Toward an integrative cognitive science of social inequalities

Why this seminar series?

For two main reasons.

First, social factors are increasingly considered relevant in the field of cognitive science. For example, socio-economic variables, which are often associated with individual differences in cognitive development and skills, are no longer ignored or perceived as confounding variables in cognitive studies. Instead, socio-economic variables are now often treated as explanatory variables whose effects on cognition and brain function need to be better understood. This has led to the emergence of a field of research centered around the cognitive science of social inequalities over the past two decades, particularly in the US. This field is now associated with large-scale projects, for example the Baby's First Years project.

Second, although sociology is not usually considered to be a cognitive science, it has centered on cognitive processes since its foundation (for example, categories of perception, memorization, and decisions). Recently, a number of sociologists have also focused on the interactions between the cognitive and social dimensions of inequalities in areas such as education, culture, and health. For example, sociologists increasingly take into account the importance of the cognitive skills developed in different social environments, the cognitive expectations established in the school environment, and the socio-cognitive misinterpretations that may result from conflicts between these specific contextual elements and academic expectations.

What is the goal of the seminar series?

The goal is to discuss research coming out of the fields of cognitive science and sociology, with the hope of articulating the social and cognitive dimensions of inequalities. Are there bridges between these two fields? What are the challenges for interdisciplinary research? Although the differences between the fields of cognitive science and sociology cannot be denied, the goal of this seminar is to facilitate scientific exchange among communities of researchers interested in questions that relate to social inequality.

Who is behind the seminar series?

The seminar series is co-organized by Stanislas Morel, a sociologist from the Centre de Recherche Interuniversitaire Expérience Ressources Culturelles Éducation in Paris, and Jérôme Prado, a cognitive neuroscientist from the Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences de Lyon in Lyon.

How do I attend?

Seminars will be held online. Please complete this form to register. Zoom links and abstracts for each seminar will be sent via a Google Group mailing list. Once the list administrator has approved your registration, you will be added to the mailing list and you will receive a confirmation email.

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Stanislas Morel & Jérôme Prado