Cognition Beyond the Brain

Computation, Interactivity and Human Artifice

  • Stephen J. Cowley
  • Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-VIII
  2. Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau, Stephen J. Cowley
    Pages 1-11
  3. Martin Neumann, Stephen J. Cowley
    Pages 13-30
  4. Jonathan Ben-Naim, Jean-François Bonnefon, Andreas Herzig, Sylvie Leblois, Emiliano Lorini
    Pages 53-70
  5. Anton Markoš, Jana Švorcová, Josef Lhotský
    Pages 71-92
  6. Bent Holshagen Hemmingsen
    Pages 93-112
  7. Chris Baber
    Pages 131-146
  8. David Kirsh
    Pages 171-194
  9. Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau, Gaëlle Villejoubert
    Pages 241-253
  10. Stephen J. Cowley, Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau
    Pages 255-273
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 275-292

About this book


Cognition Beyond the Brain challenges neurocentrism by advocating a systemic view of cognition based on investigating how action shapes the experience of thinking. The systemic view steers between extended functionalism and enactivism by stressing how living beings connect bodies, technologies, language and culture. Since human thinking depends on a cultural ecology, people connect biologically-based powers with extended systems and, by so doing, they constitute cognitive systems that reach across the skin. Biological interpretation exploits extended functional systems.

Illustrating distributed cognition, one set of chapters focus on computer mediated trust, work at a construction site, judgement aggregation and crime scene investigation. Turning to how bodies manufacture skills, the remaining chapters focus on interactivity or sense-saturated coordination. The feeling of doing is crucial to solving maths problems, learning about X rays, finding an invoice number, or launching a warhead in a film.  People both participate in extended systems and exert individual responsibility. Brains manufacture a now to which selves are anchored: people can act automatically or, at times, vary habits and choose to author actions. In ontogenesis, a systemic view permits rationality to be seen as gaining mastery over world-side resources. Much evidence and argument thus speaks for reconnecting the study of computation, interactivity and human artifice. Taken together, this can drive a networks revolution that gives due cognitive importance to the perceivable world that lies beyond the brain.

Cognition Beyond the Brain is a valuable reference for researchers, practitioners and graduate students within the fields of Computer Science, Psychology, Linguistics and Cognitive Science.


Agency Distributed Cognition Distributed Cognitive Systems Distributed Language Distributed Thinking External Representations Human Interactivity Interactivity Languaging Managing Cognitive Systems Problem Solving Rationality Sense Making Social Cognition

Editors and affiliations

  • Stephen J. Cowley
    • 1
  • Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau
    • 2
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of HertfordshireHatfieldUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyKingston UniversityKingston-upon-ThamesUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information