Upcoming Events

PHD Defence - Rasmus Høll Nielsen

A Naturalistic Approach to Horror Entertainment

Contested Property Claims

Contested Property Claims
Research seminar with Mikkel Thorup

Abstract: The talk will present an ongoing research project on struggles over the control of urban spaces. We look at property as a dynamic process shaped and challenged by the practices and arguments through which social actors communicate, defend, and critique property claims. And our special focus is on what happens when actors to a conflict have equal yet conflicting claims communicated through law, morality, politics, common use or other property languages.

Cognitive Event Analysis: Towards an ecology of cognitive particulars

As envisioned by James Gibson, an ecological approach to cognition takes a starting point in the reciprocity of an organism and its environment. If one adds to Gibson’s vision the idea that this reciprocity constitutes an organism-environment system, then we have a self-organised cognitive system, animated by the organism and incorporating various structures in the environment. The dynamics of such systems constitute a cognitive trajectory (i.e. the path traversed by the system), and give rise to cognitive events (i.e. significant changes – phase transitions – along the cognitive trajectory). In other words, the specific configuration of cognitive events creates a unique, irreproducible cognitive trajectory, constituted by the fine-grained particulars of human behaviour. Building on this ecological framework, the talk present a qualitative method for analyzing such cognitive events: Cognitive Event Analysis (CEA).The talk outlines the theoretical framework that underlies CEA, presents the methodological principles, and demonstrates the method on both experimental and naturalistic data.

References on Cognitive Event Analysis:

Cowley, S. J., & Nash, L. (2013). Language, interactivity and solution probing: Repetition without repetition. Adaptive Behavior, 21, 187-198. DOI: 10.1177/1059712313482804

Pedersen, S. B. (2015). The cognitive ecology of human errors in emergency medicine: an interactivity-based approach. (Ph.D.), University of Southern Denmark, Odense.  

Pedersen, S. B., & Steffensen, S. V. (2014). Temporal Dynamics in Medical Visual Systems. Cybernetics & Human Knowing, 21(1-2), 143-157.

Steffensen, S. V. (2013). Human interactivity: Problem-solving, solution-probing and verbal patterns in the wild. In S. J. Cowley & F. Vallée-Tourangeau (Eds.), Cognition Beyond the Brain: Computation, Interactivity and Human Artifice (pp. 195-221). Dordrecht: Springer.

Steffensen, S. V. (In press/2015). Cognitive Probatonics: towards an ecological psychology of cognitive particulars. New Ideas in Psychology, 1-10.

Steffensen, S. V., & Pedersen, S. B. (2014). Temporal Dynamics in Human Interaction. Cybernetics & Human Knowing, 21(1-2), 80-97.

Steffensen, S. V., Vallée-Tourangeau, F., & Vallée-Tourangeau, G. (In press/2015). Cognitive Events in a Problem-solving Task: A Qualitative Method for Investigating Interactivity in the 17 Animals Problem. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 1-25.

Vallée-Tourangeau, F., Steffensen, S. V., Vallée-Tourangeau, G., & Makri, A. (2015). Insight and cognitive ecosystems. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the Thirty-seventh Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Austin, TX.

The Generality of Signs

On Wednesday, the Research Seminar will be featuring no less than professor Frederik Stjernfelt! Stjernfelt, the former director of Center for Semiotics, is an internationally renowned figure in the world of semiotics, and in this talk he will discuss a core semiotic topic: the generality of signs (abstract below).

Abstract: The Generality of Signs
For some odd reason, the generality of most signs is an overlooked secret. This paper discusses issues such as:
- Which signs are general?
- The generality of predicates
- The general structure of propositions
- The connection between general signs and realism
- The strange ontology of nominalism

The seminar will, as usual, conclude with a general discussion with the audience. We hope to see you all for a cosy and intellectually stimulating afternoon on Wednesday, October 7th at 4pm!

Master Class 


with Dr. Catherine Emmott
(University of Glasgow, Scotland)

Stylistics, Text Analysis
and Cognitive Science

11th May – 13th May 2015

Spring Semester 2015

New Publications

Investigations Into the Phenomenology and the Ontology of the Work of Art: What are Artworks and How Do We Experience Them?

Bundgaard, Peer F., Stjernfelt, Frederik (Eds.) 2015

This book investigates the nature of aesthetic experience and aesthetic objects. Written by leading philosophers, psychologists, literary scholars and semioticians, the book addresses two intertwined issues. The first is related to the phenomenology of aesthetic experience: The understanding of how human beings respond to artworks, how we process linguistic or visual information, and what properties in artworks trigger aesthetic experiences. The examination of the properties of aesthetic experience reveals essential aspects of our perceptual, cognitive, and semiotic capacities.  The second issue studied in this volume is related to the ontology of the work of art: Written or visual artworks are a specific type of objects, containing particular kinds of representation which elicit a particular kind of experience. The research question explored is: What properties in artful objects trigger this type of experience, and what characterizes representation in written and visual artworks? The volume sets the scene for state-of-the-art inquiries in the intersection between the psychology and ontology of art. The investigations of the relation between the properties of artworks and the characteristics of aesthetic experience increase our insight into what art is. In addition, they shed light on essential properties of human meaning-making in general.

Buy it on Springer.

Cognitive Semiotics

Editor-in-Chief: Bundgaard, Peer F.
2 Issues per year

Cognitive Semiotics is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal devoted to high-quality research, integrating perspectives, methods and insight from cognitive science, cognitive linguistics and semiotics, placing meaning-making into the broader context of cognitive, social, and neurobiological processes. The journal is a platform for the study of meaning-making writ large: in our interactions with the surroundings in all domains, in the natural as well as in the social world, in language and other sign vehicles, as well as in perception, and in action.

