Indeed, Sterelny argues that our cognitive capacities are deeply dependent upon the cognitive niche such that the cognitive capacities of the agent are transformed by interactions with the niche. It would be closer to the mark to talk of the niche ‘extending’ into the agent, in the sense that the agent acquires new representations and new capacities by being ‘coupled’ to or scaffolded by the niche. For Sterelny, there is no cognitive agent without embedding in the cognitive niche.This is consistent with HEMC:
Cognitive processes depend very heavily, in hitherto unexpected ways, on organismally external props and devices and on the structure of the external environment in which cognition takes place (Rupert, 2004, p. 393).And, of course, interacting with the environment causes changes in the mind and brain. That's what learning is all about. Moreover, we talk about the impacts of environmental interaction in the development of visual capacities in Chapter 9 of The Bounds of Cognition. It's common ground that agents are transformed by their interactions with their niche.