Fundamental Psychology Research

The overarching theme of this research is socially situated cognition.


This research line is shaped by the general assumption that to navigate a dynamically changing social environment, we respond to the situated demands made upon us by flexibly adapting to them. At the same time, we actively structure our physical and social environment to reduce its complexity and release cognitive resources. This is achieved, in part, by making use of the knowledge and competencies that others have provided (scaffolds), and in part, by offloading tasks through the creation of knowledge structures in the environment, such as street names. In effect, we rely on distributed knowledge. Obviously, the biological constitution of our bodies limits how we structure and process the dynamic reality surrounding us; our knowledge is embodied. The important result of this adaptive negotiation processes is the emergent nature of cognition, namely the situatedness of social cognition. This newly emerging dynamic perspective is referred to as socially situated cognition.


This thematic line has several active PIs, whose work integrated two complementary facets. The first is adult human functioning, and the second is human development.


Human functioning research topics

Social development research topics




Gün Semin



Ana Cristina Quelhas

António José dos Santos

Maria Manuela Veríssimo

Teresa Garcia-Marques

Sandra Soares

Valentina Parma



João Daniel (

Nuno Torres (

Carla Fernandes (

Pedro Marques-Quinteiro (

Mariana Carrito

Maryse Guedes

Teresa Risco



Aleksandra Dziuba

Cristina Fonseca (

Filipa Silva

Filipe Loureiro (

Joana Mello (

Jordana Cardoso (

Maria Lacerda

Manuel Oliveira (

Marília Fernandes (

Marta Antunes (

Nuno Gomes (

Pedro Figueira (

Olívia Ribeiro (

Rita Mendonça (

Samuel Domingos (

Tânia Sousa (


Research Assistant

Alexandre Fernandes

Alexandra Pinto ( 

Leandra Coelho (

Joana Quarenta


Science and Technology Manager

Duarte Pimentel


Lab Technician 

Rob Richards