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Book of Abstracts

Federica Abramo

University of Catania
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Embodying Digital Tools? How to Enhance Cognition within Computer Supported Collaborative Learning.

The presentation explores how the integration of CSCL and digital tools can create a powerful environment with enriching learning experiences that enhance cognitive processes. Embodied cognition, which emphasizes the interplay between the body, mind, and environment in learning, offers a valuable framework for understanding and improving digital learning experiences. By incorporating physical interactions and sensory engagement, embodied learning can address the limitations of traditional, disembodied digital education methods. Virtual spaces can create a shared digital environment where participants co-inhabit and engage in collaborative activities that require coordinated physical actions, fostering a sense of shared presence and embodiment. This happens because physical computing toolkits can promote collaborative learning by engendering embodied interactions, such as showing, sharing, and contesting. An example could be the use of gamification tools, such as an escape room, where students have to find the solution both online cooperating, as well as in their physical environment.

Ana Margarida Abrantes
Faculdade de Ciências Humanas | Universidade Católica Portuguesa
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No body, never mind? Embodiment constraints and the experience of empathy in Jan Koneffke’s Die Tsantsa-Memoiren

Cognitive-informed literary scholarship has claimed the experience of embodied interaction with the physical and the social world as the basis for human thought and for the engagement with fiction: “We read with our bodies” (Caracciolo and Kukkonen 2021), and in engaging with a narrative we “fully deploy our ES [embodied simulation] resources with the narrated characters, thus generating a powerful feeling of body.” (Gallese 2011, 199).
However, how do engage bodily with certain elements of narrative that are openly deviant of an embodied condition, such as the disembodied narrating voice of an omniscient narrator, the human-like experience of a fabulistic animal or inanimate object, or even the agency of digital culture? And how does a reader engage in embodied simulation with a character and narrator who explicitly has no body, as is the case of the protagonist of Jan Koneffke’s Die Tsantsa-Memoiren, a shrunken head who navigates two centuries of European and colonial history?
We propose to analyse Koneffke’s work from the angle of embodied literary scholarship, to explore how despite the overt absence of a body, the protagonist triggers an empathetic response, prompted by the language of literature and the narrative techniques that speak to our existential being in the world. Tsantsa’s bodiless condition pushes imagination, opening the novel to readings as diverse as humoristic appraisal or symbolic consideration of cruel colonial dominance, all based on the tacit assumption that the body is fundamental to experience, directly lived or narratively imagined.

Marie Adamova
Institute for Research into and Study of Authorial Acting,
Academy of Performing Arts, Prague, Czech Republic
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Evolutionary Kinesiology and Acting: Shaking Off Emotions

It is commonly known that emotions are, in longer term, shaping our bodies. That there is a partly individual all-body neuromuscular pattern/scheme of every emotion and mood. This knowledge is widely used in acting and performative activities in general - for example as psychological gesture in Michael Chekhov technique.
An actress embodies multiple characters in a longer time period, during which she gathers more and more emotional body patterns – all over layered and intertwined in her body. That neuromuscular burden can affect her real-life emotions.
Whole process and certain patterns are inspected and described in the Czech school of Evolutionary Kinesiology – work of prof. MUDr. Václav Vojta (The Vojta Method), doc. MUDr.  František Véle CSc., Mgr. Jiří Čumpelík Ph. D. etc.
In my conference paper I will shortly articulate the whole problem of layering emotions in an actor's body and offer a solution in a series of exercises based on neurological and evolutionary kinesiology research in the Czech Republic.
To be able to understand and at least partly clear emotional clutter in an actor's body can significantly help both actor’s education and praxis.

Serena Allegra
Università degli Studi di Milano
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Emotional bodies extend through music
(and Gregorio Magno and Monteverdi already knew it)

Human beings are able to create their own cognitive niches by coupling with the environment, modifying it to receive retroactive feedback, and co-evolving with it as a complex system. In everyday life, we act as cognitive bodies in a constant engagement with other cognitive bodies and environments, but we also act as emotional bodies, since emotions are qualities of interaction with natural and social environments (Dewey 1894). In this sense, it’s possible to say that -as human beings- we also have to deal with emotions in an ongoing loop that involves bodies, environments and emotions themselves. As cognitive and emotional bodies, we can create our affective niche and incorporate affective scaffolding such as music (Colombetti 2013; Krueger 2019). Indeed, music can be seen as a way to extend ourselves in a multimodal way, i.e. cognitively and emotionally, since musical synergy implies at least a lack of indifference (van der Schyff 2022). Furthermore, a very complex loop takes place during the musical performance, resulting from the continuous coupling and interaction of the musicians with their musical instruments, with other musicians, with the audience and even with the composer (whose emotions coexist with those of the musicians). This is something that ancient composers were also aware of (or at least used more or less consciously): we can find evidence of it in Ethos Theory, or in Monteverdi’s Seconda Pratica (Affect Theory), or even in the institution of Gregorian chant.

Naji Al Omleh
University of Genova
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Exploring Forms, Characteristics, and Aesthetic Dimension of Literary Narratives through Reader Responses to ‘La Madre’. An experimental Analysis Model

This contribution focuses on literary narratives that omit significant facts crucial for the understanding of the story. The use of implicit elements within a text can complicate its spontaneous comprehension by the reader and can lead the latter to consider different solutions and choose the most suitable one. This situation can have effects on the reader which are similar to visual ambiguity: coexisting and contradictory interpretations can be associated with the same semiotic system (Zeki 2004).
Within the field of narration, recognizing multiple interpretations can be understood as due to the coexistence of possible narrative worlds that arise from the interaction between explicit, implicit, and gaps (Doležel 1998). Inferences shape the implicit using situation models that dynamically construct the narrative world through a coherent representation of textual information (Dijk and Kintsch 1983).
When coexistence occurs, the reader resolves this ambiguity by choosing a narrative world and by building a coherent representation of situational models that would otherwise not be coherent.
This choice is determined by reflective processes, which can be explained as an attempt of the reader to resolve the defamiliarization that arise from textual foregrounding devices (Miall and Kuiken 1994; Gambino et al. 2020).
Various empirical studies have suggested that foregrounding devices increase the emotional salience and the aesthetic appreciation of literary texts (Van Peer et al. 2021). Therefore, the analysis of the reader's choice provides insights into the aesthetic and emotional dimension of his experience.
‘La Madre’ by Ágota Kristóf will be used as a representative short story to illustrate an experimental analysis model that studies whether and how reading responses resolve the ambiguity posed by the text.

Dora Anastasi
Università degli studi di Milano
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The Embodied Architectural Journey: Navigating Emotional Resonance from Vitruvius to Contemporary Neuroscience

In recent years, the renewed interest of cognitive sciences and neuroscience in architecture has been driven by the pursuit of a deeper understanding of how physical environments influence individuals' cognitive performance and emotions. This approach has been mediated by phenomenological intervention, which emphasises the importance of the embodied component in the experience of architectural spaces. In other words, the user can only feel comfortable through a sensation of reflection with the environment that surrounds them, hosts them, and within which they feel embraced. The agency of architectural artwork emerges as a necessary formula for redefining the concept of "multimodal" in the experience of art in general, which could enrich the idea of an integrated and comprehensive architectural experience.
Regarding the emotional component that the architectural environment evokes in its users, I will offer a retrospective on architectural treatises confirming that architecture has always been the stage for human emotions, both because it hosts them (architecture for a body) and because, from its beginnings, architecture embodies and projects in an anthropometric sense the structural qualities of the individual (architecture as a body). Therefore, I will propose a reinterpretation of the foundational notions of embodied architecture based on pioneering architectural treatises by Vitruvius, Leon Battista Alberti, and Filarete to demonstrate how emotions not only inspire the creative thinking of the architect but also guide the emotional journey of the user within the architectural environment.

Rodoniki Athanasiadou
Rockefeller University
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Esthetics of Inquiry and their Applications in AI

The seemingly sudden introduction of advanced AI models as accessible aids in everyday tasks since 2020 (GPT–3) has captured the imagination of the public, sparked new commercial activities, and reignited the debate regarding AI use and safety. In performance art, it has enabled interesting avenues of experimenting with AI: from AI-generated improvisations and AI playwrights, to AI-reliant stage narratives, and performance itself through generative images projected as holograms. My work on the 2023 production of “Zebra 2.0” focused on bringing to ‘life’ the mathematical ways AI ‘thinks’ through symbolic visualizations of AI analyses that were used with projection mapping technology to build context cues and complement the minimal stage design. In contrast to embracing the non–human nature of AI in Zebra 2.0, in my upcoming paper in the issue “On Breath” of Performance Research the goal has been to theorize on how to humanize an AI performer. In all cases, my focus is on bridging the ‘behind the scenes’ AI processes with the audience’s existing frames of reference avoiding oversimplifications and humanizing stereotypes.

Daria Baryshnikova
RWTH Aachen
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Enacting Grief in The Unfortunates (1969) by B.S. Johnson:
Recurring Circles of Reflective Memory

One of the most troubling questions B.S. Johnson (1933-1973) was obsessed with as a writer was: how to convey emotional truth in a novel. The Unfortunates, an experimental novel in a box, is aimed to render the narrator's loss of a close friend. Concurrently, Johnson sought to reinvent the novel, a genre that was formally exhausted, with formulas and cliches which, for Johnson, did not work anymore. This paper focuses on the literary presentation of emotions in The Unfortunates. Through the close reading of the novel, I argue that Johnson constructs the effect of emotional experiences through perceptual concreteness of sensory and imaginative impressions. I analyse how B.S. Johnson draws attention to the specifics of emotional experiences and maps the inconceivable: trauma, grief and mourning. Johnson’s approach to the representation of these processes is contextualized within the framework of embodied and enactive approaches to emotions (Damasio 2000; Colombetti 2013) and cognitive narratology (Hogan 2011; Caracciolo and Kukkonen 2021). For Johnson, the truth was not so much in the depiction of events or in metafictional defamiliarizing comments, but in the form itself. The ‘true’ story in The Unfortunates is constructed through the embodied engagements and actions the narrator performs. I will argue that Johnson’s aim in the novel besides the declared: “to show how the mind works”, was to suggest readers to share an experience of a loss. Based on cues provided by the text, readers can reconstruct perceptual and emotional experiences of the narrator.

Douglas Basford
University at Buffalo, SUNY
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Not Off in Their Own Little World: Neurodivergence, Emotion, and Climate Fiction

Recent discussions of emotions and distressed feelings that people might, do, or should experience while thinking about climate change—from solastalgia (Albrecht 2007) to Pre- Traumatic Stress Syndrome (Kaplan 2020), from mourning and melancholy (Willox 2012) to “white-hot rage” (Marris 2022)—predominantly imply a normative individual with a stable affective range. A rich, but non-unproblematic source of representations of neurodivergent experiences in relation to the Anthropocene can be found in a subset of contemporary fiction labelled the “neuronovel” (Roth 2009). Following the lead of Terrell Tebbetts (2016), who gives the name “prodigies of perception” to the preternatural sensitivities of William Faulkner’s Benjy Compson and of a hydrocephalic, disabled child in Jayne Anne Phillips’s Lark and Termite (2009), this paper traces the environmentally embedded emotions of characters beset with a number of conditions: Capgras, the lack of emotional response to a loved one such that they appear to be an imposter, as in Richard Powers’s The Echo Maker (2005) and Rivka Galchen’s Atmospheric Disturbances (2008), where, respectively, a sandhill crane refuge and feverishly imagined meteorology prominently figure; Asperger’s in an adolescent who can hear plants dying in Jodi Picoult’s House Rules (2010); and paranoid schizophrenia in John Wray’s Lowboy (2009), whose young protagonist’s exasperation with the adult world’s inaction leads him to try to save the world. How do concepts of emotion change when we confront neurological otherness that is embodied and embedded in natureculture? Are we invited to identify with these characters’ feelings with the hope of overcoming our indifference?
Adriana Bermejo Lozano
University of Alicante
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In Praise of the Visceral. Disgust as an Experience of Cognitive Tension in Poetry:
Enaction and Embodiment in the Aesthetic Experience of a Mixed Affect

This paper proposes to reevaluate the central role of disgust in the aesthetic experience and its connection with pleasure and beauty. Since Kant and the German Enlightenment, disgust has been regarded as the sole emotion excluded from the artistic realm under the so-called “thesis of transparency,” which posits it as an exceptional affect incapable of mimetic transformation. This notion has persisted in contemporary aesthetic discourse (Talon-Hugon, 2003; Korsmeyer, 2011) but has recently come under scrutiny (Contesi, 2017). Building on Contesi's work, this paper explores how poetic language imposes a series of characteristics that allow for a distance from representations of disgust. Thus, poetic language enacts a reality that enables access to a repulsive experience that, in a factual context, would be rejected. Nevertheless, disgust in poetry is never completely diminished. The subject generates, in the mixed dynamic of fascination and repulsion that characterises disgust, an enactive and embodied aesthetic experience of struggle with oneself and with the environment that takes place in poetic language. The aesthetic experience of disgust is based on this cognitive (as well as affective) tension. This echoes contemporary visions on beauty as a mixed emotional experience (Gadamer, 1991; Byung-Chul Han, 2015).  In conclusion, the mixed nature of disgust provides a way to challenge the historical “thesis of transparency” and, consequently, to associate disgust with pleasure. Moreover, this would open up new possibilities to reconsider it as a fundamental emotion in contemporary aesthetic discourse, given the immense potential of commotion it embodies.
Marco Bernini
Durham University UK
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Soundtracking the Self: Musical Layering and Emotional Narrativity
The transition from vocal to silent reading has been famously described by Augustine as a phenomenological shift in human relationships with written words and worlds. Centuries later, the introduction of portable music devices inaugurated a similar transition from social listening to individualized musical fruition and immersion through headphones. From the invention of portable cassette players in the late 1970s to CD players in the 90s and today's music streaming, human beings have been able to add layers of music to their lives while on the move and still immersed in social and environmental actions and perceptions. This paper will discuss this practice of ‘musical layering’ and the ‘soundtracking of the self’ with a specific focus on emotional cognition and emotions’ narrative texture (or lack of).  What does musical layering add to our perception of places? What is leaking or layering from a song’s reality into the user’s world? Is musical layering tied to a permeability of words, worlds, characters, or even narrators? How does musical layering relate to the human narrative sense of self? These are among the questions that the paper will address while investigating the practice of musical layering in people’s everyday cognition. It will compare musical layering to augmented reality technologies that allow convergence, coexistence, and coalescence between different worlds and perceptions. Building on views of emotions as complex embodied states (Colombetti), it will also argue that music modulates emotions by projecting narrative attractors over affective trajectories (ie, equalizing what I call ‘emotional narrativity’).

Rhonda Blair
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX
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Emotion in the Theatre History Class

“Emotion” has multiple definitions. For this paper, I focus on how to move and engage students, getting them to feel something and connect to our work in a Theatre History class for BFA students, whose work is fundamentally embodied, embedded, extended, and enacted. They must understand course "content" not just as abstract facts or data, but as something to experience in a way that allows them to connect it to themselves as young theatre artists, and, ideally, as citizens. I use principles from 4E cognition, enactivism, situated and embodied cognition, and cognitive ecologies to devise and clarify multimodal practices for theatre and teaching, to engage students emotionally and vitally; theatre teachers and practitioners intuitively know we are whole/ holistic beings, in which cognition can’t be separated from emotion/ thought/ language/ action/ environment/ each other. I will focus on one major assignment for a history class that covers roughly 1700 onward. I will pay particular attention to enactivism – how cognition rises from the dynamic interaction between an organism and its environment, in which the respective elements affect and change each other – and draw on the work of Gallagher, Damasio, Di Paolo, Cuffari, and Jaegher, among others. I will consider how we might get students to care about material seemingly foreign or abstract to them – how we can make the material both be and feel closer to them, emotionally and affectively, in a way that allows them to use it more powerfully.

