Workshop on Socio-cognitive mechanisms of symbolic communication


This workshop inaugurates the ‘Socio-cognitive mechanisms of symbolic communication’ project, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) within the Internationalisation of the Humanities programme. The workshop is also sponsored by the School for Information and Knowledge Systems (SIKS).

The objective of this project is to set up a structural research network, which brings together researchers from various disciplines who investigate the socio-cognitive nature of symbolic communication. The objective of the network is to improve cross-fertilization between researchers from different disciplines by exchanging knowledge and experiences, and join forces to study communication multidisciplinary. This way, we aim to improve each other’s research methods and investigate unifying properties of the socio-cognitive mechanisms underlying symbolic communication.

Unfortunately, Linda Smith cannot visit the workshop, but thankfully Afra Alishahi of Tilburg University was so kind to replace her at a very short notice. Unlike we announced earlier, no registration fee will be requested. If you wish to attend the workshop, there are still a few seats available. If you wish to attend, please send an email to

Programme (for titles and abstracts, download the abstract booklet):

  8:30 –   9:00Registration

  9:00 –   9:15 Welcome by Paul Vogt

  9:15 – 10:15 Keynote lecture: Aylin Küntay, Koç University. How does extended referential discourse integrate speech and other communicative devices in early child-caregiver interaction?

10:15 – 10:45 Coffee break

10:45 – 11:30 Tony Belpaeme, Plymouth Univeristy. Understanding the acquisition of symbolic communication through robotic models

11:30 – 12:15 Afra Alishahi, Tilburg University. Cross-situational word learning and the role of context

12:15 – 13:15 Lunch break

13:15 – 14:00 Paul Vogt, Tilburg University. Cultural, social and cognitive mechanisms of language acquisition: a multi-disciplinary approach

14:00 – 14:45 Pierre-Yves Oudeyer, INRIA Bordeaux. Boostrapping fluid learning of linguistic interaction through general imitation mechanisms

14:45 – 15:30 Asli Özyürek, Radboud University & Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen. Multimodal approach to symbolic communication: What do gestures reveal about language, cognition, and development?

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee break

16:00 – 17:00 Keynote lecture: Luc Steels, Vrije Universiteit Brussel & Sony CSL Paris. How we do experiments in cultural language evolution

17:00 – 17:30 Panel discussion

17:30 – 18:30 Reception

For more information, contact Paul Vogt (


Tias building, TZ4

Call for Participation