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



António José dos Santos

Carlos Fernandes Silva

Isabel Santos

Josefa Pandeirada

Marco Vasconcelos

Maria Manuela Veríssimo

Teresa Garcia-Marques

Sandra Soares



Carla Fernandes

Duarte Pimentel (Science and Technology Manager)

João Daniel 

Maryse Guedes

Miguel Freitas

Miguel Basto Pereira

Nuno Torres 

Pedro Marques-Quinteiro


PhD Students

Catarina Ramos

Evelina Rodrigues

Fabiana Rodrigues

Filipa Barros

Filipe Loureiro

Joana Grave

Joana Mello 

Jordana Cardoso

Manuel Oliveira

Marília Fernandes

Marta Antunes

Marta Rocha

Natália Fernandes

Nuno Gomes

Pedro Figueira

Olívia Ribeiro

Rita Mendonça

Tânia Sousa


Research Assistant

Leandra Coelho

Joana Quarenta


Lab Technician 

Rob Richards