INS Keynote Seminar – Lyon Research Team (France)

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in | Comments Off

“Dynamics of Embodied Cognition in Humans and Robots”

Jocelyne Ventre-Dominey, Carol Madden-Lombardi and Peter Dominey

Human and Robot Cognitive Systems- Inserm U1208- Bron, France

The goal of our research is to understand the neural basis and organization of the sensori-motor systems responsible for visuo-spatial orientation and spatial representation in interaction with language. Over the past few decades, embodied cognition theory has suggested a tight coupling between sensori-motor functions and language, as understanding verbal stimuli (words, sentences, narrative) triggers sensori-motor experiential traces grounded in neural networks. Beyond language, the comprehension of perceived events in the world around us relies on the internal simulation of our own previous experiences in a multimodal framework. Such an embodied theory of meaning implies interacting cognitive systems including tight coupling between visuo-spatial representations and language functions. While these two functions have been well studied in separate fields, the mechanisms and neural substrates of their coupling in higher-order cognitive operations remain to be characterized.

By combining neuroscience and psychology expertise in both sensori-motor and language domains, integrated with computational neuroscience and neuro-robotics, our team project addresses several themes of this general topic: 1) the neural mechanisms and the organization underlying sensori-motor interactions involved in both space representation and language comprehension, 2) the organization of the spatio-temporal structure of embodied event simulations serving narrative comprehension and 3) the development of neuro-computational models of these dynamic cognitive functions for model-based analysis of brain dynamics, and for developing cognitive functions in humanoid robots. Finally these research findings will provide a basis for further translational applications of these cognitive functions in aging, reeducation, and psychiatry (autism).

For any question, feel free to contact:
Benjamin Morillon ( or Adam Williamson (


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