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Scott Kelso presents on behalf of Team HBBL at The Society of Experimental Psychologists (SEP) meeting at the University of Pennsylvania, May 6-8, 2023






Agency in the midst of action and inaction. Dynamical analysis of 3 month old infants in the baby~mobile paradigm reveals that agency emerges as a phase transition in a coupled dynamical system that spans the infant and the environment. Patterns of fluctuations prior to and following transitions reveal processes of exploration, discovery and control. Human infants realize they are agents through the joint process of stillness and actions that cause the world to change. These findings present a challenge to previous thinking and current modeling. 




Congratulations to HBBL member Carter Sale for earning FAU High School's Research Scholar of the Year Award!

Congrats Owl


Dually enrolled at FAU High School and FAU, Carter Sale has earned the FAU High Research Scholar of the Year Award for 2023! Since joining HBBL, Carter has investigated the dynamics underlying how 3-4-month old infants transition from spontaneous movement to goal-directed action. Carter presented these findings at local, national and international undergraduate research conferences (scroll down for details). Recently awarded FAU's competitive Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), including $4000 in funds, Carter is gearing up to explore the effects of visual perception on bimanual (hand-to-hand) coordination. Keep up the great work, Carter!


HBBL member Carter Sale presents "Critical Dynamics in the Emergence of Agency" at the World Conference for Undergraduate Research hosted by University of Warwick, April 4-6, 2023 and at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) hosted by University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, April 13-15, 2023.


       Carter in London 


Research Gate reports that as of 3/20/2023 "Understanding the Mind" reached 4,000 reads!

Click here for the article.


HBBL member Carter Sale presents at the 2023 Florida Undergraduate Research Conference, Miami, FL, Feb. 17-18.



Carter Sale, dually enrolled at FAU High School and FAU, presented new findings on the emergence of agency at St. Thomas University in Miami, FL.

Open to all Florida undergraduate researchers, FURC is one of the nation's largest multi-disciplinary research conferences. 

"It went great," reflected Carter. "A lot of people were interested and took pictures." 

Check out the poster here


"Critical Brain Hypothesis? Meet Metastable Brain~Mind"

Quanta Magazine recently published an interesting article on the nature of brain function. Read J.A. Scott Kelso's Comment here.


HBBL and the Wellcome Centre for Neuroimaging present joint research findings at Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, Jan. 16-18 2022 

active senseing


SOAL at HBBL and the Theoretical Neurobiology team at University College of London's Wellcome Centre for Neuroimaging presented preliminary results of a collaborative effort to model the emergence of agency in human infants at Weizmann Institute's Active Sensing conference.

Click here to view our poster. 


HBBL welcomes Ulster University AI researcher Massoud Khodadadzadeh

Massoud visit

Left to right: Carter Sale, J. A. Scott Kelso,  Aliza Sloan, Massoud Khodadadzadeh and his wife Aynaz Zarif

HBBL happily welcomes Ulster University PhD candidate
Massoud Khodadadzadeh !

This month-long visit is funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Council though a Turing Artificial Intelligence Acceleration Fellowship (EP/V025724/1) and Global Research and Innovation Program (GRIP) grant.

An expert in data science and artificial intelligence as applied to neurotechnology, Massoud is joining HBBL in exploring the application of AI toward understanding the coordinative origins of agency in infants. 


Visit with Professors Zanone & Athènes

Pier Zanone Sylvie Athenes


HBBL was delighted to receive a visit from Professors Pier-Giorgio  Zanone and Sylvie Athènes of The Brain and Cognition Research Center (CNRS) in Toulouse and the Université  Paul Sabatier. Pier and Sylvie are former postdoctoral fellows at The Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences. In addition to sharing their broad experience on matters of brain and cognition, including applied aspects such as selecting astronauts for the International Space Station, they provided a detailed and constructive critique of ongoing research in HBBL. Thank you Pier and Sylvie!


HBBL presents at SfN 2022, San Diego, CA, Nov 12-16

SfN with Ryo Fujihira

HBBL members J. A. Scott Kelso (left) and Aliza Sloan (center) 

with Ryo Fujihira of University of Tokyo (right)


Sfn mengsen

Aliza Sloan (left) with CCS grad Dr. Mengsen Zhang (right) 


Dr. Aliza Sloan and Prof. J. A. Scott Kelso presented new findings on the dynamics of agentive discovery at SfN 2022. 

Watch a video presentation of our poster here.


Congratulations, Dr. Sloan!



Dr. Aliza Sloan and her Co-Advisors Profs. Scott Kelso and Nancy Jones enjoy a moment prior to her 'hooding' at the Summer Commencement Ceremony for the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science on August 9, 2022 (photo courtesy Zach Greathouse). Aliza's doctoral research "Development of Infant Agency" was conducted in the Human Brain & Behavior Laboratory (HBBL) at the Center for Complex Systems & Brain Sciences. She is hoping to continue her work in the newly developed SOAL (Self-Organizing Agency Lab) which will be devoted to understanding how agency emerges in human beings at both behavioral and neural levels of organization.


Featuring Self-Organizing Agency: Introducing SOAL



What are the roots of intentional action? This program of research investigates how infants begin to make sense of their coordinative relationship with the world and realize their ability to effect change. Detailed measurement and careful probing of infant~environment coordination dynamics will reveal an array of phenotypic paths to conscious agency which depend on intrinsic infant factors, environmental affordances, and interaction parameters.

Visit SOAL (Self-Organizing Agency Lab), a sub-division of HBBL, to learn more!



Third Part of Trilogy on Coordination Dynamics published in Journal of Physics-Complexity!



J.A. Scott Kelso presents a sweeping review of central concepts, methods, and tools of coordination dynamics in 'On the coordination dynamics of (animate) moving bodies'. This latest paper posits ten tenets of the theory for those in the interdisciplinary field of complex systems interested in understanding the coordination of living things. 

Click here to read. 



Newly crowned Doctorate, Aliza Sloan, presents at International Conference of Infant Studies (ICIS) Congress XXIII, Ottawa, Canada, July 7-10, 2022



In situations where infants can control outcomes, could dynamical analysis be used to differentiate between levels of infant awareness? Can we catch a moment of agentive discovery?

Click here for poster. 

Watch a baby in action here!


Scott Kelso, Invited Speaker at Inaugural Symposium on "The Market Mind Hypothesis", Edinburgh, Scotland, May 23-24, 2022



Established by an Edinburgh-based international and multidisciplinary research group, the Market Mind Hypothesis Symposium applies a novel theory based on the thinking of Adam Smith to push the frontiers of how we understand markets and the minds they embody. Leading academics, investors and policymakers in the fields of economics, investing, and cognitive science gathered at Panmure House, the last and only remaining residence of Smith, to gain insight into improving markets, making investing more sustainable, increasing the effectiveness of public-policy and ultimately benefiting society. 

J.A. Scott Kelso explored the Market Mind Hypothesis within the framework of Coordination Dynamics. What kind of mind is the 'Market Mind'? Might infant minds inform characterization of market dynamics?

Click here for abstract and here for video of invited talks by Karl Friston & J.A. Scott Kelso.

Read more about the symposium here. Click here for agenda and here for symposium materials .


Congratulations to Aliza Sloan for a successful Ph.D. dissertation defense!

Armin .      mocap 

HBBL member (soon-to-be Dr) Aliza Sloan successfully defended her Ph.D. Dissertation on May 12th, 2022, entitled

“Development of Infant Agency“. Congratulations!




Remembering Professor Emmanuelle Tognoli


Tragically, Dr. Emmanuelle Tognoli passed away in the early hours of Saturday morning, April 23, 2022, after valiantly struggling to overcome a rare cancer which ultimately, and suddenly, took her life. Dr. Tognoli was a Research Professor in the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences and Research Affiliate Professor in the Department of Physics. Her passing is a great loss for both programs. Emmanuelle was a very talented scientist, a respected colleague, and a beloved mentor and role model for her many students. She will be missed dearly by all who knew her.

Click here for our memories of Emmanuelle.


Three cheers to HBBL members for their recent publication on third party stabilization of unstable coordination

McKinley_2022_fig1 A new paper published in the Journal of Physics by HBBL members and associates Joseph McKinley, Mengsen Zheng, Alice Wead, Christine Williams, Emmanuelle Tognoli and Chris Beetle explores how the coordination dynamics of a pair of oscillators couplings can be augmented by virtue of their coupling to a third. Click here to read.


Modest Beginnings 

The importance of complexity science was recently highlighted with the awarding of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics “For groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of complex physical systems.” Click here to revisit a 1990 APS Observer interview with Scott Kelso about the foundation of FAU's Center for Complex Systems - one of the first of its kind. 


Lecture by Scott Kelso for the Precision Convergence Webinar Series, jointly sponsored by McGill University, Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, December 14, 2021

The Precision Convergence Webinar Series, co-hosted by The McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics and The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, catalyzes novel partnerships across sciences, sectors and jurisdictions to expand upon precision medicine to the many facets of precision targeting embedded in modern society.

J.A. Scott Kelso explained how the analysis of multiscale coordination dynamics can inform real-world transformation.

Click here to watch Dr. Kelso's lecture and panel discussion.


Prof. Kelso speaks at the inaugural ISRC-CN3 Autumn School, organized by the Intelligent Systems Research Centre, Ulster University, Ireland, October 25-29, 2021

J.A. Scott Kelso delivers closing remarks regarding coordination dynamics at the Computational Neuroscience, Neurotechnology and Neuro-inspired Artificial Intelligence Autumn School. 

Click here to learn more.

Click here for course overview.


J.A. Scott Kelso presents at the 8th Baltic-Nordic Neuroscience and Neuroinformatics Summer School, organized by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, September 21–25, 2021

J.A. Scott Kelso discussed behavior and the brain from the perspective of a dynamical theory of coordination at the Baltic-Nordic Summer School, in association with the Human Brain Project. His lecture was on the evening of Day 2, in Session with Profs. Viktor Jirsa (Marseille) and Sten Grillner (Karolinska Institutet).

Click here for course description and schedule.


"A 'Both/And' Kind of Dialogue"

An interview between the late Lisa Kimball, past president of the Plexus Institute, and J.A. Scott Kelso exploring agency, intention, leadership, paradox, the squiggle sense, the mysteries of the mind and the future of brain science.

Click here to read.


"The Haken–Kelso–Bunz (HKB) model: from matter to movement to mind"

A retrospective of the HKB model recently featured in Biological Cybernetics in honor of the journal's 60th anniversary.

Click here to read.


Nobel Physics Laureate Brian Josephson explores the future of Physics in his 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting lecture entitled Beyond the "Theory of Everything" Paradigm highlighting Coordination Dynamics and The Complementary Nature . (06/30/21)

Click here to watch. 


Former HBBL PostDoc and current HBBL Research Associate Guillaume Dumas figures prominently on the topic of brain-to-brain coordination in the New York Times! (5/25/2021)


Carlota Torrents and Colleagues' new paper published in Sustainability explores Collaborative Creativity in Educational Settings through the lens of Coordination Dynamics.

Torrents Fig1

Click here to read more.


"Coordination Dynamics: A Foundation for Social Neuroscience?"

social coordination dynamics


A new paper in Frontiers of Human Neuroscience.

Click here to read.



"Unifying Large- and Small-Scale Theories of Coordination." 

A new paper in Special Issue of Entropy on Information and Self-Organization II (Eds. H. Haken & J. Portugali).

Click here to read.


Understanding the Dynamics of Polarization May Help Fix It


"We live in a polarized world these days. No matter the issue, whether race, gender, politics, religion, climate change, immigration, whatever, the either-or mode of thinking dominates... 

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. It comes from the ‘new science of coordination’ called Coordination Dynamics and the philosophy and practices it gives rise to, called The Complementary Nature."

J.A. Scott Kelso explains how understanding the dynamics of polarization and instability could help society transcend 'either-or' and 'us vs. them' thinking. 

Click here to read more. 


'Voice from the Past' - Revisit Scott Kelso's OpEd articles:

"From Social Distancing to Social Harmony": Coordination finds a way. 

"Design for Living": What do the structure and dynamics of the brain reveal about individuals and society at large?

"Time to Tildize": Opposing opposites ~ seeing the complementary nature of the world. 


Congratulations to HBBL members Emmanuelle Tognoli & Chris Beetle on their new grant!


Congratulations to HBBL member Silke Dodel & Colleagues on their new paper "Degeneracy and Complexity in Neuro-Behavioral Correlates of Team Coordination"!

Click here to read more. 



Scott Kelso's invited Keynote Address at FIDIAS2020 (November 14-15) in Cadiz and Malaga, Spain entitled "On Becoming a Metastabilian":

DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.16106.9568



Scott Kelso's invited Plenary Address at the International Conference in Complex Systems 2020 (December 7-11) entitled "On Coordination":

DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.14848.66568

eBook of Abstracts is here:


Guillaume Dumas receives professorship at the Université de Montréal 


Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences alumnus and HBBL member Guillaume Dumas received a professorship at the Université de Montréal and will start his own lab in September 2020. The lab will be called the Precision Psychiatry and Social Physiology team and will be located in the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine, the site of the largest mother and child center in Canada. Click here for more on Guillaume.

Congratulations, Guillaume!




Zhang, Kalies, Kelso & Tognoli Publish New Paper


Mengsen Zhang, William Kalies, J. A. Scott Kelso & Emmanuelle Tognoli published an article in Journal of Neuroscience Methods on March 6th, 2020 entitled, "Topological portraits of multiscale coordination dynamics"

Read more



Dumas, Moreau, Tognoli & Kelso Publish New Paper

Cerebral Cortex 2019

Guillaume Dumas, Quentin Moreau, Emmanuelle Tognoli & J. A. S Kelso published an article in Cerebral Cortex on December 23rd, 2019 entitled, "The Human Dynamic Clamp reveals the frontoparietal network linking real-time social coordination and cognition."

Click here to read more 




Neural Oscillation Conference 2019

Neural Oscillation Conference 2019

Dr. J. A. Scott Kelso gave a talk at the Neural Oscillation Conference 2019 in Kyoto, Japan (Nov. 17-19) entitled "Uniting the many and the few: Reconciling the Kuramoto and HKB models of biological coordination."





Kelso talk (March 11, 2019) to Columbia University Center for Science and Society Seminar on Society and Neuroscience 

Click here to watch.


Remembering Professor Armin Fuchs


Sadly, Dr. Armin Fuchs passed away in the early hours of Saturday morning, June 29, 2019, after valiantly struggling to overcome cancer which ultimately, and suddenly, took his life. Dr. Fuchs was a Professor in the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences and Department of Physics. His passing is a great loss for both programs. Those who knew him well knew him to be a gentleman, a good friend, and a very talented scientist and teacher will miss him dearly.

Click here for our memories of Armin.





New book from Prof. Kelso – “Learning To Live Together”

kelso Dr. J. A. Scott Kelso’s (Ed.) new book, entitled “   Learning To Live Together: Promoting Social Harmony   “,    has recently been published in electronic and printed form.

Read more.







Dr. Montague visited the HBBL and gave a talk at the Neuroscience Seminar

mont Dr. Montague visited the HBBL on April 10th, 2018, discussed dopamine, fancy recording techniques, and neuroscience in general.

Read more.





Zhang, Kelso & Tognoli published new article “Critical diversity: Divided or united states of social coordination”

img HBBL members Mengsen Zhang, J. A. S. Kelso & Emmanuelle Tognoli recently published a new article on PLOS ONE, entitled “ Critical diversity: Divided or united states of social coordination “.


Read more.



Congratulations to Dr. Craig Nordham for recent publication on “Social Memory”


Congratulations to former HBBLer and recent Ph.D. graduate Dr. Craig Nordham on the acceptance for publication (with Drs Tognoli, Fuchs & Kelso) of: “How interpersonal coordination affects individual behavior (and vice-versa): Experimental analysis and adaptive HKB model of social memory” in the journal    Ecological Psychology.

Read more.