lcomu2270  2017-2018  Louvain-la-Neuve

5 credits
30.0 h
Fastrez Pierre;
Main themes
The course aims at presenting the main conceptual frameworks that federate research in cognitive science (cognitivism, connexionism, experientialism) and at showing their usefulness for the study of mediated communication.
The main themes to be discussed are :
  • The respective epistemologies of each of these paradigms (objectivism, constructivism');
  • The central concepts of cognitive semantics and cognitive linguistics, which delineate the current orientations in cognitive semiotics, as well as their consequences on the study of the relationship between representational systems and cognitive activity (cf. 'contents').
The course also aims at showcasing the usefulness of the semio-cognitive approach to the design of media messages and communicational artifacts.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :


By the end of the course, students must have become:

  • ¿ knowledgeable on the topics of the main theoretical paradigms that have structured cognitive science, and of the main concepts they yielded, which underlie the semio-cognitive analysis of communication situations.
  • ¿ able to apply these concepts to analyze a given mediated communication situation or media message, and to formulate hypotheses on the relationship between its techno-semiotic properties and the cognitive activity of its users.

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
The course contains two parts:
  1. Cognitive Science Paradigms and Views of Cognition. This part introduces students to cognitivism-computationalism, connexionism and experientialism, situates them in the historical perspective of their advent, and develops the different views of cognition they yielded: cognition as information processing, as computation, as parallel distributed processing, as propagation of representational states, as embodied experience...
  2. Communication and Cognition: Conceptual Tools. This part presents a set of concepts that underlie the semio-cognitive analysis of communication settings:
  • the notion of conceptual projection in the study of metaphor, analogy and conceptual integration;
  • the notion of cognitive system in the context of distributed cognition;
  • the notions of schema and schematicity and their entailments on the issues of representation and knowledge.
Teaching methods
The course relies mainly on lectures, complemented by readings and a personal assignment that focuses on the application of concepts explained in class.
Evaluation methods
Evaluation includes a theoretical part as well as a part dedicated to the application of concepts explained in class to a communication situation.
Other information


Lecture notes, course reader.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [120] in Linguistics

Master [120] in Anthropology

Master [120] in Information and Communication Science and Technology

Master [120] in Information and Communication

Master [60] in Information and Communication