Eco-cognitive ageing: Post-human ecologies as enhancement technologies

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Later life is associated with cognitive decline. Under the influence of universal cognitivism, this has commonly been conceived as a direct result of neurophysiological changes associated with ageing and senescence. Empirical evidence regarding dementia and associated pathology has long problematised the directness of assumed neurophysiology-cognition relations. While some interpret this as evidence of minor inadequacies, a more radical branch of cognitive science suggests that we should not expect neurophysiology to translate directly into cognition. Ecological cognitive theories position cognition as something that involves our brains, but also involves our bodies, activities, environments and extrinsic materials. There are remarkable affinities between ecological cognition and the social scientific fields of post-humanism and new materialism. Taken together, these intellectual traditions offer provocations for reimagining ecologies, broadly conceived, as malleable technologies with the potential to enhance cognition. Ultimately, this suggests that ageing brains need not dictate cognitive destinies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2023


  • cognition
  • cognitivism
  • dementia
  • extension
  • materialism


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