Pretend Play and E-cognition

The Centre for Philosophical Psychology of the University
of Antwerp would like to invite you to the international conference on Pretend Play and E-Cognition.


Pretend Play and E-Cognition

When: 19 and 20 September 2019

Where: Hof van Liere, University of Antwerp, Belgium


This conference seeks to explore if and how E-Cognition theories, which aim to understand cognition through the interplay between the brain processes, bodily capacities and environmental contexts, can improve our understanding of pretend, imaginative and creative practices.

E-Cognition refers to a young field of interdisciplinary research on embodied, embedded, enactive, extensive and ecological cognition, and includes ecological psychology, sensorimotor theory and dynamical systems theory. It assumes that cognition is shaped and structured by dynamic interactions between the brain, body, and both the physical and social environments.

The pretend play practices include playing with objects 'as if' they were another, role playing, make-believe play, having imaginary friends, making-up new games, creating rules in games, confabulating, storytelling, making fictional scripts, and acting.

The conference will address newest developments in philosophical theories of E-Cognition in the field of pretense and imagination, as well as latest empirical studies on pretend and creative forms of play from psychological research.


Thalia Goldstein - George Mason University, USA: Embodiment in Dramatic Play and Social Cognition

Arkadiusz Gut & Monika Chylinska - Catholic University Lublin, Poland: Would 'anything go' in pretense? On exploratory and evaluative actions of pretending children

Vasuvedi Reddy - University of Portsmouth, UK: Teasing, pretending and deceiving: origins in infancy

Agnes Szokolszky - University of Szeged, Hungary: Development of metaphorical thinking and participatory skills via pretend play

Martin Weichold - Regensburg University, Germany: Rethinking the Mechanisms of Pretend Play by Synthesizing Enactivist Cognitive Science and Practice Theory


Conference participation fee: 75 EUR. The fee covers coffee, lunch and conference materials. Limited seating available.



Please click on 'more information and registration' to learn more about the conference programme and how to complete the registration.

The workshop is sponsored by the University of Antwerp, and the Research Foundation Flanders.

E-mail contact: