Symbolic Cognition and Interaction (SCI) Lab

In the broadest terms, we try to understand the psychological processes of knowledge construction; i.e., the mechanisms whereby humans understand and predict their reality.

We are interested in the construction of knowledge about the self (e.g., the self-concept) and the social world (e.g., ideology); one’s personal past (e.g., autobiographical memory) and about the future of the world (e.g., geopolitical forecasting)–as well as in the formation of beliefs about the significance of events (e.g., emotional appraisal).

Theoretical approach
It seems that most of our knowledge comes from the social world. Specifically, human knowledge is stored in a rich system of symbols, created by human minds. To interact with this system, we rely on our “symbolic cognition”: the ability to use language to instruct imagination and to take the perspective of others (i.e., mentalizing). In our lab, we study these cognitive capacities and how they take part in the processes of knowledge construction. This is why the lab is called the Symbolic Cognition and Symbolic Interaction lab.

Methodological approach
We make use of behavioral paradigms, neuroimaging (fMRI), and data science methods (e.g., use of big-data and machine learning), with a special emphasis on Natural Language Processing methods.


  • Social Psychology
  • Cognitive Science

For more information:
Office: Sharet Bldg. room 206.

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