Anna Bonifazi
University of Cologne
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 “Design for Terror” in Oral Traditions: a Cognitive Approach  

The paper explores the body-and-mind experiential basis (in Pelkey’s terms, 2023) of the direct relation between visual zooming-in/close-ups and strong emotional responses in oral/orally-based traditions.
The starting point is an observation by Alain Renoir in his article “Point of view and design for terror in Beowulf” (1962). According to Renoir, what prompts terror when Grendel’s approach to Heorot is described (Beowulf 702b-721a) is the use of the verb “to come” reflecting the viewpoint of the prospective victims, which the audience adopts.  
The paper offers parallels in other oral traditions. Examples are taken from the Serbocroatian tradition, the Homeric epic, Grimm’s folktales, and Georgian folktales. They include moments in which terrifying characters approach prospective or potential victims (e.g. Osman approaching Mujo in Halil Hrnjičić and Miloš the Highwayman; the view of Achilles getting near from Priam’s perspective in Iliad 22; the appearance of a devi to terrified men ploughing the ground in Asphurtzela) as well as moments in which terror is implicitly or explicitly evoked by the zooming-in on visual details (such as the body parts of the wolf/grandma zoomed-in in Little Red Riding Hood).  
The paper then offers theoretical suggestions about a) minimal criteria for the design for terror in oral traditions to be tested in future research; b) the cognitive role of visual imagery and joint viewpoint in connection to terror responses; c) the cognitive relevance of the deictic value of “to come” based on previous discussions (Fillmore 1973 and Nikiforidou 2016).  

Annika Boholm, Kersti Grunditz Brennan
Stockholm University of the Arts
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Creating The Sisters B: Building a Film Narrative starting from 5E Cognition.

Performance presentation illuminating the value of articulating 5E cognition in cinematic practice. The presented artistic research project The Sisters B. activates emotional connection with loss and conditions for creativity through an embodied, embedded, enacted, extended conversation with the composers Lili (1893-1918) and Nadia (1887-1979) Boulanger, filmed at the Bergman Estate.
Cinematic practice often obscures the consequences of its production and narratives. By articulating the entanglement of cognitive processes at work in the intersection of content, modes of production, collaborative structures, aesthetics, and spectatorship, this presentation proposes methods to unearth hidden relations between how film is made and what it does.
The research is undertaken by combining two seemingly contradictory perspectives: The Montage perspective as one of critical distance achieved through collision and juxtaposition of contrasting elements, inviting complexity, and shocking audience into active co-creation, allowing friction into diverse collaborative structures. The Embodied perspective understood as acting on and through environment and bodies, including but not limited to human bodies, cinematic expression that is continuous, adhering to biological processes and laws of physics, allowing engagement in story and characters on emotional levels.
The Sisters B. is an exploration of how to share experiences across time – on an emotional and physical level. It probes moments which hold potential for connection, understanding, and dialogue through 5E cognition. The presentation will include film excerpts that exemplify the researchers’ long experience with emotional cognition as an articulated and intrinsic part of collaborative and creative processes.


Salvatore Calcagno, Daniela Giordano
University of Catania
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Decoding the Harmony of Emotions:  Unravelling Emotional Neural Dynamics
through EEG and AI.

Emotions play a pivotal role in cognitive processes, influencing decision-making and interpersonal relations. Affective Computing, leveraging Artificial Intelligence, seeks to expand our understanding of emotions by constructing models for recognizing and expressing them. In this paper we investigate the intricate relationship between cognitive processes during music listening and emotional experiences, by exploring neural activation through EEG acquisition.
34 subjects were asked to choose music from Spotify to evoke specific emotions. EEG data were collected while subjects listened to self-chosen or peer-selected musical excerpts, and emotions were self-assessed using the Geneva Emotion Wheel. Analysis of the self-assessment scores to investigate consistency of emotional response across different subjects during listening activity point to an interesting pattern involving two constructs that we define as “Expressiveness” and “Empathy”, indicative, respectively, of subjects' ability to convey and recognize emotions. Collected EEG data provided insights into the neural underpinnings of emotional experiences: patterns of neural activation, distinct for emotions of varying valence and dominance levels, were observed.
Extensive experiments were conducted to validate the AI model trained to detect discriminative features in the data. The results suggest that distinguishing valence is more achievable than dominance, yet all metrics surpass random benchmark performance. Although there is room for improvement, the findings indicate promising prospects for utilising this type of data and approach to enhance our understanding of emotional responses. Lastly, we delve into some reflections about the implications of our findings for the transition from 4E to 5E cognition.

Elisabetta Canepa
University of Genoa
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Feeling and Remembering Architecture: How Embodied Atmospheres Amplify Emotions and Prime Memories, Illustrated through the Baroque Spaces and the 20th-Century Exhibition Design of Palazzo Rosso in Genoa

What makes a space memorable is a crucial question for designers. The most influential theories of human memory posit only consciously grasped information can be recalled later.[1] If we do not linger on our surroundings’ details, we cannot remember them, regardless of their salience. Multiple factors (e.g., biological, psychological, sociocultural, and situational) interplay at different levels and timescales to affect our experience of architecture, generally lived in a state of distracted reception.[2]
Architects have two primary strategies to make a space memorable: conceiving an extraordinary project that is perceptually impressive or providing ordinary solutions enacted as memorable through our experiences, whether they occur habitually or occasionally.[3] By designing specific motor affordances and atmospheres (i.e., opportunities for interaction and emotional resonance), architecture engages and invites us to focus on our surroundings and, simultaneously, on ourselves as embodied, situated, feeling agents.[4] Thinking about architecture in terms of atmospheric qualities drives designers to generate moments of affective intensity that resonate with our bodies as we experience them and prolong their effects through memory.
To architecturally translate and test these ideas, the talk analyses some spaces of Palazzo Rosso in Genoa, an aristocratic palace erected in 1671–1677 and transformed into a museum two centuries later. Comparing radically different episodes (the baroque rooms on the mezzanine floor and the modern display structures by Franco Albini and Franca Helg), we see how atmospheres work as an experiential medium between our surroundings, emotions, and memories through embodied actions and impressions.

Miryam Catalano
University of Catania
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Bernard Berenson between Cognition and Emotion

“What is the point at which ordinary pleasures pass over into the specific pleasures derived from each one of the arts?” this is what Bernard Berenson wonders in Florentine Painters of the Renaissance (1903), his work reviewed by William James as the first attempt to apply "elementary psychological categories to the interpretation of higher works of art" (Samuels, 1979, p. 258). It was his encounter with James that was largely responsible for the scholar's interest in the psychological and consequently emotional aspect of aesthetic experience, which would form the foundation of his critique embodied by the theorization of tactile values, ideated sensations and life-enhancement. As a theorist of the pure visibility, Berenson takes as his guide the principles of Einfühlung, still discussed today under the lens of the new 5E Cognition paradigm. Thus, the sense of reality given to painting by the stimulation of tactile values is justified by the primacy of touch; the experience of ideated sensations is explained by the theory of embodied aesthetics; life-enhancement, which according to Berenson himself accompanies the act of recognizing a work of art, is studied within the framework of visual cognition.
The contribution aims to trace in some of the central ideas of berensonian criticism the echoes of an art theory that has been concerned with the problem and emotional responses of aesthetic experience, with the goal of reevaluating the tradition of empathy theory by eliminating what Nelson Goodman calls in Languages of Art (1968) the "despotic dichotomy between cognitive and emotional" which "prevents one from seeing that in aesthetic experience emotions function cognitively."

Carla Cirasa – University of Catania
Daniela Conti – University of Catania
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Helene Høgsdal – The Arctic University of Norway
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“I see what you feel”. An Exploratory Study to investigate the Understanding of Robot Emotions in Deaf Children.

Scientific research in the study of Human-Robot Interactions (HRI) has advanced significantly in recent years. Social humanoid robots have undergone severe testing and have been implemented in a variety of settings, including educational institutions, healthcare facilities and senior care centers. Humanoid robots have also been evaluated across different population groups. However, the research on different children-groups is still scarce, especially deaf children. This feasibility study includes both hearing children and deaf children, and aim to assess the interaction between children and a humanoid robot without the use of sounds and voices. In addition, an experiment was conducted where the children were asked to watch a video and then assess whether the NAO humanoid robot responded to the emotions shown in the video in a congruent or incongruent way. The findings indicated that there was no difference between the children who were presented with congruent emotions in the NAO as opposed to the children who were presented with incongruent emotions in the robot. Only the ability to predict emotion in videos and gender were significant predictors of guessing the correct emotion in robot. Although no significantly difference was found between hearing and deaf children, this feasibility study is intended to lay the groundwork for future research in this unexplored field of study.

Daniela Conti – University of Catania
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Alessandro Soranzo – University of Catania
Eleonora Bilotta – University of Calabria
Francesca Bertacchi – University of Florence

Individual Differences and Aesthetic Preferences for Reactive Objects

The aim of the research is to investigate, using the Q-methodology, how much the aesthetic preferences for reactive objects (three-dimensional physical artefacts that exhibit autonomous behaviour when handled) were influenced by individual differences that emerge a posteriori from the data. Furthermore, the alexithymic personality trait was investigated on the assumption that it could influence the aesthetic impressions. The Qmulti protocol was employed to analyse the data. Results show that participants with alexithymia were equally distributed in the two Q factors identified. This supports the importance of a posteriori analysis such as Q factor analysis when analysing aesthetic preferences.

Amy Cook
Stony Brook University
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To Hecuba: Emotions in and from the Performative Arts

Emotion is at the center of theatre and performance—stories are not told, people are not convinced, lessons are not learned, the gods are not appeased, without emotions. For theatre practitioners and scholars, cognition has always included that fifth E. Like strong vs. weak claims about embodiment, the question is whether cognition is impacted by emotion or impossible without it – or whether emotion is in fact part of cognition. Theatre and performance are particularly interesting places to raise this question as, since Hamlet, we have been asking whether or not performers actually feel what they seem to feel and whether or not it matters either way.  This panel will explore theatre and performance case studies from the perspective of research from psychology and philosophy on emotions and cognition to explore the explanatory potential of expanding the 4Es to include emotion.

Jennifer Davis Taylor
Warburg Institute, University of London
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Art, Politics, & Quantum Mechanics: Le Cabinet des Beaux Arts of Charles Perrault

Le Cabinet des Beaux Arts (1690) by Charles Perrault was both an iconographic work of interior architecture and an engraved book project that, together, provided a meta-representation of brain-body intricacy. Using an iconographic program, a multi-media strategy, and a combination of two- and three-dimensional forms, Perrault designed a dynamic, interactive space that synthesized mind and body experiences of the arts. Whereas the book version allowed the reader to understand the elements of the program sequentially and hierarchically, Perrault's built Cabinet illuminated theme through the architectural system of the room itself and via the painted and sculpted decor. Much like the symphony of painting, architecture, and sculpture that Bernini created in the Coronado Chapel, the Cabinet allowed the visitor to the space to become an actor in the drama of the program by virtue of his or her presence on the "stage." Perrault's project intrinsically anticipated the ideas described currently as 4E and 5E cognition and their underlying assumptions; I argue that we can find a resource in the Cabinet to help us think through the same concerns for the future. Founded upon established principles of structural mechanics, Perrault's work can serve as a template for reflecting on the intertwining of brain and body experience, based upon evolving principles of quantum mechanics and the new instruments for cultural production they will generate.

Paola Del Zoppo
Università degli studi di Urbino Carlo Bo
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The case for metalepsis and intertextuality as literary and hermeneutic axioms.

Reading texts can prompt intense emotions, and these emotions profoundly influence learning from texts, as well as their interpretation. Some emotions can include biases in critical judgement, as well as misinterpretations or sometimes overinterpreting. If different types of text influence reading in different ways, literary reading has its peculiar features. Being literary text artistic modelled texts, their features must be framed into artistic interpreting categories (style, recurrences, narratological issues in particular). It is high time to explore and imagine theories that can adequately explain the “linkages” between emotions, cognitive processes, and motivational processes, and it seems possible to use causal theory to extricate the cause-effect relations linking these processes to affective reading. This could even lead to enrich and help conflict theory issues, like those regarding intra-individual analysis. The paper aims to enlighten three main issues: 1. Is an open reading still possible and/or how is reading biassed nowadays? Which kind of suspicious reading can still be useful? (reading and writing scenes, idea of classic literature, idea of literature – e. g., Miall, Zylinska, Capitini, Anne Rose Meyer and o., Pulvirenti and Gambino) 2. How is ordinary and affective reading important for the reception of a literary – prose – text and how much is it useful and important for its interpretation and “ideal reading”? (e.g. Iser, Felski, Zunshine) 3. Investigation: How are in particular two narratological features like metalepsis and intertextuality emotionally perceived in reading, by the “common reader” and how is it possible and/or adequate to interpret and translate them into a translated text? Are the emotions of reading in academics, literary critics and translators influence the hermeneutic operation? (e.g., Glynn, Siölin, Lavocat, Pier, Del Zoppo).  These questions seem to be fundamental for the correct “use of literature” in the Academy, in research as well as in school teaching, and also enlighten the liminal space in literary and translation studies as an hermeneutic space. After a short theoretical framing, examples will be provided that illustrate the possibility of an interpretation critique that considers biases and emotions in reviews, essays and ultimately in literary translation choices.

Ana Díaz Barriga
Northwestern University
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Holding the Puppet’s Hand: An Experimental Investigation of the Puppeteer as a Cognitive Guide to the Audience’s Immersion in Fiction

In a 2016 performance of Blind Summit’s The Table, Moses—a puppet—invites Joanie—an audience member—onto the stage to help with the operation of the puppet. Alongside two of his visible puppeteers, Joanie makes the puppet dance, but the dancing suddenly stops. Joanie covers her mouth with one of her hands, while the other holds the detached hand of the puppet. Instead of looking at the human creators of the performance, Joanie interacts with the puppet as she deals with the situation. Joanie’s shock was reflected in the expressions of experiment participants who watched a recording of this performance. Their gazes oscillated from Joanie to Moses, for the most part disregarding the puppeteers that not only witnessed the situation, but effectively created it. What can Joanie’s and these viewers’ responses tell us about spectators’ immersion in fiction?
Using interviews, gaze-tracking, and facial recordings of participants, and performance analysis, I examine the process of spectating puppetry. I explore how audiences engage with the puppet—an object that acts as if it were alive—and what strategies puppeteers use to guide this engagement. My data suggests that puppeteers function as cognitive guides, signalling to the audience how to navigate the liminal space between fiction and their actuality. Counter to ideas such as Coleridge’s “willing suspension of disbelief,” I argue that being aware of the fiction they are engaging with facilitates the audience’s immersion in it, even as it increases their appreciation for the methods used to create it.

Jacek Dobrowolski
University of Warsaw
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Revisiting resentment – how and why Nietzsche invented a new Emotion,
and what is the Use of it?

The notion of resentment is one of Nietzsche's best known ideas. It constitutes the focal point of what the philosopher used to call his “psychology”. As psychologist Nietzsche tried to solve a problem that he himself found to be of greatest complexity, a problem that seems absurd in the first place: how resentment turns out to be the power of the weak. As much as the question of force, strength, weakness and power was the fundament of his dynamic psychology of human becoming (rather than, more in line with psychology, consciousness or personality), he wanted to demonstrate how the power of the weak could prevail over the power of the strong: the proper Nietzsche's paradox. However, was “resentment” rather his invention, or is it real? In my paper I will attempt to: 1. Show what Nietzsche understood by “resentment”; 2. Reconstruct his view on the historical role resentment played; 3. Try to rethink Nietzsche's philosophy of resentment and its possible applications in contemporary psychopolitics, as present in Peter Sloterdijk's conservative-socialdemocratic political philosophy project (resentment as naming the central populist emotion).

Harry Drummond
University of Liverpool
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Enacting Change through Participatory Art

Two forms of participatory artistic practice have recently gathered significant attention in the artworld: ‘relational art’, advocated by Nicolas Bourriaud’s relational aesthetics, and what we might call ‘relationally antagonistic art’, promoted by Claire Bishop’s suspicions with relational aesthetics. Both seek explicitly social, ethical, and political ends – taking interpersonal relations as their form rather than traditional aesthetic virtues – but diverge radically in their design and methodology. While relational art produces common ground and convivial interactions, relationally antagonistic art generates relationships of tension and conflict, without (in their majority) inciting interaction. Here, I show that 4E approaches to the aesthetic and empathy can provide an explanation of the ethical and political efficacy of these practices, and moreover how this efficacy is modulated by considerations of embodiment, interaction, affect, and place.
First, I show that embodied-enactive approaches to empathy and morality explain the basic mechanisms of standard relational artistic practices such as Rirkrit Tiravanija’s exhibition-based works, while issues of place and the relations being targeted may motivate more direct interventions, such as Oda Projesi’s community-based projects. However, these analyses will not do for relationally antagonistic art, which incites neither interaction nor convivial relations. To explain the potential of these works, I deploy recent enactive approaches to aesthetic experience arising from affordances being ‘cut short’. My claim is that relationally antagonistic artworks put ‘unrealisable’ social affordances on display, which facilitates self-reflection and an engagement with other-oriented affective states such as sympathy and shame, accentuated by the gallery context.

