Ecoles thématiques CNRS / CNRS Summer Schools

Enaction et sciences cognitives / Enaction and Cognitive Science

Ecole 2008 : du 7 au 12 septembre 2008 - Cap Hornu (Baie de la Somme, Picardie, France)


Guillaume Dumas

Status Master Thesis Student
University / Laboratory Cogmaster (EHESS/ENS/ParisV) / LENA (CNRS UPR 640)
Email deep (a)
Laboratory website
Personnal website
Special information(s) After an initial education of engineer at the Ecole Centrale Paris and parallely in quantum physics at Paris 11, I decided to turn into cognitive neuroscience. I have first studied working memory and path optimization in space within the team of
Professor Berthoz in the College de France. Touched by the enaction theory since my first steps in the cognition field, I applied to the master in cognitive science of Paris. I have the chance for this master to take part in a project at the LENA
laboratory involving new dual-EEG techniques and which focus on inter-subjective relationships. The history of the lab linked to the neurophenomenology project and the works of Varela has inspired me from the beginning.

Meanwhile, I am also involved in various associations, both students, scientific, and artistic. Firstly within the association of the students in cognitive science of Paris which I chair. It promotes meetings between students in different fields of cognitive science. It organizes also the annual french conference of cognitive science. This year, I had the opportunity to share my passion for the enaction theory by organizing free screenings such as Monte Grande, which has scored many students or to put in place, with a former student of Humberto Maturana, a group of interdisciplinary discussion about the book The embodied mind.

In another area, I co-organized a symposium on the hallucinations in cognitive science and philosophy with a former PhD student of Varela, Juan Gonzales and a former student of the College de France, Alexandre Lehmann who came to the previous summer school enaction. We are currently creating an association, which will give structure to an interdisciplinary reflection on altered states of consciousness such as meditation and trances.

My artistic side works on bringing art and science together, particularly through technology. For instance at the 2008 edition of the Forum national des Sciences Cognitives, we introduce a touch of art, focusing on the interaction between works and spectators in an enactive way. I will also soon present a multimedia installation in this spirit for Designer Days 2008 and another facility in the Centre Pompidou of Paris. This last work deals with sensory substitution and aims to give to blind people the opportunity to explore pictures through sound.

I try to create opportunities to explore in different ways the theory of enaction, want to communicate on this approach and share with others the subjective experience in order to build a better inter-subjective world.

Research theme

The main goal of my research project is the exploration and analysis of brain correlates during communicative synchrony in human interaction. The project involves collaboration with the Centre Emotion and the team of Jacqueline Nadel who has already studied the phenomenon of imitative interaction with normal and autistics children. We have an integrative approach which aims to bring the best of neurodynamic techniques and behavioral psychology. The project has a strong technical part linked to the lack of methods in the recent dual-EEG field.

Video and experimental material