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Games and Cognition

March 25 and 26th, 2015

organized by Nina Gierasimczuk


The experimental paradigm of games has a lot to offer. Games are often much more attractive to subjects than traditional psychological tests. Recent possibility of making games available online to huge populations gives ways of extensive data collection. They allow studying topics that are otherwise experimentally hard to address: problem solving, multi-tasking, theory of mind, adaptive learning, communication, emergence of linguistic conventions, development of linguistic abilities in autistic patients, etc. Many of those topics come from traditionally humanistic disciplines, like linguistics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind. This workshop will gather researchers who use games for experimenting with and modeling various aspects of human cognition.



I am very pleased to announce that the workshop will feature screenings of two films by Harun Farocki, acclaimed German artist and filmmaker. Special thanks go to his collaborator, Matthias Rajmann, for making this possible!


Wednesday, March 25th

09:00 – 9:15 Welcome and coffee

Morning Session, chair: Nina Gierasimczuk

09:15 – 10:15 Frances Rosamond (Charles Darwin University), A Grand Experiment: The Hard Instance Stock Market 

10:15 – 10:45 Federico Sangati (Fondatione Bruno Kessler), Playful Language Exercises in Classrooms 

10:45 – 11:15 Coffee break

11:15 – 12:15 Michael Fellows (Charles Darwin University), The Systematic Design of Puzzle Type Games from Computational Problems in the Theory of NP-completeness 

12:15 – 13:45 Lunch break

Afternoon Session, chair: Ana Lucia Vargas Sandoval

13:45 – 14:15 Harmen de Weerd (University of Groningen), Mind Games: The Effectiveness of Higher-order Theory of Mind in Games

14:15 – 15:15 Ivan Toni (Donders Institute Nijmegen), Neurocognitive Mechanisms for Human Communicative Innovations 

15:15 – 15:45 Enkhbold Nyamsuren (University of Amsterdam), What Happens when Scientists Play Games?

15:45 – 16:00 Coffee break

16:00 – 16:35 Screening of the film Parallel I-IV by Harun Farocki and Matthias Rajmann.

17:00 – 20:00 General Conference Program


Thursday, March 26th

09:00 – 09:15 Coffee

Morning Session, chair: Sanne Kosterman

09:15 – 10:15 Han van der Maas (University of Amsterdam), The Number Game: An Educational Game and Challenge for Cognitive Modelling 

10:15 – 10:45 Sanna Muijlaert and Willempje Vrins (Center for Applied Games), Parkinson and Play: Using Games to Battle Cognitive Decline 

10:45 – 11:15 Coffee break

11:15 – 12:15 Thomas Bolander (Danish Technical University), DigiPlay: An Adaptive Vocabulary Acquisition System with Tangible User Interface for Low-Functioning Autists

12:15 – 13:45 Lunch break

Afternoon Session, chair: Zoé Christoff

13:45 – 14:15 Corrado Grappiolo (Computer Games and Interaction Design, Alten Netherlands), Interaction-based Group Identity Modelling: A Computational Framework for Social Synthetic Environments 

14:15 – 15:15 Niels Taatgen (University of Groningen), Games that Make You Smart

15:15 – 15:45 Sanne Kosterman (University of Amsterdam), Learning in Games through Social Networks 

15:45 – 16:00 Coffee break

16:00 – 16:35 Screening of the film Serious Games I-IV by Harun Farocki.

17:00 – 20:00 General Conference Program