Line Cecilie Engh
University of Oslo
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Emotions in memory. A Historical Inquiry into Ancient and Mediaeval Theories of Cognition

In this paper, I ask about the role that emotions played in ancient and mediaeval rhetoric. What was the cognitive work emotions were supposed to do? I argue that the art of rhetoric and especially the ars memoriae constituted veritable theories of cognition in antiquity and the middle ages, and I propose to create a dialogue between modern and premodern theories of cognition to see how they may enrich each other.
In ancient rhetoric, emotion-filled imagining (Lat. imaginatio and Gr. phantasia) was understood to act powerfully on the memory and on the mind. Aristotle saw the emotions as central to persuasion, stating in Book II of Rhetoric that emotions (pathe) cause people to make up their minds and change their opinions. Roman rhetoricians, such as Cicero and Quintilian, relied heavily on emotion and emotionally “coloured” images to recall and keep the mind from wandering. Far from diminishing in importance in the mediaeval period, the affective functions of rhetoric and memory training became even more vital as they entered into the monasteries and monastic practices of reading, writing, praying, and meditation.
Deriving examples from a variety of late antique and mediaeval sources (such as Rhetorica ad Herennium, Augustine, and Bernard of Clairvaux), with excursions into modern cognitive science, this talk emphasises the essential role of emotion-laden memory work in processes of imagination and attention. To ancient and mediaeval rhetoric, memory was affective: without emotion, no remembering, and thus no attention and no imagination.

Patrick J. Errington
University of Edinburgh
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Exploring the Effects of Reader ‘Mindset’ on the Aesthetic Experience of Poetry

Does what we read for really change what happens when we read? It may seem obvious, but this rarely asked question goes to the very heart of the debates surrounding the role and limitations of literary critique recently reignited by scholars like Rita Felski. Does reading ‘critically’ materially impact the cognitive processing and aesthetic experience of literary texts like, for instance, poetry?
Building upon previously presented experiments examining the relationship between the difficulty and aesthetic experience of reading verb-based metaphors of varying degrees of novelty, I will present preliminary findings from three further experiments conducted by my research team at the University of Edinburgh. Two of these sought to relate our previous behavioural finding that, where metaphor difficulty increases linearly, aesthetic experience peaks at a midpoint, to specific brain regions using fNIRS (functional near-infrared spectroscopy) and then to chart the effects of reader ‘mindset’ by requiring either ‘critical’ or ‘creative’ responsive tasks. The third used similar critical and creative tasks, but expanded the context to full poems and used subject ratings to assess aesthetic experience. Though the results are tentative, these experiments offer crucial avenues toward addressing a key question, one with implications not only for literary study but also for literacy more broadly and even reader wellbeing. I will thus conclude by discussing these in relation to a prototype creative reading app called ‘ReWriter’ that my team and I are currently co-developing with a team of young people and industry partners.

Joerg Fingerhut
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
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 “Your Emotional City!”: Berlin as a Case Study for Urban Aesthetic Emotions

I first show how the built environment and the individual are intimately intertwined. This is the aspect of integration: studies on statistical learning and task-driven neuroplasticity show how we integrate features of the built environment into our perceptual, affective, and cognitive habits. Second, I consider intervention as a further dimension beyond integration. I will consider how certain urban features stand out as fascinating, beautiful, and challenging. These engage us in ways that can change our perspective on the city and ourselves. This second aspect highlights aesthetic emotions towards urban elements (such as great architecture, public art, social situations) and their potentially transformative effects. I discuss both aspects through a case study. This is the ongoing citizen science project "Your Emotional City!" in which participants (n>1,000) report their daily emotions and rate the beauty and interestingness of places.

Friederike Foedtke
Universidad de Salamanca
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Gesture and Empathetic Imagination in Poetry

This proposal discusses the role gestures play for the empathic imagination in the context of poetry. While the cognitive process of empathy has already been exhaustively studied in the context of narrative texts (e.g. Keen 2007, 2022), in poetry it has not received much attention yet. The concept, originally derived from the German term Einfühlung (‘feeling with/into’), is here understood as the process by which readers share not only the emotions of lyrical subjects, but their experience in a broader sense.
Empathy has been studied in disciplines such as psychology, phenomenology and neuroscience. In the latter, the theory of mirror neurons emerged at the end of the 20th century, according to which the mind of the observer of an action simulates this action. Following this theory, it has been assumed that there is a form of empathy that is tightly connected to gesture and constitutive of preconscious understanding of others.
Therefore, drawing from interdisciplinary perspectives including neuroscience, philosophy, and literary theory, this study aims to elucidate how gestures contribute to the elicitation of empathic responses in poetry. However, it shall also be shown that reference to gestures is not indispensable for vicarious engagement with the speaking subject of poems.  In order to provide an example, a case study of two poems by Spanish poet Julieta Valero will be provided, one of which is characterised by gesture whereas the other poem is not. It will be shown that both poems have the potential to elicit empathic reactions in different ways, underscoring the importance of further studies on empathy in poetry.

Sabina Fontana - University of Catania
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Valentina Cuccio - University of Messina
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On the Embodiment of Negation in Italian Sign Language (LIS): an Embodied Approach

Various studies have shown that negation occurs both at the manual and non manual level. At the manual level, sign languages seem to use signed units whose position can differ from one sign language to another. At the non manual level, headshakes and some kind of mouth actions can co-occur either with the lexical unit or with the entire utterance. Furthermore, specific lexical units with negative functions, often accompanied by mouth actions, have been described in various sign languages. In LIS, negation has been described mainly as a formal operator, or from a functional perspective within the utterance, although it involves various body components in continuity with motor action and gesture. Negation can be considered also a shared social action that develops since early infancy with very basic acts of refusals or rejection. Inspired by an approach to the embodiment of concepts known as Multiple Representation Theories (MRT, henceforth), the present paper explore negation as an embodied action that relies on both sensorimotor and linguistic/social information. Despite the different variants, MRT accounts share the basic ideas that both linguistic/social and sensorimotor information concur to the processes of concepts formation and representation and that the balance between these components depends on the kind of concept, the context, or the performed task. In the present research we will test the MRT framework for understanding negation in Italian sign language (LIS). Indeed, in our view, in sign languages the interplay between purely linguistic information and sensorimotor information that leads to the process of construction of meaning takes place both inside (cognitive dimension) and also, importantly, outside, at the level of performance (signing). Our data seem to suggest not only that this is particularly evident in the case of negation in sign language, specifically in LIS, but also that our approach can shed light also to negation in spoken languages. A review of the literature highlights three types of speech acts involving negation, such as denial, rejection, and metalinguistic negation that are accompanied by specific intonational contours used differently across languages and by specific gestures. In the present paper, the nature of negation in LIS has been explored in continuity with the co-speech gesture where negative elements in denials are encoded through differentiated prosodic and gestural means across languages. Data have been collected in naturalistic settings that may allow a much wider understanding of negation both in speech and in spoken language with a semi-structured interview. A total sample of twenty hearing and LIS (Italian Sign Language ) participants with age range 20-50 was recruited and interviewed in a semi-formal setting with the aim of understanding the continuity between gesture and sign in negation. In order to elicit negative utterances in discourse rather than isolated sentences, signers were asked questions about crucial topics (Deaf culture, audism, accessibility, rights, pandemic, diet, politics). We intend to explore the nature of multimodality in expressing negation in the two languages on one side, and to enlighten the role of the body in conveying the action of negation, on the other. We have found that negation is a social action that seems to evolve out of the three steps in the acquisition of negation: rejection/refusal; 2) disappearance/ non-existence/unfulfilled expectation; 3) denial. Results highlight that negation utterances that apparently go beyond sensorimotor and emotional experience, are grounded on language and sociality.

Sotera Fornaro - Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
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Raffella Viccei – Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

‘Through the chest, through the heart’: Emotional resonances in Homer.

What is an emotion? There is no single answer. The proposed contribution starts from a neophenomenological approach (Hermann Schmitz, Thomas Fuchs), reinforced by neurocognitive studies, according to which we experience emotions as a bodily ‘resonance’. This phenomenon encompasses all emotions experienced by the living body (in German: Leib). Sensations activate reactions of both the nervous system (heart rate, shortened breath, sweating, trembling) and the muscular and motor apparatus (clenched fists, clenched jaw, oscillations forward or backward). Areas particularly rich in bodily resonances are the face, abdomen and chest. Thus, pain can be felt as tension around or inside the eyes that leads to crying, as a lump in the throat, as a weight on the chest or a tightening of the heart, as a stomach cramp, as a general tendency of the body to relax or not stand up anymore. Emotions consist of such bodily resonances and expand into bodily and environmental atmospheres. The sharing of emotions is an effect of these atmospheres. If research on this topic finds application in philosophical reflection and medical practice, it has not yet fully involved the study of emotions in the oldest Western literature. The contribution proposed here aims to offer a neo-phenomenological reading of some Homeric passages of the Iliad, in which emotions are connected to specific physical phenomena, such as the relaxation of joint tension or the chest (‘relaxing of limbs or heart’). In some Homeric passages, there is a dynamic representation of the succession of emotions, even contrasting ones, similar to a ‘flow’ that passes through the sensory organs of ‘feeling’, which the Homeric poet locates in the chest and around the heart. The Homeric ‘formula’ κατὰ φρένα καὶ κατὰ θυμόν ‘in the chest and in the heart’ recounts a bodily experience and an emotional process, ranging from pain to uncertainty, from courage to fear, and is influenced by the surrounding atmosphere. The contribution aims to fit into a broader research context, posing questions such as: what cognitive value do bodily experiences have in the first Western literary text? What are emotions in the cognitive horizon of the archaic poet? What is the relationship between bodily sensations and emotions in Homer?

Francesca Irene Foti
University of Catania
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The influence of Emotional and Affective Factors on Navigation Ability

Navigation ability is a complex ability, crucial in daily life to maintain a sense of orientation as we move, to learn the spatial features of new environments, and to plan the best pathways in familiar environments. Individuals largely differ in their navigation ability. To better understand why some individuals are more proficient navigators than others, most research has focused on cognitive and neurobiological factors as well as on personality traits and social life aspects. Recently, a growing number of studies suggests a relevant role of emotional and affective factors in modulating navigation performance. Regarding this, some studies found that one important emotional disposition - as spatial anxiety - can negatively affect the use of most efficient navigation strategies, the sense of direction, and the ability to find shortcuts. Other studies have investigated the role of emotional landmarks in learning and recollecting of a path, demonstrating that positive emotional landmarks enhanced topographical memory, a specific spatial memory system used when one recalls a pathway from memory. Consistently, it has also been observed that positive mood induction by listening to music enhanced the visuo-spatial and navigational working memory performance. Finally, a very recent study showed a positive association between affective dimensions, in terms of emotional attachment with a place, and environmental knowledge performance.
Taken together, the literature reviewed above suggests a relevant role of emotional and affective factors in modulating navigation ability, underlining the beneficial effect of positive emotions. Overall, these findings can provide new insights for future navigation training programs.

Margaret H. Freeman
Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts
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The Cognitive Aesthetics of Emotive Experience

The 21st century has seen an explosion of research, building on prior work in the latter half of the 20th century, that attempts to integrate findings in the cognitive neurosciences, social sciences, philosophy, and the arts into the nature and workings of embodied human cognition and especially the role of the emotions. In addition, attempts have been made, primarily by philosophers, to re-evaluate how such findings relate to an understanding of aesthetics as applied to the arts. In my book, The Poem as Icon: A Study in Aesthetic Cognition, I argue that the traditional notion of taste, beauty, and pleasure in the arts are the products of aesthetic cognition and not the faculty itself. That faculty depends on a combination of the many components identified in the theory of embodied cognition, such as memory, imagination, attention, discrimination, evaluation, and judgment that underlie all aspects of creative human cognition, including the various sciences and the arts. From this perspective, the analogous processes of metaphor and schema are not, as previously assumed, merely figurative aspects of human imagination, but necessary components of minding that complement and possibly arise from the integrative action of the self’s nervous system. In simple terms, this picture would present an image of the self’s bidirectional interneuron system that integrates the brain with the sensory, motor, and emotive processes that underlie the conscious awareness of conceptual reasoning.  
Despite the great advances made so far, there is still a need for full integration across all of the disciplines in order to arrive at a more comprehensive and complete picture of the aesthetic workings of human cognition. With the rise of cognitive approaches to the arts in the latter part of the twentieth century, the where and how questions of artistic creativity have begun to be addressed. In this presentation I introduce an approach that explores these questions in terms of the emotive mechanisms at work both in creating and responding to poetry.

Álvaro Marín García
University of Granada
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Cognitive Translation and Interpreting Studies and the study of emotions: epistemological developments

In the last decades, Cognitive Translation and Interpreting Studies (CTIS) has grown into a discipline that investigates the cognitive processes enabling all forms of mediated communication. The broadening of the object of study (translation, interpreting, adaptation…) has brought along a multiplicity of tools for data gathering and interpretation—constructs that are key in the development and understanding of a new theoretical apparatus. CTIS scholars have adopted research methods and analytical perspectives from numerous disciplines, particularly the cognitive sciences. While most of the initial borrowings were inscribed in a computationalist epistemic tradition that neglected the study of emotions, at the turn of the century a new framework (cognitive translatology) emerged endorsing what was called 4EA cognition: embedded, enacted, extended, embodied, affective cognition, that is, a 5E paradigm. While the inconsistencies introduced by this new paradigm made it, in principle, incommensurable, scholars started pioneering the study of emotions while building on previous work in the field. This is taken as evidence that, despite the view that mature science tends to establish one, all-encompassing theory or paradigm, epistemic contradictions are an important feature of science and are not detrimental to scientific progress. In elaborating my argument, I will introduce pluralism as an epistemological position and will apply it to propose a framework for the comparison and development of theories in CTIS that can build on previous research from a new, 5E angle to investigate emotions as part of any cognitive process.

Jacob Goldbeck
University of British Columbia
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The Franks Casket and Blend Tolerance: A Cognitive Crack at an Early English Riddle

The Franks Casket, an early English whalebone casket dated to the early 8th century, provides an astonishing visualisation of the transition from paganism to Christianity, their stories juxtaposed to extremity: the Norse myth of Weyland the Smith, who killed and decapitated the son of the king Niðhad is set alongside the Adoration of the Magi, the birth of Christ (Webster 2012). Applying cognitive linguistic reading, I argue that the Casket can be read through the concept of “blend tolerance,” alongside the use of current cognitive linguistic concepts such as mental spaces, and narrative anchors (Dancygier 2012). “Blend tolerance” contextualises blends that might be, for theological or cultural reasons, pursued asymmetrically. For example, the mediaeval technique of figural reading used to blend the Old and New Testaments in a regulated way, relating but not equivocating the two texts. This kind of blend tolerance is crucial in an artefact such as the Franks Casket, which through its three-dimensionality denies simple readings. How far can the observer allow the blend between Weland and Christ to go? The result is an experience of intense anxiety and identity confusion, as the observer must consciously regulate a blend which the object is reticent to make clear itself.
By using blend tolerance to read the Casket, I intend to advance the tools of cultural and experiential contextualization available to cognitive and multimodal analysis as well as offer another reading of an infamously difficult object.

Sozita Goudouna
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The Commons of the Lung: Future Breath Aesthetics

The presentation aims to challenge a number of key areas in performance studies as well as foundational expectations and assumptions of the arts and humanities more broadly—namely that scholarship needs to be a solitary endeavour. It will draw on the recent publication “Mourning the Ends” Collaborative Writing and Performance that investigates a model of thinking and studying that goes beyond the singular body, and goes against the backdrop of enduring institutional and ecological ends and amidst apparent end times. The Ends Network, entails collaborative research and a speculative engagement with performance, ecology, and academic affiliation beyond institutional bounds. It is a group of scholars and artists whose collaboration grew out of workshops that were part of the 2021 Performance Studies international Constellate Program. Many of us have been working together online in various ways since the canceled 2020 PSi Conference, when we began organizing around material related to the “Ends” cluster of the conference that would have been in Rijeka. The network argues that writing together uncovers new habits of knowledge production, new modes of being in and as a body. Our research seeks to reconnect writing and thinking to and through the/our body— a present and future body we figure as both local and dispersed. The body of collaborative writing spreads across the distance; it is multi-local. But it lives (remotely) in the specificities of place and of our different geographies.

Ainur Kakimova
University of Verona | University of Warsaw
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Cognitive Processing of Counterfactuals in Literature

Counterfactuals are ‘what if’ scenarios that can be used in literature as a literary device. For example, if he had come to Gardencourt, he would have seen Madam Merle. To process counterfactuals, one should go through such cognitive processes as imagination, comparison, evaluation, and emotion. In the conference, I propose to present theoretical underpinnings of how a model reader engages with counterfactuals in literature. As a theoretical framework, I am using possible worlds theory because it allows to conceptualise the complex processes a reader goes through while engaging with a literary text. I take Ryan’s model of possible worlds as a basis but go beyond to capture the peculiarities of how the textual actual world maps to its alternative possible worlds. The model that I propose underscores the role of a reader, in the spirit of Eco’s model reader, in building the textual universe of fiction. As an example, I will present a reader’s engagement with Ernest Hemingway’s The Snows of Kilimanjaro which main theme is counterfactuals. It maps to the alternative possible worlds such as if the couple had not come to Africa, they would not have been in a predicament. The counterfactual evokes emotion of regret. While dying from gangrene in Africa, the main protagonist, Harry, regrets that he did not write his stories that he should have written. The presentation will show how a reader cognitively processes such literary texts that involve counterfactuals on the example of The Snows of Kilimanjaro.

Brad Krumholz
North American Cultural Laboratory
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Signs of life: Challenges for the humanoid AI performer

After the publication of my book, Why Do Actors Train? Embodiment for Theatre Makers and Thinkers (Bloomsbury/Methuen Drama, 2023), which explores actor training methodologies through the lens of contemporary neurophilosophy and Embodied Cognition, I started to become interested in the ways in which the rapidly advancing field of Artificial Intelligence was (or was not) engaging with the relationship between embodiment and intelligence. As Artistic Director of North American Cultural Laboratory (NACL), a research and development center for contemporary performing arts, I began to convene theatre artists whose work investigated the intersection between art and science, particularly as it related to AI. At NACL, I met Niki Athanasiadou, and we began to collaborate, and recently, we co-authored an article for a special edition of Performance Research “On Breath,” in which we discussed questions of Aliveness as it related to performance. Because of that article’s focus, we necessarily had to leave unanswered a number of questions that arose as we wrote. My contribution to this panel is an attempt to address some of these issues, in particular those that relate to how humans navigate three-dimensional space in time and the complications that arise as machines attempt to approximate both the processes and the outcomes of this biosocial interaction. My presentation puts forth a “laundry list” of issues that must be acknowledged and solved by AI programmers and robot fabricators if there is to be any hope of achieving Aliveness on the part of a non-human AI performer.

Šárka Havlíčková Kysová
Masaryk University
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Sharing the Sorrow: Operatic Acting in Contemporary Production of Baroque Opera - Händel's Alcina

In my paper, I will focus on operatic acting, especially cognition, and emotions and their sharing between actor and spectator. In opera, scenography is also an essential part of the expression of the actor-singer. Scenography is currently understood as an audiovisual or multimodal component of the production. In opera, it is often a very active correlate of the acting. Music, which in the process of meaning-making is understood as the dominant agent in communicating affects and emotions, also fundamentally shapes both the spectator's scenographic imagery and everything communicated by the singer's acting.  
Using the example of the Baroque opera Alcina by G. F. Händel in the current Brno production (2022, directed by J. Heřman), I will show the means by which the singer-actress communicates her character's feelings. I focus on sorrow and despair shared with the spectators in her/his embodied perception of the scenographic environment – induced by the "anxiety" of Baroque music and its visualization. I will focus on the lamentation aria performed by the leading Czech singer-actress P. Vykopalová. It is worth mentioning that the Brno opera and acting school still draws on the work of K. S. Stanislavski's Opera Studio, although it has already drawn on other influences. Given the complexity of opera production, I am led to combine several theoretical and methodological approaches in my analysis, including the Conceptual Metaphor and Blending Theories (see, e.g., Pérez-Sobrino 2018; Antović 2022).

Márta Horváth
SZTE Universtiy of Szeged
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Anger and Compassion as Reader’s Emotions in Hungarian Social Novels

The reader’s emotions play a crucial role in understanding narrative texts and serve a significant function in constructing the story and depicting characters. The moral emotions of ‘anger’ and ‘pity’ are particularly noteworthy in this context (Haidt 2003; Haidt and Kesebir 2010), as they are pivotal to the reader’s moral assessment of characters and their actions, exerting a substantial influence on the reader’s expectations of justice. A noteworthy discovery by Hakemulder and Koopman is that first-person narratives enhance reader empathy by providing a sense of direct access to the character’s mental content (Hakemulder and Koopman 2010), consequently shaping the reader’s moral judgment. In my presentation, I will utilize contemporary Hungarian socio-critical novels to explore narrative techniques that elicit anger and pity in the reader. I will investigate how these emotions prompt the reader to adopt a moral stance, with a specific focus on first-person novels.


Richard J. Kemp
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
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The Dynamical Relationships of Action, Emotion and Narrative in an Actor-Training Studio: Emergent Intersubjective Meaning in Embodied Fictional Worlds
Theatre practitioners and teachers acknowledge that the generation and regulation of credible emotion in fictional circumstances is one of the most difficult aspects of acting. Actors and psychologists alike recognize that it is challenging to simply will oneself into a chosen emotion. Historically, actors’ approaches to this challenge have fallen into three broad categories, focusing respectively on a) recall of personal emotion, b) imagining oneself into a fictional situation, or c) intentionally evoking physiological phenomena associated with emotion such as breathing patterns, facial expressions and varying levels of muscular tension. Over the last decade, I’ve applied concepts from Embodied Cognition to adapt existing actor training exercises and to evolve new approaches. These concepts include Colombetti and Thompson’s Enactivist account of emotion, Glenberg and Gallese’s Action-based Language hypothesis and Gallese’s theory of Embodied Simulation, among others.  I give a phenomenological account of studio activities that prompt improvisational interactions among actors. These are designed to: bring to conscious awareness the inference of meaning in movement; create intersubjective conditions for enacting and observing pre-reflective sensorimotor intentionality; discover relationships between this level of intentionality and what we call "impulse" in theatre; explore how the imagination creates proto-narratives to explain enacted and observed “impulse” actions, and; explore how the specificity of physical actions in an imagined environment can generate emotion.

Gwenda Koo
University of Cambridge
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Cognitive Coping in Katherine Mansfield’s ‘Miss Brill’ and ‘Bliss’

‘[W]hat is the use… of thought that is not the outcome of feeling? You must feel before you can think; you must think before you can express yourself.’  (Katherine Mansfield, ‘Looking On’, in The Collected Works of Katherine Mansfield, Poetry and Critical Writings).
For Katherine Mansfield, the aim of literature is to express life by mediating between thinking and feeling. Taking a cognitive approach, this paper explores the relation between thought and emotion to examine how Mansfield's fiction captures human experience. Her stories, though fictitious, give a realistic example of how the mind operates when it is overwhelmed with intense feelings. Characters often engage in self-generated thoughts in face of emotional distress: in ‘Miss Brill’, an old lady conjures up an illusory world as an ego-defensive process against loneliness; in ‘Bliss’, a young wife seeks to protect her sense of self through emotional exaggeration.
Placing these two stories in dialogue with Richard Lazarus's account of cognitive coping would further an understanding of Mansfield's exploration of emotion regulation. Lazarus proposes that when confronted with threatening emotions, one develops certain emotion-focused or cognitive coping strategies. These strategies change the way a threat is perceived or interpreted by activating internal structuring processes. In Mansfield's fiction, not only is cognitive coping critical in managing emotional encounters, but more importantly, it changes characters' perception of reality. Her stories offer insights into reality monitoring processes: the ability to distinguish thoughts and imaginations from events that have actually happened. This paper intends to show how Mansfield's works contribute to the interdisciplinary study of the mind, particularly its complicated entanglement with reality.

Aimee Koristka
The University of British Columbia
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“With his memory of the future in the past”: Narrative Construction of Subjective Temporal Viewpoints in Frank Herbert’s Dune and Denis Villeneuve’s Dune

Epitomized by 2023 Best Picture winner Everything Everywhere All At Once, multiversal narratives continue to be the “fantasy for our times” (Page). Such constructions are part of the larger tradition of nonlinear narratives which, although contemporaneously popular, have existed for thousands of years. Though scholars acknowledge how “successive accounts of simultaneous events” cognitively create nonlinear structures (Caracciolo 347)—subsequently acknowledging the role of character viewpoint in nonlinear narrative construction—there is a limited focus of work on how alternative emotional understandings of time between characters can also construct nonlinearity in narratives. Ranked among the “100 most inspiring novels” of all time (BBC), Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel Dune continues to influence modern speculative fiction, with its exploration of different cultural conceptions of time making it a particularly productive text for studying nonlinearity. Despite previous research identifying different constructions of time present in written texts (Ricœur; Caracciolo), minimal research has been conducted on how multiple subjective conceptions of time can be simultaneously represented in a given narrative, much less on how each perspective can be maintained in the process of adaptation. The 2021 film adaptation of Dune thus provides a site for investigating how subjective viewpoints are represented and retained in novel-to-film adaptations. Drawing on Barbara Dancygier’s cognitive linguistics approach to narrative meaning, Adriana Gordejuela’s work on nonlinear representation in film, and Brad Jackson’s analysis of sound modalities, this research analyzes the techniques used to represent subjective temporal viewpoints in both textual and cinematic mediums using Dune (1965; 2021).

Alla Kurzenkova
University of Glasgow
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Chornobyl: a Palimpsest of Ancient Relics, of Memories of an Abandoned Landscape and the Devastating Emotions of a Military Occupation

The Chornobyl settlement has been written into the landscape, intertwined with the human history from the end of the 10th -11th centuries to man-made crises such as the Chornobyl disaster (1986), which led to the creation of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ), and the full-scale war in Ukraine, which prevented any further archaeological excavations there.
This archaeological site is a palimpsest of its past, showing continuity of function from the late 10th century to the Chornobyl disaster, cataloguing ‘memories’ that embody the emotions behind a society that overlays different layers of perception and experience of the landscape.
Since the end of the twentieth century, due to human crises such as the nuclear disaster, the Chornobyl landscape has lost its human touch and turned into a memory of an ‘abandoned landscape’. It embodied the emotions associated with the process of abandonment, where nature took over and began to cover the site, reviving it with new species of flora and fauna.
It is crucial to reflect on how the human impact that left a long shadow on the Chornobyl settlement has, at the same time, reinforced the archaeological aspect of the settlement’s research a bit more than 16 years later? How did a memory of an ‘abandoned landscape’ become enveloped in academic interest and transformed into an invaluable insight into the archaeological potential of the ancient settlement of Chornobyl? And how has it influenced the development of a new vision, the memory of Chornobyl?
Sadly, however, the occupation of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone as a result of the full-scale war in Ukraine caused devastating emotions, defined by the impact of the war on the monitoring of areas in the CEZ and access to archaeological sites. It also raised the issues that should be discussed: How to manage emotions and what steps should be taken to preserve early medieval archaeological sites? How to cope with the memory of the unique medieval settlement of Chornobyl and the effects of the military occupation, such as the destruction of archaeological sites and the problem of access to them?

Efi Kyprianidou
University of Cyprus
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Two Types of Moral-related Disgust and Empathetic Resistance to Fiction

It is much discussed that fiction presents us with works that feature immoral modes of action and vicious characters. Somehow, we still manage to relate imaginatively to characters who embody evil, as well as to narratives of morally repugnant behaviors. However, there are times when our ability to imaginatively engage with certain kinds of narratives is reduced or even suspended.
Contemporary philosophy examines the phenomenon of “imaginative resistance”, and recently, this phenomenon was empirically explored by research in moral psychology. In this paper, I argue that carefully considering the role of disgust in imagination may shed light on how the emotion limits our ability to empathetically engage with morally vicious real-life and fictional narratives. This approach is novel in that, while reactions of abhorrence or disgust have been described in relation to cases of imaginative resistance, it specifically relates types of morally related disgust to certain versions of imaginative resistance involving first-personal imaginative engagement with the perspective of evil characters in morally deviant fictional worlds. In the first part of my presentation, I differentiate physical disgust which is inscribed in the realm of morality by being causally linked to moral
disapprobation, from moral disgust proper, which is a distinct moral emotion and a response to the morally reprehensible. In the second part of my presentation, I argue that physical disgust inscribed within the realm of morality is related to unwillingness to engage with narratives that collide with racial, religious, or sexual biases one may have. Moral disgust proper is then related to certain versions of resistance that involve first-personal or empathetic imaginative engagement with morally deviant perspectives.

Sharon Lattig
The University of Connecticut
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Singing the Body Collective: Affect Contagion in Communal Lyrics

The proposed paper builds upon recent work arguing that lyric poetry enacts the dynamic of embedded perception by asking how such a perceptual dynamic might play out when examples of this notoriously individualistic genre—hymns, prayers, pledges, chants, and war, work and hunting songs, for instance—are performed by multiple, synchronized voices.
Per a line of thinking culminating in the somatic marker hypothesis, emotion functions at times as a prod to action. Enactive theories of perception, such as those of Francisco J. Varela and Walter J. Freeman, posit that action, in turn, constructs and constrains perception. The collaborative, often synchronized action of voicing a poem, I argue, is informed by emotion that has been aligned and intensified via the phenomenon of affect contagion. By affording consonant emotional experiences, communal lyrics synchronize their group members’ perceptions, in both the narrow and the broad sense of the term. Theories of inter-brain neural synchrony (which has been demonstrated to occur during singing) also support the view that the shared recitation of poetry serves to attune perception—and thus cognition.
Such lyrics create commons of sorts, shared Functionkreise (Jakob von Uexküll’s spaces of action, perception and implicitly emotion) in which worldviews are aligned and reinforced. Communal engagement via “singing,” in its literal and derivative forms, thus functions to enact a kind of social contract, the consent to create a shared poetic and at times actual environment, and the means of its creation.

Dan Leberg
University of Groningen
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Empathy and Emotions in Motion-Capture Acting

This project extends existing cognitive research on film and television acting to motion-capture (henceforth, “mocap”) acting for film and videogames. The goal is to explore actors’ emotional and empathetic tactics for crafting screen performances when faced with the unique constraints and affordances of mocap production. This presentation draws on my preliminary findings from participating in a professional mocap acting training workshop in Toronto in October 2023, and my ensuing interviews with mocap actors.
I am particularly interested in the mocap actor’s emotional, imaginative, and embodied relationships with the other actors and the recording technologies within the “volume”, the 360-degree mocap soundstage which records the actors’ movements from all possible angles simultaneously. Lacking the fixed single camera of traditional filmmaking towards which actors orient their performances, the mocap actor finds herself re-learning film acting techniques within a theatre-in-the-round-like setting. The tensions between these scales of acting – screen acting is typically considered more physically and vocally restrained than theatrical acting – has significant consequences for how mocap actors manifest their characters’ emotions.
Moreover, the sparse set decoration and costuming within the volume places heightened responsibilities on mocap actors’ imaginations to connect emotionally with the largely-absent diegetic world. This prompts a series of on-set interactions with animators and production designers, thereby fostering a uniquely collaborative production process predicated on distributed cognition. Lastly, this presentation examines how mocap acting for videogames anticipates the player’s agency in activating the character’s performance: actors must re-learn how to make their character’s emotional arcs clear without any meaningful control of the narrative’s pace or trajectory.

Sanna Lehtinen
Aalto University
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Experiencing the Urban Sublime

In contemporary philosophical and applied urban aesthetics two often overlapping layers of experience can be distinguished. The so-called macro dimension refers to the appreciation of cityscapes, urban panoramas, landmark buildings and monuments, and also to the more general understanding of what to expect from cities with aesthetics in mind. The so-called micro layer is, in turn, concerned with the more mundane, everyday elements that create the aesthetic undertone of urban experience. These layers are often interlinked but conceptual distinction makes discussing and studying urban aesthetic experiences and values more structured. In addition to the two layers, there seems to exist also a third category which is especially linked to the implications of complexity in the urban lifeworld. From traditional aesthetic concepts, these experiences come close to those described through the concept of the sublime. The awe-inspiring, often challenging experiences contain a strong cognitive element but are often linked to the recognition of either vast temporal or spatial dimensions and the boundaries of one’s body and mind. Elements of the sublime make urban aesthetic experiences engaged, multisensory, and cognitively and emotionally intense. Transportation, for example, can give its users some idea of the vast spatial dimensions of the area in which it operates. This is something that goes beyond the individual’s perceptual capacities: one can never perceive the city as a whole. The imposing spatial dimensions can thus be grasped only through its representations such as the transportation map or deducing from the time it takes to move between two locations.

Giulia Leonetti
Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori IUSS Pavia
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Metrics on Biodiversity and the Relationship with Emotions

Climate change research is also about emotions (cf. BBC 2023) and biodiversity studies are closely linked to emotions. The loss of ecosystems has a great impact on emotions, as it affects communities and their values. (Clayton 2020).
In this talk, I discuss that human emotions about biodiversity have a significant impact on beliefs, ideologies, and behavior (Brick et al., 2023). However, I suggest that this perspective can be risky because it tends to view humans as mere spectators of biodiversity, and biodiversity as an object that could be measured in a "pure" manner by scientific data.
I claim that it is crucial to recognize humans as a part of biodiversity. In this context, it is essential to discuss the value of conservation metrics, which are not just explanatory tools (cf. Menon & Stegenga).
Therefore, I argue that if we take into account that metrics are epistemic tools with values, then the research concerning the link between emotions and biodiversity will be more pursued and expanded. The awareness that metrics also regard human values makes them appreciable also by qualitative research.

Roberta Leotta
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
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Embodied Jealousy. Insights from Latin Literature and Language

Building on embodied cognition theories applied to emotions (Colombetti, 2014), this contribution considers jealousy as a holistic process wherein mind, body, cultural, and natural environments are all entangled and integrated to make sense of a given phenomenon in a situated context. This entanglement is readily apparent in how often we describe and express more abstract concepts, such as emotions, through concrete and embodied experiences, for example via metaphors (Lakoff and Johnson, 1980). Integrating these theories with the approach of Classical Cognitive Linguistics (Short & Mocciaro, 2019) and previous works on jealousy in classical languages and literatures (Kaster, 2005; Konstan, 2003; Caston, 2012; Sanders, 2014; Cairns, 2021), this study aims to enrich the discussion on jealousy in relation to embodied experiences and metaphors in the Roman world, focusing on the works of Horace, Propertius, Tibullus, and Ovid. This study undertakes two distinct analytical approaches: a literary examination of episodes depicting erotic jealousy and a linguistic, corpus-based analysis of terms close to the semantic area of jealousy. In both cases, we will see that the emotion is mainly construed through concrete images and metaphors, such as metaphors of fire and animal biting, which are based both on universal bodily experiences related to this emotion (e.g., increased heartbeat, blood pressure, and bodily temperature) and on cultural-specific visions (e.g., the view according to which emotions are negative forces destroying humans).
Ultimately, the analysis aims to unveil how investigations into Latin literature and language can support and, in turn, benefit from embodied theories of emotions.

Jana Lüdtke
Freie Universität Berlin
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Varieties of the Dark: Emotional and Cognitive Effects in
Reading Poems from Dark Romanticism

It is widely assumed that poetic texts encompass not only different and sometimes hard-to-decode meanings and thoughts but also carry emotional qualities that are perceived and felt by the reader. Proponents in cognitive, as well as neurocognitive, poetics, therefore, assume that poems are optimal stimuli to investigate how emotional and cognitive processes interact. While the majority of studies emphasize gathering readers' reactions after completing the reading, only a few studies concentrate on the reading process itself. The present study combined both approaches. Participants read four poems from the dark Romanticism period, which differ in terms of content, emotional potential, and stylistic features. Eye movements were collected while reading, and self-reports about emotional and cognitive processes such as felt mood and cognitive involvement were collected after reading. Initial analyses reveal two main results. First, both cognitive involvement and felt mood have the strongest influences on the amount of rereading. Second, while higher cognitive involvement leads to more rereading, results for felt mood are diverse. Depending on the poem, both positive as well as negative correlations could be observed between felt mood and the amount of rereading.

M. Clément Mager – Epsylon Laboratory, Paul Valéry Montpellier University
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Lionel Brunel – Epsylon Laboratory, Paul Valéry Montpellier University
Gabriele Sofia – Roma Tre University.
Anne-Sophie Noel – HiSoMA Laboratory, ENS of Lyon

The Dynamics of the Center of Pressure (COP) during a Spectator's Experience.

In recent years, interdisciplinary research between the cognitives sciences and the performing arts has flourished, providing valuable insights into the cognitive processes of both actors and spectators.. From an embodied and situated perspective of Cognition, this original research aims to study the spectator's experience, and identify the dynamics of the spectator-actor couple through the sensorimotor dimension. Our experimental study centered on the visualization of videos featuring an actor engaged in various actions. The visualization was complemented by real-time motor measurements of the Center of Pressure (COP) using a force balance, alongside a series of questionnaires administered to spectators after viewing the videos. The results reveal a significant influence of the type of action performed by the actor's body on the spectators' COP behavior. Moreover, the analysis of spectators' feelings showed a notably heightened immersion and emotional reaction when viewing videos involving the full presence of the actor's body. The analysis shows an interaction effect of the type of action viewed and the spectator's emotional reaction on COP variance. Collectively, these results suggest that spectators' COP behavior during visualization is influenced by the actor's on-screen behavior, as well as by the spectator's own engagement and emotional response. These findings contribute to a comprehensive understanding of spectator cognition within the 5E Cognition paradigm, where the spectator is in an embodied resonance, actively simulating the actions observé.

Bruce McConachie
University of Pittsburgh
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Film and the Emotions of Tragedy for Our Climate Emergency

Most Hollywood movies about the climate crisis have been melodramas and fantasies, from The Day After Tomorrow (2004) to Avatar (2009) and Don’t Look Up (2021). In contrast, director Paul Schrader’s First Reformed (2018) is structured as a psychological thriller that almost tumbles into tragedy before resolving into romantic love and guarded hope. This paper will explore the major emotions generated by this near-tragedy from the perspective of Stephen Asma’s evolutionary take on human emotions and mythopoetic cognitive science. Because I will be emphasizing the socio-political effects of the story and emotions of First Reformed on the audience, this paper will fit best in your category of “Emotions in socio-cultural and behavioral context” for the conference.
The plot of First Reformed is driven by what Asma would call an “imperative” story that generates the primal tragic emotions of FEAR and GRIEF. Schrader’s protagonist (a minister played by Ethan Hawke) understands that the suicide of one of his congregants over his inability to alter the coming fate of humanity due to climate chaos has thrown him into the same situation. He, too, believes he must choose between personal love and social responsibility in an unknown future and the conflict nearly overwhelms him. In the end, driven by guilt and desire, he chooses to resolve this tragic choice by risking the merger of both passions.
First Reformed challenges the easy social morality of melodramas and fantasies that off-load social responsibility to an individual hero, whose actions we can passively applaud when danger threatens. Our individual carbon footprints have been stepping on other living beings  since the 1950s and it’s time to get past our FEAR and come to terms with that GRIEF. Such a resolution may be our best hope and, as Greta Thunberg has noted, “hope must be earned.”

Anja Meyer
University of Verona
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Fragmented Memories and PTSD: the Role of Photography in Intermedial Literature

Since the scientific recognition of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in 1980, the notion of trauma has become a major concern for cultural and literary studies, which have started to focus their attention on the effects of psychic traumatic processes on narrative texts, as well as on the potential therapeutic effects of literature. Neurobiological research has confirmed the physiological impact of trauma on brain regions implicated with memory, which has become a central theme of intermedial literary narratives about the experience of traumatic events, such as the Holocaust or the terroristic attacks of 9/11. In such a context, the combination of photographs and verbal texts, declined into different modalities of representation, seems to be the most suitable literary instrument to evoke and capture memories of trauma and loss. Photography, in fact, not only supports the narrative level but interacts with it in the co-creation of meaning. Seiffert’s novel The Dark Room (2001), for instance, follows a so-called “rhetoric of the darkroom,” as the encounter with some significant photographic images allows the main characters to gradually reconcile with their traumatic past. In Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005), instead, images interrupt the flow of reading and play a constant, but misleading role in the narrative, requiring the reader to look deeper and behind the surface. The critical analysis of the novels reveals how the photo-textual narration encourages the reader’s active engagement with the traumatic experiences of the novel’s main characters. Indeed, the use of multimodal devices stimulates a high level of interaction between the narrator and the reader, who assumes the role of co-witness of the events.

Wyatt Moss-Wellington
University of New England
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Emotion and Embodiment in Multiscreen Contexts

This paper presents the results of an ethnographic study in multiscreen use and emotional transferences between screens. Drawing from interviews and participant observation, I investigate the emotional experience of engaging in multiple stories across multiple screens at the same time, such as reading on one’s phone while watching television. The paper surveys various forms of skilled practice and mood regulation that occur when individuals engage in multiple screens for both recreational and social purposes. It asks how one’s emotional relationship to individual screen stories changes when one participates in several narratives together, and how these changes might affect existing theories of mediated emotion. Participant observation and interviews address interlocuters’ own experience of and preferences in second screening, self-reported effects on emotional engagement across screens, and connections between media use and other aspects of life, including family and social lives. I also explore differences in intergenerational use, and the range of multiscreen use that can occur within one household. The ethnographic design targets new conflations of film, television, online political discussions, and information-seeking goals, and how they are experienced by individuals in situated contexts. The design reveals a variety of skilled practices that comprise multiscreening, as well as the variety of uses cross-media cognitive skills are put toward. The project’s key contributions arise from comparison between co-reflective, embodied observation, and research from across disciplines with a stake in mediated emotion, attention economies, and screen use.

Martina Musilová
Masaryk University
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Embarrassment and Boredom – Positive Impulses in Acting Improvisation

The emotions of the character an actor is playing may not be the only ones the actor experiences. Alongside them, the actor perceives himself – concentration, bodily relaxation, ability to focus attention to the play and his playfulness and momentary creativity. K. S. Stanislavsky, for example, speaks of the actor's Sense of self and creative state, which needs to be awakened and developed.
The paper will focus on two feelings that are generally evaluated as negative, namely the feeling of awkwardness and the feeling of boredom. Both of these feelings strongly affect sensory, motor, and affective systems and cognitive processes. The feeling of awkwardness can paralyse the actor's activity, but with increased body tension. The feeling of boredom dampens activity but reduces body tension. In the case of an active transformation of these feelings, the creativity of the improvising actor can develop. In the case of the feeling of awkwardness, it is the awakening of bodily perception, muscle/body memory and greater expressiveness that better communicates with the audience. For the feeling of boredom, it is the activation of the actor's attention to alternative goals, encouraging his creativity and authorship. On the example of written reflections of students of the discipline of Dialogical Acting with an Inner Partner (a specific form of improvisation; founded and explored by Prof. I. Vyskočil), the transformative power of feelings of awkwardness and boredom and their ability to awaken completely positive emotions of wonder and joy in the play will be shown.

Pascal Nicklas, Gerhard Lauer
University of Mainz
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Imagination in Reading Texts of Fiction: Social Reading and Social Cognition

Imagination as part of the reading process is characterized by its social nature of being shared and being sharable. Neurology models reading as a highly complex cognitive activity involving numerous networks. Learning to read changes the brain’s functional setup to an extent surprising for a cultural activity too young to leave any trace in the DNA through evolution. Nothing about reading is hardwired, it is a cultural technique recycling other networks in a process of cortical competition. Learning to read figures or words and processing calculations or semantic content opens up and refines arenas of cognitive skills through triggering imagination. Reading fiction has effects on various cognitive levels including social cognition as reading per se is at core a social activity. We wish to review some of the empirical and cognitive research into reading in its social function and suggest an agenda for further and future research testing our hypotheses that social reading can make a key difference in the acquisition of social skills and the upkeep of mental health by opening up imaginative worlds.

Tyler Olsson
Auburn University
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Affective Perceptualism: Perception, Emotion, and the Ground of Aesthetic Judgment

In aesthetics, Perceptualism and Affectivism represent two distinct positions concerning the proper basis of aesthetic judgment. Roughly, Perceptualism maintains that aesthetic judgment is primarily based upon sensory perception, putting emphasis on the aesthetic properties we perceive objects to have. Affectivism, on the other hand, maintains that aesthetic judgment is fundamentally grounded in emotional states, putting emphasis on valanced feelings of appreciation we have as a result of being rationally responsive to aspects of objects we take to merit our appreciation. In my view, both of these positions contain an element of truth that we ought to preserve if possible, and I argue that we can do just this. In particular, for both empirical and philosophical reasons, I argue the core thesis of Perceptualism can be revised to incorporate the key insight of the Affectivist position by considering the extent to which perception writ large is inextricably emotionally valanced. I thus posit Affective Perceptualism, the integrated view that the emotional states which constitute our aesthetic judgments are not just merited reactions to what we perceive, but are inextricable components of our perception of what is aesthetically valuable. I discuss another integration view in the literature, but argue this view leaves too much room between perception and feeling such that it suffers from a guidance problem that is not applicable to aesthetic judgment.

Omri Moses
Concordia University
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Virginia Woolf, Emotion, and Extended Cognition

Over the last two decades, cognitive scientists and literary and cultural critics have drawn from 4Es cognitive theories to understand emotions as dynamic patterns of interaction between people and the things that matter to them, rather than interior processes (Colombetti, Wetherell, Herman). This account of the emotions draws on a view of mind as at once embodied and shaped by physical and cultural environments. However, researchers in embodied and extended cognition are still mostly preoccupied with how brains use the body and the external environment to accomplish basic tasks or to pursue reasonable outcomes. They remain quite functionalist in orientation, with a commensurately reductive understanding of the role that the emotions play in our mental lives. For instance, they examine how emotions help us implement our needs and values, but do not examine the ways that emotions help people alter their values, explore interpersonal conflicts, or discover aspects of their feelings that are lost when we look at them in instrumental and motivational terms. In this paper, I leverage the insights that the literary modernist Virginia Woolf has about subtle aesthetic feelings and emotions, bringing those insights to bear on current debates in cognitive science. I focus on Woolf’s last novel, Between the Acts, which uses an unconventional community pageant play as a model for showing how art generates feelings, here understood as social performances. Woolf unfolds a new conception of art as a special environment that helps to alter patterns of response and reshape values. It does this by facilitating highly uncertain interactions among bodies, nervous systems, and things.

Irene Orlandazzi
Università degli studi di Milano
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Gefühlstextualität and Reader’s Emotions.
Designing an Experimental Research between (German) Literature and Neuroscience

Within the framework of 5E Cognition, emotions play a fundamental role also in the field of literature, with particular reference to the creative process enacted by the author and the receptive process enacted by the reader. This paper aims to present an original category of analysis, the Gefühlstextualität, with which to trace the author’s emotions through the elements of the text, which in turn act as triggers eliciting new emotional reactions in the reader. More specifically, taking inspiration from the most recent transdisciplinary dialogues between literature and neuroscience, the main aim is to show a possible experimental application of Gefühlstextualität in the Reader-response perspective, focusing on the case study of Sophie von La Roche’s epistolary novel Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim (1771).
This paper intends to describe the four phases of a designed experimental research, divided into offline and online tests, to measure the reader’s emotional response at a cognitive, neural, and somatic level. The most innovative aspect lies in phase 3, a laboratory test in which an electroencephalography (EEG) would be performed on participants, along with measurement of physiological parameters, refining then the results by fMRI and eye tracking tests on a smaller sample.  
The various phases of the research, one complementary to each other, are intended to prove how emotions – conveyed through Gefühlstextualität – play a central role in all aspects of the literary experience.

Francesco Parisi
University of Messina
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Enactive Mediology

This paper introduces enactive mediology as a combined, interdisciplinary approach to cognition and media studies.
Despite the lack of a comprehensive and unifying theory under the label of “enaction”, all enactive approaches consider cognition as the result of the ongoing interaction between the agent and their environment. Cognition is then co-constituted by sensorimotor loops, allowing the agent to make sense of the world.
On the other side, mediology explores the role of media for societies and individuals. In particular, some disciplinary trends also focus on how media impact our experience, exert their effects on us and produce a global reconfiguration of how humans experience the world.
Too often, enactivists underestimate the role of media as constituents of human experience; analogously, media scholars tend to focus on the social level and overlook the cognitive dimension of the agent. Here, I suggest combining these two research paradigms for a more integrated, epistemologically richer comprehension of our interaction with other people, machines, and the world.
To justify this conceptual blend, I will use a study case: contemporary electric and optical media profoundly alter how the environment can be explored by allowing unprecedented sensorimotor conditions such as telepresence through screens. The paper explores and aims to explain why enactive mediology can fully grasp the complexity of these forms of experience. This perspective aligns with the view that technology and media are not external tools but integral to shaping human experience and social structures, focusing on the embodied, situated, and dynamic interactions between humans and their technological environments.

