Institut des sciences cognitives


Version Française

Team Leader:

Tiberghien Guy, Professor, University Institute of France

Team Members:

Rouibah Aïcha, Professor, University Institute of Teacher Education, Lyon

Baudouin Jean-Yves, Professor, University of Dijon

Guillaume Fabrice, Ph.D in Neuropsychology

Martin Flavie, Ph.D in Cognitive Science


The team studies neurocognitive aspects of human memory, and more specifically, conscious and non-conscious recognition processes in normal human subjects and in invidiauls with neurological or psychiatric disorders. We use experimental methods for studying cognition (mental chronometry, cognitive oculometry), formal models that simulate cognition (signal detection theory, connectionist networks), and cognitive electrophysiology (evoked potentials of behavioral and cognitive origin).The following two research programs are currently in progress.

1) Visual Recognition of Faces

The team is exploring the relationships between the processes at play in face familiarity, person identification and recognition, and cognitive processing of emotional facial expressions. We have demonstrated that the cognitive mechanisms involved in analyzing emotional facial expressions and in determining gender are not independent of person identification mechanisms -- the interaction between these processes occurs earlier than predicted by classic theories of perception and memory. We have also obtained data showing that schizophrenic patients exhibit a deficiency in the emergence of the feeling of familiarity in face recognition, not just in memory retrieval (recollection), as already shown in other studies. On the electrophysiological level, we have explored the process of strategic control in face recognition and its relationship to interactions observed in the brain network that includes the frontal, temporal, and parietal regions. Some applications of this research have also been developed for the perfume and cosmetic industry, notably in view of identifying the determinants of facial attractiveness.

2) Visual Recognition of Words

The team has studied the relationships between phonological, orthographic, and semantic processing during access to the lexical representations of words. We have shown that surface processing of words, i.e., orthographic and phonological processing, is not independent of deep processing, i.e., semantic processing. This interaction supplements classic models of written-word recognition, which postulate a phonological route of access to semantics but not the reverse operation. The team has also demonstrated that this interaction could be formalized by a spatial model of the mental lexicon wherein the distances between regions depict similarity relationships between words. On the electrophysiological level, the team's studies have explored the time parameters of the processes operating during written-word recognition and demonstrated N400 sensitivity to both surface processing and deep processing. Finally, in collaboration with the research team "Mathematical and Computer Models of Language and Perception" (Sabine Ploux), the team has developed a model for the automatic acquisition and representation of knowledge in the cognitive sciences. This model is based on two types of corpora, in such a way that the semantic representation of concepts covers meanings derived both from their definitions and from scientific studies about them.

(Updated: March 2006)

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Institut des Sciences Cognitives  UPR 5015  CNRS UCB Lyon 1
67, boulevard Pinel 69675 BRON cedex
33 (0)4 37 91 12 12   33 (0)4 37 91 12 10