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photo of Stephen Cowley
 Dr Stephen Cowley

School of Psychology
University of Hertfordshire
College Lane
AL10 9AB


The Big Project

I co-ordinate the Distributed Language Group. We are a growing international group who are promoting the distributed view of language. While local members meet at Hertfordshire, we have clusters in several places across the world and, from these, are organizing international meetings. Broadly, we share two commitments. First, we all take a naturalistic perspective. Second, we view language as providing a means of transforming the relations between brains, bodies and world.

The group itself is distributed. We do not aim to promote a specific theory or, indeed, to work in any one interdisciplinary area. Since, we have tended to focus on dynamics and grounding, we have built links between the language sciences and robotics. Our ambitions, however, are to promote the distributed view in providing new perspectives on both brain and behaviour. While the Hertfordshire group works in cognitive psychology, other projects reflect the DLG’s wider interests.

Historically, the DLG builds on a working group founded by David Spurrett and Stephen Cowley in 1999. As mind AND world (mAw), we group organized conferences on Integrational Linguistics and Distributed Cognition (Durban, South Africa in 2003) and Distributed Cognition and the Will: Individual Volition and Social Context (Birmingham, AL, 2005).


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