Karen Pearlman
Macquarie University
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Real Movement in Virtual Worlds: Questions and Hypotheses about Shaping Affective Experiences in Virtual Worlds and Realities

My research program in creative practice and distributed cognition has articulated a definition of what rhythm is in film editing, how it is shaped, and what purpose it serves. Findings from this research (which position both the shaping and the experience of rhythm and movement in film as instances of 5E cognition), have been highly impactful, generating academic articles and creative research studies, a widely used textbook, and important industry and cultural changes for editors in recognition of their embodied, embedded, and enactive authorial creativity. However, with the increasing uptake of virtual worlds and realities in creative arts and popular entertainment, questions arise. Do the principles of rhythm that support editors and filmmakers so effectively in single screen durational media apply to the construction of virtual experiences? Investigation of this broad question also raises numerous sub-questions, such as: what are the nuances of rhythmic engagement with moving image media that need to be considered in designing the flow of movement in virtual world and virtual reality experiences? Does the shaping of these differently embodied experiences require thinking about the elements, tools, and purposes of rhythm differently?  This paper begins with a brief precis of ideas about the work filmmakers do to entrain audiences to the narrative, emotional, visual, and aural dynamics of a film. It then reports on progress in ongoing creative research investigations into the shaping of affective experience of movement rhythms in screen productions that are working with real movement in virtual spaces.

Christina (Xristina) Penna
University of Derby
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Scenographic Contraptions: Designing Uncertainty and Orchestrating Error for the Generation of Participatory Scenography

In theatre and performance studies Harpin and Nicholson refer ‘to the contemporary call to attend to affect – not as a subset of human sensibility but as a relational force that exists between bodies, objects and technologies’ (Harpin and Nicolson, 2016, p.7). I have added to the above relational force the word brains, and have reflected on audiences’ engagement with participatory messy states, using this understanding of affect as an embodied relational force, what philosophers of cognitive science Gallagher and Bower call ‘a cocktail, a mélange of aspects that make up one’s affective state’ (Gallagher and Bower 2014, p.235).
Through examples from my own participatory work I will analyse how –and to what extend– a performance designer can take hold of mess or unruliness by designing the uncertainty of the environment and by orchestrating error. I will explain how in specific works (Work space II: Attempts on Margarita (multiple drafts), 2015; Work Space III: Phishing Things Together, 2015; Hello Stranger East Midlands, 2023) I designed a ‘rich landscape of affordances’ (Rietveld and Kiverstein, 2014) using sound, taste, voice, props, materials, bodies, technologies etc. and used the notion of ‘prediction error’ (Clark, 2015) as a way to violate the audiences’ expectations for the stimulation of novel paths of thinking and the creation of meaning, driving forward participation within these hybrid, ‘inefficient’, participatory performance assemblages.
The audience–participants are understood to get a grip on multiple fields of affordances (material, cultural, social) simultaneously and these become interweaved in the circular causal weave between embodied brain and world. The plurality of possible fields of interrelations the audience–participants make in relation to the design stretch across interoceptive, proprioceptive, and exteroceptive information, providing ‘a rich new entry point for accounts of experience, emotion, and affect: accounts that do not compartmentalize cognition and emotion, but reveal them as (at most) distinctive threads in a single inferential weave’ (Clark 2015: 296).
Based on qualitative data (interviews with the audience-participants and images), I will reflect on the inextricable material-immaterial (including emotional)-social interactions that took place in the specific works and will further analyse my ‘scenographic contraption’ methodology, using the notion of ‘scenographic error’ (Penna, 2017) which is designed deliberately within the scenographic contraptions to generate possibilities of interaction, affect and enhance sense-making from the part of the audience.

Monika Płużyczka/Ainur Kakimova
University of Warsaw
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Cognition and Aesthetic Experience when Reading Literature in a Foreign Language:
How do We Perceive and Process Metaphors?

According to the neurocognitive model of literary reading (Jacobs, 2011), foregrounding devices are processed slower and are aesthetically appreciated in contrast to backgrounding elements. Studies that support the model involve native speakers. However, empirical research on the processing of foregrounding in a foreign language is scarce. It is of special relevance, as we live in a multicultural society where reading literature in a second language is becoming increasingly common.
The results of our pilot eye-tracking experiment showed that metaphors in foreign language are processed slower and associated with higher aesthetic appreciation in comparison to equivalent non-metaphorical expressions. We also found a correlation between the difficulty of the metaphor and the higher aesthetic rating.
To explore this topic in more depth, we carried out next eye-tracking experiments on a larger group of subjects. We used self-response questionnaires such as complexity assessment and aesthetical evaluation (based on Knoop et al. 2016) to check the correlation between the two variables. We also received feedback from participants on why they found specific metaphors aesthetically pleasing using retrospective think aloud protocols. Additionally, we checked the correlation between foregrounding and absorption, as recent studies suggest that these features are not mutually exclusive (e.g., Balint et al., 2017). By using triangulation of methods, we aimed to gain a more comprehensive understanding of how non-native readers engage with foregrounding in a literary text and what affects the aesthetic appreciation of metaphors in a foreign language.

Yanna Popova
University of Warsaw
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Grotowski and the Essence of the Actor’s Skill: Embodied Memory, Empathy,
and Truth in Performance

This paper will address the issue of acting as a skilled activity in relation to existing enactive conceptions of what constitutes cognition, as well as theoretical descriptions of varieties of acting styles and methods. It will be argued that in his writing and in his practical work as a director Grotowski offers a new vision of the actor which supersedes any of the major existing systems of defining acting in terms of either detachment from or a strong empathetic engagement with the character being performed. The discussion will centre, first, on the issue of the nature of skill in acting, which involves a dynamic interaction between attentive self-awareness and a passive (in a Husserlian sense) “resigning from doing” or via negativa in Grotowski’s sense. Second, I will take issue with the recent (Gallagher, 2021) suggestion that acting always entails “a doubleness of experience” for the performer, i.e. a split of attention between perspectives: that of the actor’s perspective on the character and that directed to her own acting processes. Questions that will be asked and tentatively answered involve those concerning the nature and sources of emotional expressivity in acting, its embodied nature and the problem of “truthfulness” in performance, and the advantages of a dialectical, participatory model of actor/character relationship in place of a simple consideration of empathy.

Emanuele Prezioso
University of Oxford
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A Matter of Style: An Embodied, Extended, Enacted, Embedded,
and Ecological Proposal for Memory

Recent pragmatic and cultural studies propose that limiting cognition to intra-cranial processes restricts our understanding of the mind. The 4E cognition framework has demonstrated that considering how the body, socio-material contexts, varieties of things, and their dynamic interactions generate innovative explanations for cognition. Emerging enactive-ecological approaches further support this framework by framing cognition as skilful activities in practices and recognising the unique role of things involved in those practices.
This paper advocates for a shift to a 5E framework rooted in a cognitive archaeology of memory, which incorporates ecological-enactivism and Material Engagement Theory. Drawing on recent studies on the multi-temporal dynamics of the Kamares pottery style from Knossos (Crete), I will show how the concept of style supports an integration of ecological approaches within the 4E framework. According to this perspective, I will maintain that understanding memory and remembering necessitates accounting for the constitutional role of material culture and associated practices in specific socio-material contexts across various timescales (phylogenetic, transgenerational, ontogenetic, and life of things). Specifically, I will suggest that memory is a process re-enacted whenever we engage with material culture in situated cognitive ecologies through their accumulated practices.
Ultimately, this proposal for a 5E framework and memory offers opportunities to explore context beyond archaeology. For instance, it suggests new avenues to explore the re-enactments of past feelings, particularly in those cases where emotions are tied to past events that dramatically shape the characteristics of how memory is re-enacted (e.g., traumatic memories).

Luca Pullano - University of Catanzaro
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Santo Di Nuovo - University of Catania
Francesca Foti – University of Catania

Training to promote Navigational Skills in Healthy Population: a Systematic Review with a Particular Focus on the Emotional, Motivational and Attitudinal Dimensions

Spatial navigation is a complex ability crucial to daily life and its expression is influenced by several factors. Some factors have been well-known and well-investigated, such as gender and individual differences, while others, although important, have been less investigated. Among the latter, one could consider several dimensions: motivational (e.g., extrinsic motivation like in serious games), attitudinal (e.g., feelings and self-efficacy about spatial navigation), and, more importantly, emotional (e.g., spatial anxiety, mood). Some of these factors, such as spatial anxiety, notoriously influence spatial navigation negatively. Like other cognitive functions, spatial navigation could be trained in all age ranges, with different aims: in infancy and childhood, for early development; in early adulthood, to promote specific navigational abilities; and in late adulthood, to preserve cognitive functioning.
The present systematic review aimed to summarize the current state of knowledge on spatial navigational training in all age ranges, considering also whether the relevant factors introduced above are included in the training. Of the 22 articles identified as eligible, only 10 articles considered these factors. Specifically, 7 studies considered gender, and 3 studies considered emotional, motivational, or attitudinal dimensions. From these findings, it seems that the influence of these factors – although crucial in spatial navigation – is under-investigated when navigational trainings are implemented.
For this reason, future studies could further consider the influence of emotional, motivational, and attitudinal dimensions in trying to intervene in the perception, self-efficacy, and spatial anxiety regarding spatial navigation, leading to better performances and longer training effects.
Naomi Rokotnitz
University of Oxford
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Emotions, Identity, and Narrative: Dissociation, Multiple Personalities,
and the Agency of Integration

This paper investigates the charged debates around Dissociative Identity Disorder (previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder) and their relations to a ‘constructivist’ approach to human emotions and self-identity. By tracing how diagnostic narratives not only describe but also shape patients’ interpretations of their symptoms and even the production of these symptoms, as well as their reverberating, self-perpetuating cultural representations, I contribute both to current discussions of ‘self-illness ambiguity’ and its role in psychiatric treatment (Sadler 2007; Jeppsson 2022) and to understanding the crucial role played by narrative practices in the dynamic construction of identity.  
My focus-text is Sybil: The Classic True Story of A Woman Possessed by Sixteen Personalities (1973), presented to readers as the novelized case-study of a patient pseudonymized as Sybil, which tells of a child “violated, abused, deprived of a normal childhood, and thus driven into psychoneurosis for the most paradoxical reason— to survive” (Sybil 244). The book sold over six million copies in the Unites States and went on to become an international bestseller and a TV blockbuster, impacting both clinicians’ and patients’ (mis)understanding of DID and of the dynamic embodiment of psychological processes—before being exposed as being largely fictitious.
Through examining Sybil and its impact upon mental health care, alongside current medical literature, I (1) explore the cultural and medical consequences of this case; (2) assess scientific evidence for DID, Functional Motor Sensory Symptoms (FMSS), and predictive processing; and finally, (3) suggest implications for current notions of personhood and of agency in phenomenology, in philosophy, and in psychiatry.

Ilona Roth
School of Life, Health and Chemical Sciences, The Open University
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4E Cognition, Creativity and Flow: the Work of Autistic Artists

The general case for applying the 4E framework to creative cognition has been made by recent researchers who decry the theoretical stagnation of creativity research as a field excessively dominated by traditional approaches to cognition. The 4E approach invites a more wholistic theoretical perspective, extending beyond psychological processes and personality traits.
I will argue that the capacity for flow, described by Czikszentmihalyi (1996) as a core attribute of creative people and practices, is pertinent to the 4E approach, and embraces an emotional dimension relevant to the further evolution of the theoretical framework.  According to Czikszentmihalyi, tools, materials and context are instrumental in attaining the state of flow, in which a person is completely immersed in an activity (Malinin 2019).  Moreover flow evokes positive emotions such as happiness, and may be a means to emotional regulation.
The case for the alignment of 4E cognition with creativity and flow is supported by findings about creativity in autistic people. The heightened sensory awareness that autistic people experience often infuses their artwork and practices, evidencing embodiment and other 4E qualities within their creativity. Moreover, the intense focus and persistence that characterises autistic cognition may scaffold their creative work through a flow-like state that promotes calm, perseverance and well-being.
I will offer evidence for these arguments from studies of artwork by autistic people and consider some implications for arts-based interventions for autism.

Jussi A. Saarinen
University of Jyväskylä
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Painting, Grief, and Continuing Bonds

Based on contemporary philosophical work on grief (e.g., Ratcliffe, 2023; Higgins, 2024) and affective scaffolding (Colombetti & Krueger, 2015; Saarinen, 2020; Coninx & Stephan, 2021), I examine how the activity of painting can support the process of grieving. Specifically, I discuss how painting can scaffold (1) the expression and externalization, (2) the containment and regulation, and (3) the evocation and transformation of grief-relevant emotions. I then examine how such emotional processing via painting can enable bereaved individuals to restructure their self-/world-relations and to sustain and renew their “continuing bonds” (Klass & Steffen, 2018) with the deceased. By focusing on selected painters as brief case studies, I also raise several pressing questions about the preconditions and criteria of successful grieving, painting as a distinctive kind of scaffold for grieving, and the dynamic nature of affective scaffolding in general.

Gábor Simon
ELTE Eötvös-Lóránd-University
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Emotions in Literary Corpora: Problems, Methods and Solutions

Narrative fiction is rich in emotions described by the narrator or other characters (see e.g. Hogan 2021 on affective-cognitive stylistics). These emotions can be carefully analysed with the techniques of close reading, but what methods can be used in a distant reading analysis? How can we detect and identify characters’ emotions in large corpora? Beyond the emotional vocabulary of a language, are there any reoccurring patterns of emotion description used by narrators in novels of different genres and ages? In the presentation, I overview the basic problems and methodological proposals in corpus linguistic literature (see e.g., Dziwirek‒Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk 2010, Oster 2010, Apresjan 2013), aiming at providing a solid foundation for empirical analysis. Then a pilot study is performed based on the ELTE Novel Corpus (Bajzát‒Szemes‒Szlávich 2021) to find out what the represented emotions are in Dezső Kosztolányi’s novels and how to detect them via corpus stylistic analysis (McIntyre‒Walker 2019). In the pilot analysis, I focus on two negative moral emotions: a basic emotion of anger and a more complex emotional stance of shame.

Volha Saroka
University in Lublin
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Exploring the Connection Between Real and Virtual Body in the Context of Emotions

In recent years, Virtual Reality (VR) technology has been gaining popularity and virtual space has become a place for entertainment, social interactions, rehabilitation, psychotherapy, etc. Living in a virtual world can be a meaningful life (Chalmers, 2020). One of the reasons here may be precisely because we can physically experience emotions while in a virtual world and in a virtual body. The question arises, how are the real physical body and the virtual body (avatar) connected? The first part of the presentation will be devoted to concepts that explore this relationship (Turkle, Przegalińska, Clark, etc.).
The virtual body can be seen as an extension, a continuation of the physical body. If at the beginning of the process of creating an avatar a person can treat it as an object, then at the moment when the avatar interacts with other avatars and with the environment, the avatar becomes an agent of action – a subject. The main idea is that one of the components of why virtual reality can be a genuine reality is our ability to embody into a virtual body, to become a subject of action, and to experience emotions that are meaningful to us. The second part of the presentation will be devoted to emotional experiences in virtual reality (Pavik, De Oliveira Magalhães, etc.).
Accepting the feasibility of transferring into a virtual body prompts a light touch upon limitations and risks, constituting the presentation's conclusive emphasis.

Saskia Schabio
University of Stuttgart
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The Intelligence of Emotions: Proust to Virtual Reality

As with Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past (1913), the protagonist’s discrepant experience of his surroundings in Teju Cole’s Open City (2011) is driven by involuntary memories. Indeed, his intense mind-wandering underscores Proust’s notion of the emotions as “geological upheavals of thought” which reveal the intricate relation between emotions and cognitive processes. On his endless walks, Julius, a young Nigerian psychologist in residence, attunes to the city’s disturbing mental landscape as New York “work[s] itself into his life at walking pace”. Instead of cultivating aesthetic emotions and detachment, Julius emerges as a cosmopolitan flaneur of sorts as he observes “masses of people […] reenacting unacknowledged traumas” (7). In falling in and out with the external world, Julius’ mind-wandering provides a cognitive model for readers to also fall in and out with the narrative. In this way, I suggest, turning readers’ attention to how the mind processes the environment, or to apply Martha Nussbaum’s reading of Proust in her Upheavals of Thoughts: The Intelligence of the Emotions (2001), how the mind is “projected unstably outward into a world of objects” and processes its salience to its well-being (2). Taking this further, I propose to inquire into the distinct effects of Cole’s presentation of (mind-)wandering by drawing on research which allows us to examine how the embodied signature of novels guides readers’ exploration of inner states and sense of well-being (cf. Kukkonen: “Exploring Inner Perceptions: Interoception, Literature, and Mindfulness“, 2019). Arguably, such research may also provide a springboard for comparing the distinct affordances the novel as a cultural artefact on the one hand and the multimodal experience of virtual realities on the other provide for the exploration of inner states, and thus also take us towards an exploration of the paradigm of 5E cognition.

