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date: 11 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Theoretical positions in cognitive sciences either emphasize the role of internal representations within the cognitive system of the person or focus on the person’s interaction with the environment. The latter position has been recently explicated in different ways under the formula of 4E cognition (extended, embodied, enactive, embedded). Focusing on the aspect of socially embedded cognition, the dyad of two interaction partners in a social encounter is proposed as the fundamental unit of analysis. This interactive approach centered around the concept of communication is also of relevance for the understanding of psychopathological norm deviations. Despite a rich tradition that reconstructs different psychopathological syndromes as disorders of communication, this account of psychopathology has not been fully acknowledged. It is the aim of this chapter to present the core ideas of this perspective and to stimulate the discussion that has potentially substantial influence on various research topics in psychopathology and psychiatry.

Keywords: communication, interaction, self-consciousness, intersubjectivity, psychopathology, autism

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