Dynamic Field Theory


DFT Home




Summer School

Conceptual Foundations and Applications
in the Cognitive and Developmental Sciences

July 23, 2008
30th Annual Conference of the
Cognitive Science Society
Washington DC

The concepts of Dynamical Systems Theory have impacted the way psychologists, cognitive scientists, and neuroscientists think about sensori-motor behavior and embodied cognition. These concepts have had a particularly strong impact in developmental science, changing the way questions are asked, experiments are designed, and theoretical models are formulated.

One obstacle for researchers wishing to use DFT has been the mathematical and technical skills required to make the ideas operational. The goal of this tutorial is to provide the tools needed to overcome this hurdle. We will provide an overview of the central concepts of DFT and their grounding in both Dynamical Systems concepts and neurophysiology. Next, we will discuss the concrete implementation of these concepts in Dynamic Neural Field models and provide the group with some hands-on experience using real-time simulators in Matlab. Finally, we will give an overview of how the basic concepts and models have been extended to account for cognitive and developmental phenomena and discuss how this provides a formal framework for thinking about embodied cognition and the integration of processes across multiple time scales.

Link to 2009 Cognitive Science Society meeting tutorials