This interdisciplinary workshop was arranged to explore the potential for collaboration and co-operation between the different fields which might further our understanding, and suggest opportunities for research and further collaboration in which to develop our respective work.

In 1991, Francisco Varela first published his theory of the Embodied Mind.  Many discourses among philosophers of mind, have developed from this particular and radical view of the nature of mind.

Susan Stuart, a senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Glasgow, presented a paper in which she introduced us to her notion of "Enkinaesthesia" which relates to the affect we have on the neuro-musculature of others, including other animals and objects, through touch, perception, and language.  The enkinaesthetic relationships we have are complex, entangled, and preconceptual which means that we are affected by, and responsive to, them without our being self-consciously aware that this is the case.

The link with the Alexander Technique is that our training as teachers can be seen as a training in enkinaesthetic awareness.  We learn to become very sensitive to our own condition and to monitor our enkinaesthetic entanglements moment to moment.  In so doing, we consciously maintain ourselves in as good a condition as possible in which we are receptively open to our pupils while simultaneously offering an enkinaesthetic entanglement which is constructive for the person we are working with.

Quite how this works and whether it can be quantified is where the neuro-scientists might be able to help.

This was one of many interesting encounters for me, which included much time spent talking informally to other participants and the presentations given by Shaun Gallagher, philosoper of mind in Memphis; and by Massimo Bergamasco, an applied scientist in Pisa who specialises in brain-computer interfacing in robotics and virtual reality. 

In itself, an extraordinary and rich weekend - this may prove to be the beginning of fruitful collaborations between people whose fields of interest most definitely overlap, but who have not until now had the chance to meet and make connections.