Gemma Schino, University of Groningen
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Lisa-Maria van Klaveren,
Samrddhee Pathare,
Theisje van Dorsten,
Barend van Heusden,
Ralf Cox

The Role of Emotions in Sense-making with Art: an Interdisciplinary Study

Art remains a ubiquitous part of our lives and the way it is perceived and understood is significantly intertwined with emotions (Chatterjee & Vartanian, 2014). This study used a mixed and multi-method approach to examine the role of emotions in the sense-making process with art from an interdisciplinary perspective. Thirty-six participants took part in the study in pairs (18 dyads) and were instructed to each bring an artwork that was meaningful to them. During the experiment, participants engaged in an audio-visually recorded semi-structured conversation reflecting on both artworks and answered pre- and post-questionnaires on their emotions. Sense-making was coded in terms of four semiotic strategies namely perception, imagination, conceptualisation and analysis (van Heusden, 2015). Emotions were assessed based on their intensity and expression. Results showed that the strategy of conceptualisation evoked the most emotional expressions and emotional intensity, followed by imagination, perception, and then, analysis. Notably, emotions were involved in all semiotic strategies. These findings resonate with the 4E cognition paradigm (cf. Burnett & Gallagher, 2020). Social relationships, memories, sensory appeals, and perceived purpose emerged as influential factors in the participants' sense-making process. Furthermore, this study subtly hints at a potential 5E approach, portraying emotions as interwoven and integral to sense-making, and more specifically, in all semiotic strategies.

Nicola K. Shaughnessy
University of Kent
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A Perfect Storm of Sympathy: Online Misogyny and the Cognitive Ecology of the Internet

“and they and the poet together would burst out into a roar of oaths and execrations against the fictitious monster of the tale, so that the hat went round, and the bajocchi tumbled into it, in the midst of a perfect storm of sympathy” (Vanity Fair, 1848)
Thackeray describes a community reinforcing connectedness through a process of emotional and ideological contagion - the roar of oaths.
A perfect storm of sympathy also describes contemporary online communities of angry young men identifying women as ‘fictitious monsters’ of the misogynistic narratives they co-construct.
Misogyny and rhetoric from the online Incel community is being popularised in youth culture through what has been described in other contexts as “empathic backfire effects” (Savage & Fearon, 2021) related to inter-ethnic violence and extremism. In the UK, disaffected young men who feel disempowered and left out by campaigns to expose and address gender violence (e.g. #MeToo & Everyone’s Invited) and in the context of uncertain economic, environmental and social conditions, are turning to extreme ideologies aligned with right-wing groups and misogynist discourse.
This paper refers to an interdisciplinary project (Regehr et al., 2024) investigating online misogyny through social media platforms using digital ethnographic archetypes as the basis for analysis of algorithms. 5E Cognitive theory offers a framework to understand how this behaviour evolves and the role of algorithms as negative and hostile scaffolding affecting thinking and emotion. It also considers an approach to intervention using peer-to-peer learning and pedagogy, conceptualised in terms of cognitive complexity and empathy.

Robert Shaughnessy
GSA University of Surrey UK
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Mind’s Eye: Memory, Perception and Audio Description in the Theatre  

My father, methinks I see my father.
Where, my lord?
In my mind’s eye, Horatio.
(Hamlet, 1.2)
This paper addresses some of the cognitive aspects of audio description (AD) for theatrical performance. The system whereby the visual aspects of a film, play or artwork are conveyed to blind and partially-sighted audience members through spoken narrative, AD  vocalises the gaps between dialogue to convey selective details of setting, costume, movement and action, gesture, facial expression and so on.
The theatre AD user negotiates what is for sighted users a bimodal experience of performance (vision and audition) within the interaction between long-term memory (the pre-show narrative, the sensory traces of the touch tour), working memory, and moment-to-moment processing. I will examine how this works using the example of the AD script for the 2016 RSC production of Shakespeare’s most searching meditation on memory and inner vision, Hamlet. This not only provides a compelling instance of AD world-building in its intricately realised described environments, but also, as  production with a majority Black cast, a testcase of  what has become the contested issue within AD discourse of describing diversity, i.e. how to render actors/characters in terms that don’t reinforce stigma and stereotype, especially in relation to gender, race and body type. Drawing upon Amy Cook’s (2018) account of the science of casting, I consider how this AD ‘sees’ race, and how this relates to so-called ‘colour-blind’ casting, now widely regarded, as Ayanna Thompson (2008) has argued, as an act of erasure rather than a sign of pluralistic meritocracy.

Ellen Spolsky
Bar-Ilan University
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In this paper I will discuss the failure of rationality and also of language as expressed by a shriek or a scream. Although shrieks are not always wordless, they seem to erupt mostly when communicating in words fails, or when it is not even attempted. Is it then just symptom of strong emotion, the way fever indicates infection? Is it a call for help? Does it depend on context and timing to make its meaning clear? Or is it a communication that assumes an audience? Does it assume an audience? Using the example of the 1967 film, The Graduate (and you may remember the importance in the film of Simon and Garfunkel’s song “The Sound of Silence”), I will be considering whether shrieking is a speech act at all, or whether it is some kind of a border case between speech and often silent emotion. As cognitive literary scholars, we are interested in mapping out the interrelations among the biological and the cultural/behavioral codes that govern our emotions and our understanding of the emotions of others.

Slavica Srbinovska
University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius”
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Theory of Imagination and Emotions in Louise Gluck's Poems

The study has an aim to interpret the poetry of the author Louise Gluck, winner of the Nobel Prize in 2020. Her poetic world is the result of the power and activity of the imagination, which, on the one hand, transforms the experience of emotions and traumas into art.  Her poetry, apart from being the result of an abundance of images about sadness and melancholy, is also identified with a confession. This imaginative play of the poet's activity moves both in the realm of experiential suffering and trauma, melancholy, as well as among mythical, religious, gnostic and literary symbols and figures. The author is focused on an exceptionally sublimated kind of poems which are archives of emotions. The poems are devoted to past and present, they oscillate between tradition and contemporary state of mind.
Elliptical syntactic units in the poems are mostly burdened with destruction, emotions of disappointment, loss, and death. It is poetry in which the imagination is released within the limits of the fragment of the poem, most often by shaping a metaphor as a mirror reflection of the mental state or an image that focuses on an object, on a character, on an emotion related to the experience of defeat and the knowledge of the inevitability of the confrontations with power, but also with powerlessness before life and death.
The theory of emotions, trauma and loss is applied by interpreting separate poems. They are subject to comparison of imaginative variations as a projection and search for self-knowledge and knowledge of the world in which the author lives. Poems that are subject to philosophical interpretation to bring out the slippery and changing discovery of the condition, of the absence of identity of truth or value and impermanence are part of the collections created between 1962 and 2012, such as the collections Firstborn (1968), The House of Marshland (1975), Descending Figure (1980), The Triumph of Achilles (1985), Ararat (1990), The Wild Iris (1992), Meadowlands (1996), Vita Nova (1999), The Seven Ages (2001), Averno ( 2006) Village Life (2009).

John Sutton
Macquarie University & University of Stirling
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Emotions layered in Traces and Places: Situated Affect and the Aesthetics of Superposition

Traces of many past events are often overlaid in the same buildings, neighbourhoods, bodies, and brains. Especially when they are traces of difficult pasts, this can bring challenges in accessing historical truths about specific events, and in managing multiple situated emotions, challenges which together contribute significantly to our contemporary crises of commemoration. In cognitive science and the arts alike, there are a range of modes of engagement with such compressed or superposed traces. Working from three case studies – Janet Cardiff’s London audio walks, Norman Klein’s visions of Los Angeles’s past bleeding through, and William Kentridge’s charcoal animations of Johannesburg’s layers – I introduce the notion of an aesthetics of superposition as one productive way of modelling or intervening in relations between emotions, places, and the past, where artistic practice can throw light back on live debates in cognitive theory.

Anna Tashchenko
V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University and University of Bordeaux.
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Expected vs. Unexpected: Construction of Emotions in Cinema in the Era of Transmediality

With a growing awareness of the connections between emotions and cognition, findings from psychology and neuroscience are gaining importance in the film industry. Our brain is claimed to construct emotions predictively in real-time, i. e. emotions come not only from our sensory experience but also our knowledge of the context and the people we are interacting with. This shift in the view of emotion can provide new insights into the interpretation of transmedia narratives which blur the boundaries between stories while raising the question of character identity as their story is dispersed across platforms. Transmedia characters function as independent mental constructs with characteristic traits and behavioural patterns. Once they are interiorised, audiences make predictions
both about the narrative compatible with the image and emotions the story will make them experience. If their expectations are not fulfilled, which is often the case in transmedia narratives, recipients are trying to reduce cognitive dissonance by modifying the patterns they used to follow. A growing range of contexts is likely to encourage audiences to become more open to experiencing every character differently. Neil Gaiman's universe, exemplified in “Good Omens”, represents a perfect embodiment of such change, showing a demon, who is not really evil, and an angel, who is not exactly perfect, teaming up to prevent Armageddon. As our brain shifts its focus from character identity to the context in which they are encountered for predicting our emotions, the transmedia landscape will also expand to meet the expectations of diverse personas that recipients seek.

Derya Tok
Philipps Universität Marburg
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Hues on Screen: Exploring Emotions and Cognitive Semiotics

The topic of color in cinema studies has gained traction, but its exploration in cognitive investigations has been limited, given its classification as a low-level feature. This presentation contributes to the cognitive study of cinema by examining how color influences the meaning-making operations of viewers. Anchored in Alejandra Wah's definition of the "artistic experience," the study delves into the role of color as emotionally competent stimuli. Sub-questions probe whether films are remembered for their use of color and how color recognition impacts meaning-making. A mixed-method approach, involving film watching, eye-tracking, film analysis, and semi-scripted interviews with a small participant pool, is employed.
Two hypotheses, regarding aesthetic or semiotic engagement with color, were formulated, each with expectations for gaze movement and fixations. Eleven participants, divided into two groups, watched "Castello Cavalcanti" (Wes Anderson, 2013) and viewed ten stills while their eye movements were recorded. Contrary to expectations, participants discussing color aesthetically exhibited more dynamic gaze behavior. Despite deviations, the study identified patterns contributing to the understanding of color perception in cinema, emphasizing the importance of participant-focused methodologies and challenging assumptions. The findings suggest that color significantly influences attention and contributes to the artistic experience of film, supporting a cognitive-semiotic framework. This methodological approach enhances comprehension of the intricate dynamics of color perception and interpretation in the cinematic experience.

Giulia Torromino
University of Naples Federico II; Numero Cromatico, Rome, Italy
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Salvatore Gaetano Chiarella – International School for Advanced Studies, SISSA and Numero Cromatico
Fabio Babiloni – BrainSigns; Sapienza University of Rome and Hangzhou Dianzi University
Giulia Cartocci – BrainSigns and Sapienza University of Rome
Dionigi Mattia Gagliardi – NABA Nuova Accademia delle Belle Arti and Numero Cromatico

The Role of Authorship Acknowledgment and Fear of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as Underlying Mechanisms of the Negative Bias toward AI in Aesthetic Appreciation

Lately Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been used for art production. Studies have reported a negative bias toward artworks declared as “made by AI”. However, the mechanisms underlying this bias are unclear.
We investigated (a) the role of authorship acknowledgment, by contrasting pure-assignments of authorships (“made by AI” vs. “made by Human”) and conjoint-assignments of authorships (i.e., “made by Human with AI” vs. “made by Human with Human”), and (b) how these values relate with individual level of fear of AI.
Data collection took place at MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Art in Rome. Participants viewed two artworks presented consecutively, were informed about the authorship before seeing them, and expressed judgments about aesthetic appreciation. Then, they compiled a questionnaire about the fear of AI.
We replicated previous findings showing a negative bias towards AI in the pure-assignment condition (“AI” < “Human”) whereas no effect was present in the conjoint-assignment condition (“Human with AI” = “Human with Human”). Furthermore, values of the negative bias toward AI correlated positively with individual levels of fear of AI, in subscales related to AI-consciousness and privacy violation.
Our results showed that the acknowledgment of authorship has a role in the negative bias toward AI-associated artworks and that this bias may also be mediated by negative emotions toward AI. Our results provide novel insights into how people relate to AI when it simulates activities that are commonly acknowledged as a human prerogative, as it is the case for art creation.

Lyn Tribble
University of Connecticut
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"A Roman Thought Has Struck Him": Emotion and Place on the Early Modern English Stage

Early modern playwrights and players were keenly aware of the susceptibility of audiences to the affective states of others. Players were experts in embodying and transferring such passions: "by a full and significant action of body [the actor] charms our attention." Much of the labor of theatre-work was invested in the creation of affective atmospheres. As Joel Krueger has argued, 'Atmospheres are tied to world, rooted in features of the natural and built environment. . But atmospheres only arise if subjects are present and poised to engage with them in some way.’ Affective atmospheres are thus intimately rooted in place, as it is constructed both within the physical space of the theatre and the imaginative space of the fiction.  In this talk I examine the relationships among place, memory, and emotion on the early modern stage, focusing on the co-creation of place through the joint affective labor of actor and audience. I am particularly interested in the micro-level of such co-construction, as actors work to tie affective states to particular places in the fiction, working on the fly to create distinctive affective atmospheres through the open space of the stage.


Lisa-Maria van Klaveren - University of Groningen
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Steven Willemsen - University of Groningen

Does Camera Movement Move Us – or, How 5E Is Film Viewing? Investigating Film Viewers’ Motions and Emotions.

There has been a long-standing tradition of claims that cinematic camera movements derive their effects from mimicking human bodily sensations and movement. So far, scholars have proposed to understand the connection between camera movement and spectators’ embodied resonances through phenomenological correspondences of film style to lived experiences, metaphorical relations between film style and image schemas and, recently, the role of mirror neurons in activating viewers’ sensory-motor and visceral-motor neural representations in observations of human(like) actions. While the latter approaches assume cinematic embodiment to happen via brain-based simulations, this pilot study investigates whether traces of camera movement are also enacted in the actual body. To that end, sixteen participants watched 21 film clips (35 seconds) while standing on a Wii Balance Board. The clips were selected based on camera movement with four clips in each of the following categories: static, panning and/or tilting, static and hand-held tracking. The clips were further balanced for on-screen character movement, and for presence of sound and music. After each clip participants answered a short questionnaire on their emotions (valence, arousal, intensity), bodily sensations (activations, deactivations) and engagement (immersion, distraction, interest) during viewing. During the clips, postural sway was tracked as a measure for perceptual attunement of the body to its environment. During this presentation we will share our first results, reflecting on whether and how the body resonates with camera movement in terms of motion, emotion, sensation and engagement, thus further exploring whether film style and reception have 5E correlates.

