Social communication and embodied cognition

Principal Investigator

Gün R. Semin


Rita Faria







Our research is predominantly concerned with interfacing mind, body, and behavior and examining human functioning within a social and physical context. It conceptualizes  the social in terms of jointly recruited processes rather than individual ones (Semin & Cacioppo, 2008); and frames social behavior as a situated and psychological processes that are embodied (Semin, 2007; Smith & Semin, 2004).


Our current research aims are:

  • To focus on how multiple sensory organs (e.g., vision, audition, chemo-senses) specialized for detecting and identifying objects or events (e.g., a frown, a trembling voice, fear sweat) combine sources of information into an integrated product (multimodal integration) in encoding, decoding, and interpreting communication (sending and receiving) about objects or events.
  • To address a critical aspect of communication, namely the contribution of prelinguistic processes (e.g., chemical senses, proprioceptive input) in bridging the epistemic gap between members of a species. In short, this research program will investigate fundamental processes grounding social cognition, namely embodied communication processes.