Register For Psychfest Keynotes 2022!

Register for Psychfest Keynotes 2022


Invited Keynote Speakers

Distributed cognition as a means of re-defining relationships with each other and the living world

Engaging psychology

Dr. Hanne De Jaegher  University of the Basque Country  Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies Visiting Scholar

Our relations and interactions with each other and with the world are messy, complex, and ambiguous. Things matter to us, and the interactions we engage in can take us up in unexpected ways. In this talk, I will introduce some basic concepts for how to understand cognition as interacting-with-care (that is: the enactive approach to cognition). Then, we’ll go into what this starting point implies for doing psychology research, and whether it might help in making humans’ interactions — with each other, with the living world — better while doing so. If there is time, I’ll present some tentative results from a recent experiment into the experiential dynamics of interacting with each other across differences, and what this can contribute to EDI implementation (i.e. the nitty-gritty of working towards social justice).

Cognitive lens or anthropomorphic mirror: sense-making in the natural world

Dr. Theo Rosenfeld  Stenberg College and Wildwood Ecology Labs

Fungus, plants, even bacteria also sense and respond to their environment. Like animals, they face pressure to navigate the world in a way that helps them acquire goods and avoid bads  – pressure to make sense out of the world they perceive. Applying a “cognitive lens” to problem solving and communication in the biological world offers several avenues of inquiry. What can be learned by investigating non-neural solutions to cognition? How are we, as human animals, affected by the invisible ecology of signalling molecules we are embedded within? And, can this lens help us as individuals more meaningfully engage with the natural world?  In this talk, I introduce plant and microbial communication/cognition as windows into the biological processes that nervous systems evolved to optimise, then draw a connection between the signalling necessary for symbiosis and the human social experience of compassion. This will turn on an operational definition of empathy from psychiatric nursing which frames it as basically warm communication.