Paola Villani
Suor Orsola Benincasa, Napoli
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Narration, Emotion and Medicine: a Sentiment Analysis

From the starting point of the emotional identification between a text and its readers who come from different eras and contexts, a renewed interest in emotions in the narrative field is evident, in terms of reasoning about the logical- cognitive implications (Matte Blanco, Francesco Orlando). The dialogue between the humanities and hard sciences, which has been engaging scholars from different disciplines for decades, manifests the growing interest in the emotional repercussions that narrative activates in readers. These are not, as neurocognitivists have pointed out, merely innate responses to particular stimuli, but cognitive constructs elaborated by higher brain areas that draw on prior experiences (Le Doux, Brown). In the time of a "perfused narrativity" (Calabrese) and in the wake of a renewed interest in the topic, as shown by the volume Emotions and Literature (Modern, vol. XVII, 2015) edited by Ginzburg, Luperini and Baldi, it seems significant to reconsider this link also and especially in the light of sentiment analysis experiments that, through modern text analysis software (t-lab, atlas-ti) could reveal interesting relationships between the implicit author and the real reader, thus renewing the study of "reading practices." In particular, research can be conducted in the territories of the Medical Humanities, that is, circumscribing the survey within the realm of "pain," in the emotional and perceptual translation of "illness" as "pain."
Therefore, studies which investigate the emotional -literature - medical narrative are hoped for in the future

Ramona Zavoianu-Petrovici
University of Bucharest
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Emotions and Literary Theory Concepts – an Attempt of Inclusion

While employing the paradigm of 4E Cognition, skilled intentionality framework (SIF), and further Cognitive concepts, we seek to address emotions in relation with literature and literary theory concepts, using Milan Kundera’s novels as case study. We approach emotions in connection with established concepts of literary theory such as aesthetic distance, intertextuality, metatextuality, or devices such as repetition.
We observe that recognition of affordances and novelty effect are marked by situated affectivity, which we attempt to connect with the concept of aesthetic distance. We argue that selective openness and affordance responsiveness can be related with the concept of intertextuality given the existence of liminal space – a space in between texts/works of art.  Since the relevance of affordances is related to a disequilibrium within a self-organizing individual-textual world system, we thus argue that, for e.g. the concept of aesthetic distance can be further theorized by referring to SIF and 4E Cognition. We map text markers and narrator strategies acting as reader response triggers that allow skilled intentionality to engage and insure affordance responsiveness, respectively encourage selective openness and responsiveness to affordances. We aim to discuss the emergence of emotions based on intertextuality, driven by the use of repetition, determining the reader to selectively open to a landscape of text affordances and respond to affordances made relevant. We seek to map the presence of emotions considered as an effect of optimal grip on a field of affordances as per the concept of disequilibrium, in relation with intertextuality and metatextuality.


Robin L. Zebrowski
Beloit College
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Emotion-as-Value: Enactive Challenges for Machine Consciousness

The nature of the mind and the processes of cognition are poorly understood even within their academic disciplines. Our narratives around AI, seeded largely in science fiction, are driving public understanding of algorithms now. One result of this can be seen vividly in the current AI hype: people don’t understand well what the mind is, so they fear that the specialized algorithms which get called AI now will reach and then surpass human cognition. Yet, if we start with 4e (or 5e, or all the way to 7e*, as Johnson (2018) once suggested), some of the very foundational ways of understanding the mind are potentially incompatible with anything like machine consciousness, at least without some major revolutions in how we think about minds. These revolutions must necessarily involve the 7es as starting points (or 8es, if we include ecological as yet another e, which surely we ought to do). In this paper, I start with enactivism (Thompson, 2010) and embodied neuroscience (Damasio, 1995), and look to how specialized concepts like operational closure and autonomy are tied directly to both social cognition (De Jaegher and Di Paolo 2007) and emotion (Damasio 1995). I argue that this matters tremendously for our aspirations in machine consciousness. If we center emotions as the biological mechanism that imposes value onto objects in the world, and couple that with the ways social cognition requires a kind of autonomy that no machine currently has (or even aspires to), then AGI/machine consciousness is not coming soon. We need new narratives that understand 4/5/7e cognition to dampen the AI hype, but also to guide future research in both AI and robotics toward promising and interesting research.

Lisa Zunshine
University of Kentucky
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Mystery Loves Company

My talk explores a peculiar communicational dynamic which arises when one fictional character cannot figure out what another character is thinking, especially when the context is personally relevant and tantalizing. What happens in those situations is that the puzzled character compensates for her mindreading failure (as it were) by actively reading minds of other people, for instance, those of hypothetical or real observers of this interaction. With those others, our character forms a pleasing imaginary consensus: they seem to share a mutual understanding of the meaning of the situation. To see what this may feel like, imagine being unpleasantly mystified about someone’s motivation and then immediately thinking of other people who would have a reaction similar to yours, thus forming a small like-minded community which would thus validate your emotional response. The main question that I want to address, by drawing on research in cognitive psychology and works of fiction (and, if time allows, visual art), is as follows. What is actually being modeled by such “mystery loves company” scenes: a real-life communicative problem? a fraught process of social consensus building? an aspect of emotion regulation? a particular representational challenge? a counterintuitive combination of some of the above?


1.    Chantal E.G. Albicher – Amsterdam University Medical Center, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Lisa-Maria van Klaveren – University of Groningen and Amsterdam University Medical Centers location University of Amsterdam
The power of imagination: sketch comedy as a tool for
professional development in medical education
During their clerkships, medical students transition to being medical doctors.
In daily clinical practice, they learn and develop skills, expertise and values through feedback provided by a diverse group of medical and health practitioners.
Processing these feedbacks into learning experiences and translating them into actions requires three moves: understanding, self-reflection, and handling emotions.
Workplace-based learning in a complex environment of clinical clerkships can be challenging. Students need to continuously adapt to the uniqueness and complexity of authentic learning environments in diverse and dynamic workplace contexts, while staying an authentic human being who attend to humanity and self-care.
To equip medical students with tools to signal and handle emotions that workplace learning brings about, we introduced a new way of supporting students in our program: sketch comedy.
Art in different various expressions affords ostranenie, making things unfamiliar or strange to gain new perspectives and see the world differently. By abandoning the contextual frame (embeddedness) and exaggerating learning situations in sketches, we create new spaces for playing and exploring socio-cultural-physical boundaries (embodiment) in dynamic interactions (enaction) to support learning and handling of emotions by students. Learning experiences using artistic means such as sketch comedy go beyond conceptual and analytical learning, and foster perceptual and imaginative skills. By focusing on the body and emotions in dynamic interactions, students are invited to find new possibilities for self-care and authenticity to valorize learning experiences during their clerkships.
This poster presents sketch comedy as an embodied and enactive means to prioritize emotions in medical education.

2.   Anna Re – Istituto per le Tecnologie Didattiche, CNR Palermo,
Laura Ieni – Università degli Studi di Messina, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Domenica Bruni – Università degli Studi di Messina.
Emotions, Art and Virtual Reality: an exploratory study.
Aesthetic experience is a fundamental element during art evaluation and it is characterised by the activation of bodily sensations, and with this study, we want to show the evidence in our project done in the University of Messina in the Department of Cognitive Sciences.
The rapid growth of Virtual Reality (VR) in emotion research is given by it’s ability to evoke a strong sense of presence that could be associated with high emotional responses. Virtual  reality  allows  us to  feel  immersed  in  a  temporally  and  spatially  place and the use of this technology in museum environments has increased significantly, changing the visitor experience.
The aim of the present study is to compare the intensity of the emotion evoked by the painting shown in a virtual reality environment (VR) with the same painting shown through a computer screen (CS) asking participants to judge the intensity of their emotions. The results of this exploratory study, which involved 18 participants, provide support to scientific knowledge on the impact that immersive technologies have – compared with the real world – in the emotional responses.

3.    Efi Kyprianidou - University of Cyprus, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Empathy and Sustainability: The Art of Thinking like a Mountain (EMPACT).

Research in psychology and behavioral studies has long indicated that psychological barriers and the complexity of climate change phenomena lead to apathy, distance, avoidance, or even denial - a type of “compassion fatigue” regarding nature and climate-change risks. Moreover, it was recently argued that sustainability research has neglected people’s emotions, thoughts, beliefs and identities and has focused on external phenomena and social structures; this possibly being part of why actions for sustainability have not had the necessary transformative capacity for system change. Recent studies have begun to explore the idea that empathy may be the key to a game-changing move in communicating and acting upon environmental challenges. While empathic responses towards humans have long been a key theme of moral philosophy, psychology and social sciences, the role of empathy in sustainability research and development has been rather neglected.“Empathy and Sustainability: The Art of Thinking Like a Mountain” adopted an innovative approach by (i) exploring the idea of empathy towards nature and the inanimate, and (ii) addressing the role of empathy in advocating for the climate crisis at the speed needed through artistic co-operation and creation of novel art projects.

4.    Lucrezia Lucchi – University of Groningen, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Lisa-Maria van Klaveren – University of Groningen and Amsterdam University Medical Centers location University of Amsterdam
Julia J. C. Blau – Central Connecticut State University
Ralf F. A. Cox – University of Groningen

Ecological Art Experience: Aesthetic Emotions and Bodily Synchronization with Films

Recent embodied approaches to art experience emphasize the circular nature of emotional and bodily engagement with art. Bodily engagement is considered an emergent perception-action loop, where people’s ongoing interaction with an artwork continuously shapes, and is shaped by, individuals’ perceptual experience of an artwork. The so-called ‘motion-emotion’ loop then refers to how body feedback promotes behavioral and emotional regulation, and thus the experience of emotion and formation of appreciative judgments. For instance, the degree of motion in a film has been suggested to influence emotional engagement by mediating the valence and perceived intensity of emotions experienced by viewers. Exploring how motion in film (i.e., editing dynamics, camera movements) influences the way in which viewers physically and emotionally attune to events in films is therefore fundamental to understanding viewers’ experience of cinematic art from a 4E/5E perspective. In this study, participants watched two films that differed with respect to editing dynamics while whole-body movement and heart-rate data were recorded. Additionally, they answered questionnaires to provide insights into mood, personality, and aesthetic emotions. Main hypotheses addressed whether editing structure has a significant impact on a) behavioral and physiological coordination with films’ movement energy (ME), and b) subjective aesthetic appraisal (including aesthetic emotions and liking of films). We also investigated how complexity measures representing the synchronization of individuals’ movement and physiological arousal with a film’s ME may relate to the emergence of specific aesthetic emotions and experiences

5.    Renata Gambino, University of Catania
Francesca Vigo, University of Catania
Salvatore Ciancitto, University of Catania
Federica Abramo, University of Catania, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ENID-Teach. European Network in D-Flexible Teaching

The poster presents the ENID Teach Erasmus+ project, which aims to establish a European university network focusing on training university teachers in innovative and flexible pedagogies. Through the creation of Nano Open Online Courses (NOOCs) by project partner universities, the project seeks to facilitate knowledge transfer on effective teaching practices. ENID Teach partners universities have developed five courses covering critical methodologies, collaborative teaching and research, active and gamified methodologies, flipped methodologies, and the design of flexible and digital educational programs. These courses, available in five languages on the ECO Digital Learning platform, offer 25 hours of self-paced study. The University of Catania's course on Collaborative Teaching and Research explores collaborative learning fundamentals, the concept of extended mind, and participatory evaluation. The project, initiated in 2022, has already completed two editions of online courses, with upcoming free iterations in May and September 2024 for national and international university teachers to engage in research and product development activities.

6.    Bianca Maria Serena Inguscio - Sapienza University of Rome; BrainSigns Srl, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Giulia Cartocci - Sapienza University of Rome; BrainSigns Srl
Dario Rossi - Sapienza University of Rome; BrainSigns Srl
Patrizia Cherubino - BrainSigns Srl
Andrea Giorgi - BrainSigns Srl
Stefano Menicocci - BrainSigns Srl
Ana C. Martinez Levy - BrainSigns Srl
Fabio Babiloni - Sapienza University of Rome; BrainSigns Srl; Hangzhou Dianzi University, Xiasha.

A decade of Neuroaesthetics at Sapienza University:  the 'Emotional' Experience of the Industrial Neuroscience Laboratory

The poster illustrates the cultural, scientific journey of the Industrial Neuroscience Laboratory of Sapienza, University of Rome, which wanted to and still is exploring with scientific rigor the neurophysiological correlates of art perception; because beauty is subjective, but can we measure it? Is the aesthetic pleasure triggered by art universal, or does it depend on its forms (painting, sculpture, poetry)? Growing evidences support art for treating diseases, but what about addiction?
We answer the questions through an advanced neurophysiological approach by describing the main results obtained from compelling studies carried out in important cultural museum contexts such as the Scuderie del Quirinale (Tiziano's and Vermeer's Exhibitions), National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia, architectural (San Pietro in Vincoli, Michelangelo's Moses), where neurophysiological signals (electroencephalography, heart rate; skin conductance level) were recorded to assess the viewer's unconscious mental response. We delve into the meanderings of the Italian literary tradition, evaluating the emotional response to reading and listening to Dante's Divine Comedy in presence and remotely. Moreover, we evaluate the benefit of art in emotional responses in the context of addiction. Our objective is to offer a scientific and cultural map of our activities in the field of neuroaesthetics. The final aim is to stimulate scientific curiosity, discussion and sharing concerning the field of cognitive neuroscience applied to the perception of beauty.


1.    Garamh Kim - Temple University, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dancing with Emotions: Enriching 5E Cognition in Dance Pedagogy

This workshop features a sample university dance class activity as a pedagogical model that elucidates the dynamic role of emotion in cognition. Grounded in ongoing doctoral research, we will explore the nuanced interrelations between emotion, dance, and cognitive learning processes within a Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance classroom. Through this experiential session, participants will consider how emotions—for example, anxiety, excitement, and vulnerability—can influence learning, engagement, and the sense of community within an educational setting.
Theoretical influencers for the study include Karen Bond, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Nick J. Fox, Anna Halprin, Erin Manning, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Max van Manen, Pablo Villa, Margaret Wetherell, and many more.
An important component of this session is the 'Affect Measure' (Kim 2022), a tool designed to enable awareness of emotional experiences in the learning process. Participants will actively engage with movement activities and complete the Affect Measure, followed by the opportunity to discuss how emotional states may be integral to cognitive function and educational outcomes.
Crucially, we will explore the concept of agency as it extends to non-human actors—such as the emotive atmosphere of the space, sound environment, spatial structural elements, and technological resources. To this end, participants will be invited to use their smartphone cameras to create and record both non-human and human agentic elements they see, feel, embody, and interact with during the session.
Through this holistic approach we aim to enrich the discourse on 5E cognition, suggesting that affective and ecological elements are not merely affiliated but central to the architecture and flow of cognition. Please excuse the bias, but this particular reconceptualization of cognition points to a crucial role for dance at all phases of the human lifespan.
Please join us for this explorative session, which may not only challenge but also expand our understanding of how cognition is experienced, enacted, and embodied through the transformative power of dance.

2.    Marjan Sharifi - École Normale Supérieure, UC Berkeley, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Intimacy workshop: exploring intimacy through the prism of technology

What is the feeling of intimacy? How do we know we are being intimate, feeling close, being in love? As social creatures, we necessarily need to feel close to one another. Cognitive scientists have shown that oxytocin is released (the feed good hormone) when we are being touched physically by another. That feral children, raised in absence of human contact (e.g. in the wild by dogs) grow up to have maladaptive social skills. What is it about closeness which is so important to our wellbeing?
Digital technology is challenging our very notion of what it means to be intimate, what it means to feel close, not only spatially, but also mentally (at the level of the psyche). In some cultures, nearly 30% of individuals in their twenties have indicated that they have fallen in love with a virtual partner.
Given that the age of AI is already part of our social reality, how can intimacy be reimaged through the prism of current and future technological tools/environments/friends? Isn’t artificial intimacy the same thing as intimacy given the way that it resonates within us emotionally?
In this workshop, we will explore what it means to feel intimate, both in spatial proximity but also mentally, from an interdisciplinary discourse drawing namely from the perspectives of cognitive psychology, new media, visual arts, and philosophy to examine how intimacy has become refigured in light of human computer interactions and other recent technological advancements. During the workshop, we will explore intimacy interactively through a mélange of video, image, text, and discussion.

3.    Benito García-Valero - University of Alicante, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Experiencing Zhi: Emotion and cognition in literary creation
viewed from ancient Chinese literary theory
This workshop  aims for a practical experience of the interrelations between emotion and cognition on the basis of ancient Chinese notions belonging to the Confucian tradition. Confucianism also reflected around emotions as one of the key elements in any type of cognition, including the cognitive processes taking place during literary creation. In general terms, Asian philosophy encompasses views on cognition which could be considered today “pre-cognitivist” given the value they attach to bodily aspects in the configuration of abstract notions and constructions. The review of Chinese literary theory thus provides useful insights into the interrelation of physical and intellectual aspects of cognition. This workshop is a proposal to experience in a creative way the notion of zhi in order to assess the pre-cognitivist value ingrained in it. Zhi was generally described as the contents in the body/mind of a given author that appear after the experience of stimuli coming from the world. The stimuli prompt semantic processing, which is a part of zhi, but the notion describes the attentive quality towards meaning as well. The theory of zhi accounts for the semantic contents of literary languages as well as for the emotional qualities arisen by the contemplation of those stimuli, two aspects of literary creation that cannot be easily dissociated. The poem (shi) is a special type of language called wen, which is the manifestation of the zhi after being shaped by the body/mind of the author. The activities that will take place in this hands-on workshop are intended to focus on the debate about emotion as part of cognition, and more specifically, as part of the cognitive process of literary creation.