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Social Cognition


Social interactions are at the heart of daily human activities and are essential to positive relationships and life in society. Navigating these complex interactions requires good social cognition, a set of mental processes used to perceive and process social cues, stimuli, and environments, which depend on the activity of a brain network called the “social brain”. Social cognition includes several skills such as emotion recognition, theory of mind (i.e., the ability to understand the perspective of others), empathy and social-moral reasoning (SMR). We study the development of social cognition and seek new ways to assess and optimize these functions using digital (applications), immersive (virtual reality), and playful (serious video games) tools.

Social behaviors …

… such as sharing, helping, and communicating, are possible because of “social cognition,” a set of skills that allow us to understand and interact with others.

Social cognition…

… is underpinned by a large brain network called the “social brain”.

Social communication …

… is present from the first days of life, in the form of interactions between a baby and his or her parents.

Displaying good social cognition …

… at an early age is associated with prosocial behaviors, satisfying friendships and relationships, better quality of life, and even greater academic success later in life.

It is possible …

… to train social skills, just as we can improve our cognitive or motor skills.

Main socio-cognitive


  • Affect recognition
  • Joint attention
  • Theory of mind (or perspective taking)
  • Empathy
  • Intent attribution
  • Moral reasoning
  • Social norms
  • Social communication (prosody, pragmatics)