4E Cognition

and the landscapes of mental disorder

5-6 April 2018

University of Exeter

Xfi Building, Conference Rooms 1 and 2

How does the environment impact the dynamics of mental disorder? Whilst dominant biomedical approaches in psychopathology adopt brain-centered approaches to taxonomy, diagnosis, and treatment, emerging “4E” approaches in cognitive science look beyond the brain and portray minds as embodied, embedded, enacted, and extended. According to 4E cognition, minds are shaped by ongoing engagements with their material, social, and symbolic environments. This conference will explore the implications of 4E frameworks for understanding and treating mental disorder.

Questions to be considered include:

    • Can a 4E framework be integrated with a biomedical perspective or are they incompatible?
    • Might the “wide” framework of 4E cognition help distinguish pathological from non-pathological patterns of interaction?
    • In what ways can 4E approaches further illuminate emotional and affective disturbances in psychopathology? Disorders of embodiment? Intersubjectivity? Self-consciousness?
    • How is mental health influenced by material aspects of our environment?
    • What form should intervention strategies take to address brain-side and environment-side mechanisms of mental disorder?
    • How might we construct therapeutic landscapes to improve public mental health?

This conference is supported by a BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant.

Invited speakers and program

Matthew Ratcliffe (Vienna); Elizabeth Pienkos (Hartford); Michelle Maiese (Emmanuel College); Sanneke De Haan (Tilburg); Tasia Scrutton (Leeds); Will Davies (Birmingham); Laura Galbusera (Berlin); Rachel Cooper (Lancaster); Anna Ciaunica (Porto/London); Somogy Varga (Memphis).

The program is available here, and a map to the venue here. Lunch will be provided both days for registered participants.

Call for posters

The call for posters is now closed.


Registration is now closed.

Travel and Accommodation


Rail and bus fares can be booked through Trainline: https://www.thetrainline.com.


As well as the main UK London airports Heathrow and Gatwick, there are two smaller airports located at Exeter and Bristol. These airports can accommodate flights from some UK and European locations, as well as the occasional long distance flight via connections from Dublin, Ireland or other EU countries. Remember that you will also need to consider transfer from airports via rail, taxi or bus/coach.

Travel from London Heathrow Airport to Exeter

    • Coach service direct to Exeter (service 501). Inexpensive, but takes approximately 3.5 hours.
    • The Heathrow Express train connects Heathrow airport to London Paddington train station for connections to Exeter St David’s.

Travel from London Gatwick Airport to Exeter

    • The most direct route is by train changing at Reading.

Travel from Bristol Airport to Exeter

    • Bus/coach connection (approximately 20-35 minute journey) to Bristol Temple Meads for train to Exeter St David’s.

Travel from Exeter International Airport to Exeter

    • Take taxi direct to the hotel.

Hotels near the university

Premier Inn Exeter Central St. David's: https://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/hotels/england/devon/exeter/exeter-central-st-davids.html

Queens Court Hotel: http://www.queenscourt-hotel.co.uk

The Telstar: http://www.telstar-hotel.co.uk

The Clock Tower Hotel: http://www.clocktowerhotel.co.uk/

Park View Exeter: https://www.parkviewexeter.co.uk/

The Woodbine: http://www.woodbineguestaccommodation.co.uk/