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SweCog 2015 Conference

Warmly welcome to the second SweCog national conference.

The aim of SweCog is to support networking among researchers in Sweden, with the goal of creating a strong interdisciplinary cluster of cognitive science oriented research.

Conference registration (incl. dinner, lunch, refreshments, outing) is free for all SweCog members. Accommodation and travel to and from the conference are, however, not covered by SweCog.


Registration for the SweCog 2015 conference in Skövde has been closed. Please contact the conference organisers in order to inquire about late registrations.

Preliminary schedule

Monday 15th of June

10:00 — 10:25 Registration, G-building (G111)
10:25 — 10:30 Conference opening
10:30 — 11:30 Invited speaker: Linda Handlin, University of Skövde
1+1=3 When It Comes to Interaction With Animals
Abstract: Throughout history, pets have lived in close contact with humans and have now become central to family life, providing companionship and pleasure, and are often considered as family members. During the last decades, research has emerged that shows health benefits associated with interactions with companion animals. For example, pet ownership has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, animal contact have positive effects on empathy and can reduce the subjective feeling of anxiety and promote calmness. Some animals have the potential to reduce depression and to improve the mood of people who receive treatment for mental health problems or patient in long-term care. These animals may also influence trust toward other humans. In addition, children having a dog present in their classroom display increased social competence. Interaction between dogs and their owners have been shown to induce oxytocin release in both the dogs and the owners and it seems as if oxytocin is a major player when it comes to orchestrating the effects of human-animal interaction. Both the physical contact with the dog and the attachment of the owner to the dog seems to play important roles in generating these effects.
11:30 — 12:00 Ginevra Castellano
12:00 — 12:30 Henrik Siljebråt
12:30 — 13:30 Lunch
13:30 — 14:00 Claes Strannegård
14:00 — 14:30 Abdul Rahim Nizamani
14:30 — 15:00 Coffee break
15:00 — 16:00 Invited speaker: Tony Belpaeme, Plymouth University
Social Robots: Moving From the Quirky to the Useful
Abstract: Robots that interact with people using one or several communicative modalities have been around for almost 20 years. The technological challenges of creating robust human-robot interaction are huge, and progress in building the artificial intelligence required to make autonomous social robots has been unsteady. But even though the social performance of robots is far from that of humans, the gaps in the robot's social cognition are often plugged by humans' gregarious social cognition. As such we are now at a time where the science and technology of social robots is mature enough to be useful. This talk will give a brief overview of the current state of the art in social robots, and will show how the cognitive sciences are central to building social robots and understanding how our behaviour towards social robots. In a second part, the talk will dwell on the applications of social robots, and will show how they can be used as hospital companions and teachers.
16:15 — 18:45 Bus departures to visit Varnhem Church and Monastery ruins
19:30 Dinner

Tuesday 16th of June

09:00 — 10:00 Invited speaker: David Vernon, University of Skövde
The Importance of Joint Episodic-Procedural Memory - What a Cognitive Architecture needs for Effective Interaction
Abstract: Prospection lies at the core of cognition: it is the means by which an agent - a person or a cognitive robot - shifts its perspective from immediate sensory experience to anticipate future events, be they the actions of other agents or the outcome of its own actions. Prospection, accomplished by internal simulation, requires mechanisms for both perceptual imagery and motor imagery. While it is known that these two forms of imagery are tightly entwined in the mirror neuron system, we do not yet have an effective model of the mentalizing network which would provide a framework to integrate declarative episodic and procedural memory systems and to combine experiential knowledge with skillful know-how. Such a framework would be founded on joint perceptuo-motor representations. In this talk we examine the case for this form of representation, contrasting sensory-motor theory with ideo-motor theory, and we discuss how such a framework could be realized by joint episodic-procedural memory.
10:00 — 11:15 Poster session including refreshments
11:15 — 11:45 Trond Arild Tjøstheim
11:45 — 12:15 Joel Parthemore
12:15 — 13:15 Lunch
13:15 — 13:45 Annika Wallin
13:45 — 14:15 Christian Balkenius
14:15 — 15:00 SweCog annual meeting
15:00 — 15:05 Final words


Hus G, Högskolevägen 3, Skövde

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Erik Billing,
Tom Ziemke,

Previous Conferences

SweCog 2014