Submission deadline: August 31, 2023

Topic areas


Frontiers Research Topic:  



Dr. Nivedita Gangopadhyay, University of Bergen (nivedita.gangopadhyay[AT]

Prof. Franz Knappik, University of Bergen (franz.knappik[AT]

Dr. Vivian Puusepp, University of Tartu (vivian.puusepp[AT]  

Deadline for abstract submission: 31 August 2023

Deadline for manuscript submission: 31 December 2023  

A fundamental fact about human cognition and consciousness is that we are agents. We do things in the world and to a great extent experience the world and ourselves via our agentive interactions. Recently, the discussion of agency as grounding cognition and consciousness has increasingly taken place in the context of 4E cognition which contends that cognition is embodied, enacted, embedded, and extended. According to 4E cognition, affordances are a key explanatory concept in building an agentive framework for cognition and consciousness. The notion of affordances has been developed within 4E cognition to establish the following claims - (i) all cognition is to be fundamentally understood in terms of our agentive capacities and (ii) agency is to be necessarily understood in terms of robust embodied cognition. Thus 4E cognition agentive theories of cognition and consciousness base their accounts on robust embodied cognition and affordances as robustly embodied possibilities of interaction.   We propose to revisit the tight coupling between agency, embodiment, and affordances as found in the 4E cognition movement. Our point of departure is inspired by contemporary technological and theoretical developments that make the field ripe for exploring what it is to be an agent in the world we currently inhabit and what it could mean to be an agent in the future. We propose to investigate agency as a multifarious phenomenon and critically examine whether situating the discussion of agency primarily within robust embodied cognition frameworks satisfactorily captures the rapidly changing and intricately nuanced dimensions of agency as grounding cognition and consciousness. We also propose to revisit the notion of affordances as tightly linked to embodied capacities, and analyze whether the changing nature of our interactions with the world is best captured in terms of what the world offers to an embodied agent or in terms of interaction possibilities defined in terms of bodily representations. We aim to structure the discussions of varieties of agency primarily around recent developments on the following themes - digital agency, social agency, mental agency, and aesthetics.   The Research Topic will foster a debate engaging scholars from psychology, philosophy, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and social anthropology, among others, with a particular focus on the following

RESEARCH TOPICS AND QUESTIONS: (i) Digital agency where the contributions focus on the transformation of agency in the context of rapidly developing digital technologies, (ii) Social agency in a rapidly transforming world, (iii) Mental agency where the contributions focus on recent theories that argue that there are non-bodily, cognitive affordances for mental actions, and (iv) Aesthetics where there has been a surge in robust embodied cognition theories of agency. We also encourage contributions that examine further phenomena that shed new light on relations between agency, embodiment and affordance, and contributions that take a broader approach to discuss how the nature and interconnections between agency and embodiment change across different forms of affordances. We would like to invite original research manuscripts.  

ARTICLE TYPES: We would welcome a variety of article types for our Research Topic, such as: Original Research, Reviews/Mini Reviews, Perspective Papers, and more. The different article types can be found at . All research will be published Open Access. We additionally aim to put together a free eBook merging all published manuscripts collectively to provide an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of the latest research developments in this field.    

PUBLISHING FEES: Please note that publishing fees are applied to accepted manuscripts , but as we do not want fees to be a barrier to publishing high quality research, we would like to inform you that all authors are eligible to apply for Frontiers Fee Support Program and each request is treated individually by a dedicated Fee Support team. The allocations follow strict criteria and consider every applicant's profile, including publication history, country, field, previous support granted, etc. More information on fee support can be viewed at Other fee support options include Institutional Partnerships in addition to Open Access Funding Sources. All authors in a Research Topic may apply for any of the fee support options if they wish. Please get in touch with us if you wish to know more about the fee support program or if you would like to apply for fee support.

The deadline for abstract submission is 31 August 2023 and the deadline for manuscript submission is 31 December 2023.

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST: If you would like to contribute to the Research Topic, please register your interest via the link below, or on the homepage indicated at the top of this call. Please feel also free to forward this call to other researchers who may be interested.

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