CogSci 2017: London

July 26 – July 29th, 2017



The conference workshop program provides an opportunity for in-depth discussion on a specific topic important to cognitive science. The workshops will be held the day before the main conference, on July 26, 2017. The location will be the same as the main conference.


Citizen Science, Gamification, and Virtual Reality for Cognitive Research

Full day (9am – 4pm)

Jana Jarecki

Citizen science – volunteers all around the world generating data to address scientific problems – recently led to breakthroughs in astronomy, chemistry, quantum physics, and other natural sciences. Typically, citizen science involves volunteers playing online games while unknowingly solving real scientific problems. There are two ways that citizen science can benefit cognitive research – either indirectly or directly. Indirect benefits occur when volunteers implicitly solve computationally hard research problems disguised behind an appealing game font-end; for example, optimization problems or optimal experimental design problems. Direct benefits occur when players solve experimental tasks analogous to laboratory paradigms with the key benefit that online games are easily accessible for a diverse international subject pool. What’s more is that the data from existing citizen science projects already provide a rich database (usually from naturalistic semi-controlled settings) for cognitive scientists researching attention, memory, learning, decision making, and other problem solving skills. For example, one citizen science project involved a classification task with galaxy shapes.


Cooperative Social Intelligence: Understanding and Acting with Others

Full day (9am – 4pm)

Max Kleiman-Weiner, Yibiao Zhao, Josh Tenenbaum

This workshop will focus on the social intelligence with a specific focus on cooperation, theory-of-mind and social learning. There is more content here than could ever be covered in a single day workshop. With the diverse set of speakers who have already expressed commitment we anticipate these three themes will allow for connections to be made between developmental psychologists, cognitive scientists and artificial intelligence and robotics researchers. Please see the workshop website for more details:


The Fine Art of Conversation

Full day (9am – 4pm)

Saul Albert, Claude Heath, Patrick Healey

The starting points for this workshop are the many ways in which conversation has been depicted in fine art.  With some notable exceptions (e.g. Hogarth and Daumier) paintings that feature engaged interactions as their principal subject are surprisingly rare given how often human figures are depicted.  The choices artists make when representing conversation, and the methods of production they use, embody assumptions about what communication is and how it works.  This workshop will juxtapose those choices with the choices made by researchers of human interaction whose representations and methods of production also situate, filter and abstract conversation.  We aim to build an annotated collection of images of conversation drawn from fine art and interaction research; survey the ways in which engaged conversations are (and are not) depicted, to explore the use of drawing and other methods of production as forms of analysis, and to identify historical trends in our formal and informal ideas about the nature of human communication. Participants will be asked to engage in a series of practical workshop activities and discussions which will explore their approaches to this issue. Please see the workshop website for more details:


The Computational Foundations of Religious Cognition: A Workshop Hosted by the International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion (IACSR)

Half day (Morning, 9am – 12pm)

Ann Taves, Dimitris Xygalatas, John Shaver

Religion is of global significance, and its study requires explanations from cognitive science. Currently, the cognitive science of religion consists of researchers working in an array of disciplines, employing diverse methods, including, among others: experimental research and modelling in psychology and neuroscience, and historical, archaeological, and comparative studies of religious cognition in anthropology and religious studies. The International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion (IACSR) seeks to advance the naturalistic and cognitive study of religion by providing settings for productive dialogue across disciplinary boundaries and methodological approaches. This half-day workshop, organized by the IACSR, has three complementary goals: 1) to expose attendees to diverse methodologies for studying the computational foundations of religious cognition, 2) to provide a forum for researchers to present recent empirical findings that bear on our understanding of religious cognition, and 3) to foster new research collaborations.


Deep Learning in Computational Cognitive Science

Half day (Afternoon, 1-4pm)

Ilker Yildirim, Josh Tenenbaum, Kelsey Allen

A new generation of deep neural network architectures has driven rapid advances in AI over the last ten years. These architectures include convolutional neural networks (CNNs), recurrent neural networks (RNNs), and many variants and extensions. Computational cognitive scientists and neuroscientists have now begun to explore these techniques, and how they might combine with other computational tools such as Bayesian models, symbolic grammars and rule-systems, probabilistic programs, and reinforcement learning. The goal of this workshop is to bring together some of the leading researchers working at this interface, for short talks and an integrative discussion of open questions and promising directions.


Bridging the Gap: Is Logic and Automated Reasoning a Foundation for Human Reasoning?

Half day (Morning, 9am – 12pm)

Ulrich Furbach, Steffen Holldobler, Marco Ragni, Claudia Schon

Reasoning is a core ability in human cognition. Its power lies in the ability to theorize about the environment, to make implicit knowledge explicit, to generalize given knowledge and to gain new insights. It is a well researched topic in cognitive psychology and cognitive science and over the past decade impressive results have been achieved.


Building Bridges from (Ivory) Towers: Combining Academia and Industry for Cognitive Research

Half day (Afternoon, 1- 4pm)

Katherine Livins, Jay Martin

This half-day workshop will discuss how research can be enriched by marrying academic and industry-based work. Attendees will learn the theoretical, practical, and logistical complexities involved in advancing cognitive science across these distinct research sites. Speakers include: David Landy, Robert Rauschenberger, Nick Gaylord, and Noah Goodman.