Neuronal Dynamics for Embodied Cognition 2024

Our annual summer school gives students an in-depth look at dynamic field theory over the course of an intense and fun week. The summer school covers everything from the basics of dynamic field theory up to our latest research projects. Students learn the theoretical background in informal lectures but the main emphasis of the summer school is hands-on work on exercises and individual projects. This gives students a lot of time to collaborate and discuss in small groups and under close supervision of our tutors.

Who is this summer school for?

The summer school is aimed at students at the advanced undergraduate or graduate level, postdocs and faculty members in the areas of embodied cognition, cognitive science, developmental science, cognitive neuroscience, developmental robotics, autonomous robotics, cognitive robotics, and anyone who wants to learn about dynamic field theory.

Impressions from previous schools


To apply for the summer school, please fill out our application form (black button on the right), enclosing a CV and a brief cover letter. In your letter you should briefly tell us what you are currently working on and why you would like to participate. This will help us propose a project that overlaps with your interest.


There is no fee. Additionally, participants will have to finance their own travel and stay in Bochum.

Structure of the school

The school is led by Prof. Gregor Schöner, who lectures on the basic concepts of DFT in the live lecture series. Workshop sessions provide hands-on training working with dynamic field models in CEDAR, our interactive simulation environment. Students learn to create a dynamic field model from the ground up and learn how to apply the concepts of DFT to their home domain of interest. On the weekend after the formal part of the school, we will have a DFT festival where we invite people outside the lab working with DFT to have informal discussions.

ONLINE Participation

Workshop sessions require students to be physically present in Bochum. We strongly encourage physical participation to profit from hands-on components and to network with other participants and tutors. Online participation will be made possible including the possibility to ask questions, but with limited hands-on components.


For the hands-on work, the exercises and projects, we use our numerical simulator CEDAR, which features a graphical user interface in which core elements of DFT can be assembled without in-depth programming knowledge. 

Topics covered

Some of the topics that the summer school covers include:

  • Neural dynamics and basic attractor states
  • Dynamic fields
  • Introduction to  CEDAR
  • Links to neurophysiology and embodiment
  • Multi-dimensional fields and multi-layer dynamics
  • Higher cognition 
  • Sequence generation 


We will organize an informal welcome dinner on TBA. This is a good opportunity to meet the other students and tutors of the summer school in a relaxed setting before the school starts on the next day.