Sensorimotor Life. An Enactive Proposal (the Book)

Cover image of Sensorimotor Life

It has been some time now since we published this book. At the time I was too busy working at Barcelona City Council and could not publish a post on this blog. It is now time to do so.

Chapters 5 and 6 of the book are based on my PhD thesis and I am proud to see it published within the more ellaborate framework of this book.

From the official summary of the book: “Sensorimotor Life draws on current theoretical developments in the enactive approach to life and mind. It examines and expands the premises of the sciences of the human mind, while developing an alternative picture closer to people’s daily experiences. Enactive ideas are applied and extended, providing a theoretically rich, naturalistic account of meaning and agency. The book includes a dynamical systems description of different types of sensorimotor regularities or sensorimotor contingencies; a dynamical interpretation of Piaget’s theory of equilibration to ground the concept of sensorimotor mastery; and a theory of agency as organized networks of sensorimotor schemes, as well as its implications for embodied subjectivity.”

The book is available online in various formats. You can download a PDF version of “Sensorimotor Life. An Enactive Proposal” here.

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Behavioural Metabolution

Egbert, M. D., Barandiaran, X. E., & Di Paolo, E. A. (2012). Behavioral Metabolution: The Adaptive and Evolutionary Potential of Metabolism-Based Chemotaxis. Artificial Life, 18(1), 1–25. doi:10.1162/artl_a_00047

Again, the result of another fascinating collaboration with Matthew Egbert and Ezequiel Di Paolo: what would happen if early protocells had some capacity to move? We hypothesize that early metabolic evolution might have been bootstrapped throw behaviour generating a phenomenon we have called behavioural metabolution: the push-me pull-you positive feedback effect between behavioural selection of chemical environments and the evolution of metabolic networks that in turn influence behaviour that in turn selects chemical environments. Much more on the paper, download and read it!

A minimal model of metabolism-based chemotaxis

Egbert, M. D., Barandiaran, X. E., & Di Paolo, E. A. (2010). A Minimal Model of Metabolism-Based Chemotaxis. PLoS Comput Biol, 6(12), e1001004.

We present the first model of metabolism-based chemotaxis that accomplishes chemotaxis without transmembrane receptors or signal transduction proteins, through the direct modulation of flagellar rotation by metabolite concentrations. The minimal model recreates chemotactic patterns found in real bacteria, illuminating some previous work metabolism-dependent chemotaxis. A nice example of the inpiration taken from an autonomous perspective on agency, linking metabolism and behaviour.

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COGS Talk: Defining Agency

I gave a COGS Seminar Series talk here at Sussex. The title was “Defining Agency” where I presented the paper with the same title that I wrote together with Ezequiel Di Paolo and Marieke Rohde. I also included an example of the paper presented at ECAL2009 with Matthew Egbert. Thanks to Nicholas Hockins, there is a video of the talk available in Archive:

The video and the presentation slides can be downloaded from Archive or you can directly click on the picture above to download it (I am waiting for Archive to convert it into an online flash player).