The CoSI group investigates human vocal and visual communication in social interaction, with a focus on verbal language, nonverbal vocal behaviour, and gesture (manual, head and torso movements, facial signals, and eye gaze), as well as the cognitive processes that underpin these behaviours. The CoSI group addresses questions fundamental to our understanding of how we act and interact as social beings, such as:
How do we use vocal and visual signals to convey our intentions to others and which mechanisms account for this multimodal behaviour?
How do we comprehend multimodal communicative messages and how do social and interactive processes influence comprehension?
How has human multimodal communication evolved phylogenetically? What does its ontogenesis look like?
How do we cope with the complex task of conveying and perceiving communicative intentions when our communication system is impaired?
To answer these questions, the group combines approaches from various scientific disciplines, including psycholinguistics, linguistics, philosophy, sociology, social psychology and cognitive neuroscience, as well as a host of different methods, ranging from experiments to corpus studies.
The group is headed by Judith Holler, senior investigator in the Language & Cognition Department at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University. The CoSI group members are funded by the Language & Cognition Department at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, by the European Research Council (INTERACT grant, Prof. Levinson) as well as by research grants awarded to the PI (European Research Council Consolidator grant COACT; Economic and Social Research Council, UK; Leverhulme Trust, UK; Parkinsons UK).