seek new solutions to problems of information processing in artificial cognitive systems. We draw from a variety of disciplines that include experimental approaches from psychology and neurophysiology as well as theoretical approaches from physics, mathematics, electrical engineering and applied computer science.

Universitätsstr. 150, Building NB, Room 3/32
D-44801 Bochum, Germany

Tel: (+49) 234 32-28967
Fax: (+49) 234 32-14210