Future directions meeting

Future directions meeting: sensorimotor contingencies & body knowledge

Monday & Tuesday March 26 & 27th, 2018


Organizers : Tobias Heed (Bielefeld University) and Kevin O’Regan (Paris Descartes University)

Click here to see the workshop schedule and here to see discussants’ abstracts.


In this meeting, we aim to clarify the concepts that underlie current approaches to understanding how human body knowledge develops from birth onwards, with a focus on what we call the “sensorimotor approach” – the idea that body knowledge must necessarily arise by accumulating information about how actions affect incoming sensory stimulation. We will discuss the advantages and shortcomings of this idea, with the aim to work towards defining experimental and theoretical ways to evaluate and improve the research directed at understanding body knowledge development.

Time & Place

Mon/Tue March 26/27, 2018

Conference Room 229 (2nd Floor)

Centre Biomédical des Saints Pères, 45 rue des Saints Pères, 75006 Paris

(Metro Saint Germain des Près)


To stimulate intensive discussion, we have invited only a small number of discussants (plus up to 2 members of their group), each with a different background in neuroscience, psychology, and/or technology. Discussants are asked to prepare short statements (1 slide max, 2-5 min talking time) for each session’s topic and questions (see schedule below). One discussant starts the session off with an introduction of 20 min. In this, he or she describes his or her own current approach, the status of the field, and current major limitations. The introduction is then followed by the other discussants’ short statements. The remainder of the time is dedicated to discussion about possible solutions, approaches, connections between questions & research fields. At the end, we will have a final session to sum up what we have learnt and to deduce new directions. Sessions are moderated to ensure goal-oriented discussion and time-keeping.

Instruction to invited discussants

We call the invited persons “discussants” and not “presenters” because we would like them not to give an exhaustive overview of their work or their field, but to concentrate on what they think their and other major approaches in the field are, and especially on their limitations: what are things that are currently missing, not working etc., and to do so in a way that encourages active discussion.