All articles from issues 1 through 5 can be downloaded for free. Click here.

More information and subscription.

Linguistic Coordination: Models, Dynamics and Effects, Thematic Issue of New Ideas in Psychology

Fusaroli, R. & Tylén, K. (eds.) 2013. 

The contributors to this issue of New Ideas in Psychology pursue a radically different approach, that of language as an interaction system (Bickhard, 2007a). Like any human behavior, language is considered an open, multi-modal system, deeply embedded in and shaped by continuous functional interactions with the surrounding social, cultural and material environment (Dale, Fusaroli, Duran, & Richardson, 2014; Lupyan & Dale, 2010; Rączaszek-Leonardi & Kelso, 2008; Tylén, Fusaroli, Bundgaard, & Østergaard, 2013). Consequently, the study of language shifts its focus from individual inner linguistic representations to the public perceivable and communicational nature of linguistic forms (Fowler, 2013; Port, 2007). The primary goal of linguistic activity is not to construct well-formed sentences, but to maintain and regulate social affiliation and relations, share experiences and accomplish joint goals, etc. In other words, language is first and foremost a matter of coordination: coordination between interlocutors and their linguistic behaviors, between contexts and communities, between different time scales of linguistic processes, etc. (Beckner et al., 2009; Bickhard, 2009; Fusaroli & Tylén, 2012; Greenspan & Shanker, 2007). However, the approach to language as coordination dynamics present us with (at least) three fundamental challenges: i) How do we model language as coordination and what are the consequences? ii) If language is an open system, how do we then define and demarcate the object of scientific inquiry? iii) If grammaticality and acceptability are not by themselves the primary goals of linguistic processes how do we assess the functionality of language?

Narrative Theory and Poetics: 
5 Questions

Edited by Peer Bundgaard, Henrik Skov Nielsen and Frederik Stjernfelt

Excerpt from the book's preface:

In the present interview book, Narrative Theory and Poetics: 5 Questions, eminent narratologists, literary scholars, poeticians, stylisticians and philosophers answer five simple and broad questions. As is generally the case in the 5 Questions Series, the questions are intended to give the authors an occasion to outline their intellectual biography -- in whatever detail they find necessary, with or without the anecdotes of life -- as well as to lay down their idea of the state of the art of the domain of research to which they have devoted their work including the future challenges and unsolved issues it is still ripe with ...

Edited by Peer Bundgaard, Henrik Skov Nielsen and Frederik Stjernfelt

Automatic Press / VIP, 2011
ISBN 9788792130426

Buy it on Amazon

Hvordan styres videnssamfundet? 
Demokrati, ledelse og organisering

Redigeret af Jan Faye og 
David Budtz Pedersen

Debatten om ledelse og styring af landets universiteter kører på fuldt blus i disse dage. Der er fokus på, hvad de nye krav til forskere og studerende betyder for universiteterne og deres evne til at skabe viden. Men hvordan skal vi forholde os til debatten, og hvor fører den hen? Det giver denne bog nogle fagligt funderede bud på.

400 sider | 398 kr.

ISBN: 978-87-768-3026-7 
1. udgave 2012

Forlaget Nyt fra Samfundsvidenskaberne

Bestil bogen hos forlaget




The Communicative Mind: A Linguistic Exploration of Conceptual Integration and Meaning Construction

Line Brandt, 2012 

Advancing a research approach to meaning construction connecting Linguistics, Philosophy, Literary Studies, Neurophenomenology, Cognitive Science and Semiotics, The Communicative Mind presents an interdisciplinary exploration of the various ways in which the intersubjectivity of communicating interactants manifests itself in language. The book supports its view of the mind as highly conditioned by the domain of interpersonal communication by an extensive range of empirical linguistic data from fiction, poetry and everyday discourse. Among recent theoretical advances in what Brandt refers to as the cognitive humanities is Fauconnier and Turner’s theory of conceptual integration which, offering a bridge between pragmatics and semantics, has proved widely influential in Cognitive Poetics and Linguistics. With its constructive criticism of Fauconnier and Turner’s hypothesis that the “blending” of mental spaces is a general mechanism of cognition, Brandt’s book brings the scope and applicability of Conceptual Integration Theory into the arena of scientific debate. 

Preview available: www.amazon.com/The-Communicative-Mind-Exploration-Construction/dp/1443841447



Per Aage Brandt:
Spaces, Domains, and Meaning

Download Per Aage Brandt’s book Spaces, Domains, and Meaning - Essays in Cognitive Semiotics (2004). The book is sold out from the publisher and is free for download.

Contains the essays: Three Imagistic Operators: Metaphor, Catachresis, Simile - Language, Domains, and Blending - The Architecture of Semantic Domains - On Causation and Narration - The Semantics of Diagrams - Mental Space Networks and Linguistic Integration - Semio-linguistic and Stemmatic Syntax - Poetry, Cognitive Semiotics, and Baudelaire's Cats - Metaphors in Shakespeare's Sonnet 73 - Reflections in the Mental Brain - The Mystery of Interpretation - Music and the Private Dancer - Art, Technique, and Cognition - From Gesture to Theatricality - What's New? - 50.000 Years of Modernism.

Click here to download PDF (268 pages, 7.3 MB)

Comments on content: 
Revised 2016.05.02