lcomu2270  2019-2020  Louvain-la-Neuve

Note from June 29, 2020
Although we do not yet know how long the social distancing related to the Covid-19 pandemic will last, and regardless of the changes that had to be made in the evaluation of the June 2020 session in relation to what is provided for in this learning unit description, new learnig unit evaluation methods may still be adopted by the teachers; details of these methods have been - or will be - communicated to the students by the teachers, as soon as possible.
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...) and 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 :

1. 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.
4. 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.
Course evaluation includes:
  • a written assignment consisting in:
    • reading one or two scientific articles related one of the course chapters (part 2);
    • the application of the concepts presented in this/these paper(s) to a mediated communication situation of choice, in the form of a report showcasing the student's ability to understand these concepts  and apply them in an analytical approach.
  • a written examination consisting of four to five questions covering the major chapters of the course, each student being exempted from answering the question corresponding to the chapter he / she has addressed in his / her assignment; 
  • where appropriate, participation in the course sessions organized in the form of a seminar (presentation and discussion of texts)
Other information


Lecture notes, course reader.
Online resources
Moodle website
Faculty or entity

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

Title of the programme
Master [120] in Information and Communication Science and Technology

Master [120] in Linguistics

Master [60] in Information and Communication