Deadline: 08 July 2021

People are social beings, naturally predisposed to interact in an adaptive and empathetic manner with others. From birth, human beings develop their cognitive, affective, and social skills from the exposure to and interaction with their social group - family, friends, peers. As we grow and learn, we become capable to register the cognitive and affective state of our peers, adjust our actions and speech to their perceived needs, and over a prolonged period of interaction also learn which behaviors are the most appropriate and well-suited for each one of them individually.

This collection of abilities - of perception, interaction, affect, reasoning, memory, motivation for action, learning, interaction, etc. - is what defines us as cognitive agents. Modelling these abilities into a cognitive architecture - either as a way of understanding human cognition or as an attempt to endow an artificial agent with cognitive skills - has been approached by researchers from many fields (computer science, cognitive psychology, robotics, philosophy, neuroscience), and has resulted in an impressive number of architectures. However, while the vast majority of them share some common model of cognition and recognise as crucial the elements of perception, attention, action selection, learning, memory and reasoning, very few of them acknowledge the role social and affective interaction plays in the development of these skills.

The goal of our workshop is to tackle precisely this issue. We wish to rekindle the conversation on the key importance of affect in the development of different cognitive abilities, both in natural cognitive agents (i.e. humans) and artificial ones (i.e. cognitive and social robots). We would like to address this issue from an interdisciplinary angle and we welcome researchers from a broad range of disciplines such as robotics, neurosciences, social sciences, psychology and computer science.

We are planning a half-day workshop, with a program combining talks from invited speakers, presentations of participants' contributions and (time permitting) a panel discussion between the speakers.

The workshop would be fully virtual, and the tentative date for the workshops is set on Thursday, the 19th of August, however this may be subject to change (as specified by the ICDL organization). It would begin at 13.00 CEST and it would have a total duration of 3.5 hours.

Participation to the workshop will be free, but with mandatory registration (a link for which will be available on the workshop webpage several weeks before the conference dates). Instructions for the virtual platform that will be used will be sent via email to the registered participants.

Below follows the tentative workshop program (subject to change):

- Welcome by the organizers (5 min)
- Invited Talk + Q&A (30 + 10 min)
- Presentations of short papers/extended abstracts (20 min)
- Break (10 min)
- Invited Talk + Q&A (30 + 10 min)
- Presentations of short papers/extended abstracts (20 min)
- Break (10 min)
- Invited Talk + Q&A (30 + 10 min)
- Panel discussion with invited speakers (30 min)
- Closing remarks (5 min)

Call for papers

With the goal of sparking new conversations on the topic of affect and cognition, we invite participants to submit their contributions as either an abstract (1 page) or extended abstract (2 pages). We particularly encourage authors to submit works in progress and reports with preliminary results, so as to have the chance to identify any questions and discussion points they may wish to put to the panelists and other participants.

Submissions should be in PDF format, and must contain the abstract title, authors, and affiliations. Send your PDFs indicating [ICDL 2021] in the subject to: ana.tanevska@iit.it

Depending on the number of submissions, the accepted abstracts may be presented orally, or as a short video (in English) that will be shared on the workshop's social media. In case of video presentations, the videos will be streamed for the whole duration of the workshop and the authors will have a live Q&A with the audience for 1 or 2 sessions of 20 minutes.


- Abstract submission deadline: July 8th, 2021
- Notification of acceptance: July 22nd, 2021
- Video submission: August 5th, 2021
- Workshop date: August 19th, 2021


Dr. Ana Tanevska
Prof. Lola Cañamero