Blog & News

We published! A new paper on deniability by Belma, Francesca, Thom & Christophe!

January 12, 2023

The ACES team published a new paper on "Communication and deniability: Moral and epistemic reactions to denials".

The paper, co-authored by Francesca Bonalumi, Feride Belma Bumin, Thom Scott-Phillips and Christophe Heintz investigates the cognitive reactions to speakers' denials: if the speakers had incentives to mislead you, would their deniable still be credible? Would the speaker be blamed more for misleading you?

You can find the paper in a new Special Issue on "Relevance in Mind" in Frontiers in Psychology:

Publication on conservation efforts and monkeys, co-authored by Guilherme Silva

December 30, 2022

Guilherme co-authored the following paper:

The importance of well-protected forests for the conservation genetics of West African colobine monkeys. (December 2022). Tânia Minhós, Filipa Borges, Bárbara Parreira, Rúben Oliveira, Isa AleixoPais, Fabien H Leendertz, Roman Wittig, Carlos Rodríguez Fernandes, Guilherme Henrique Lima Marques Silva, Miguel Duarte, Michael W Bruford, Maria Joana Ferreira da Silva, Lounès Chikhi. American Journal of Primatology

Talks at the 'Evolution, Cognition and Culture conference', Saint Jacut, France

December 5, 2022

Reka Blazsek and Christophe Heintz gave talks at the conference "Evolution, Cognition and Culture", 27 November- 1st December, organised by Nicolas Baumard, Coralie Chevalier and Dan Sperber at Saint Jacut in France.

Reka presented her project on ownership. Christophe talked about Cultural Attraction Theory and its capacity to explain the 'complex design' of cultural tokens.

Guilherme Silva co-authored a paper on the personality of marmosets

November 2, 2022

Guilherme co-authored the following paper:

Age, but not hand preference, is related to personality traits in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). (October 2022). Martina Konečná Michaela Masilkova, Vedrana Šlipogor, Guilherme Henrique Lima Marques Silva, Magdaléna Hadová, Stanislav Lhota, Thomas Bugnyar. Royal Society Open Science

Talk on how joint history facilitates coordination at IS2022

October 14, 2022
Liubov Voronina gave a talk at the International Multiconference Information Society.

Francesca Bonalumi successfully defended her dissertation on commitment!

September 28, 2022

Francesca Bonalumi has successfully defended her PhD dissertation on the 26th of September, with Ira Noveck (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and Patricia Kanngeiser (University of Plymouth) as her external examiners. Below is the "flyer" for the event:


Monday 26 September, 2pm

The Department of Cognitive Science

cordially invites you

to the public defense of the PhD thesis

The credibility of denials: poster presentation at XPrag 2022

September 24, 2022

Francesca Bonalumi and Belma Bumin presented their experimental work on plausible deniability, that they ran in cooperation with Thom Scott-Phillips and Christophe Heintz. Their experiment investigate how people react to denials in different situations. They presented labels to participants in which a protagonist denied having meant what was understood by the audience. They varied whether the protagonist had incentive to lie or not.

Pragmatics of Graphs and Charts: poster presentation at XPrag 2022

September 24, 2022

Francesca Bonalumi, Ákos Szegőfi and Christophe Heintz (from the ACES), and Liangqi Li and Nausicaa Pouscoulous (from UCL) have presented their findings on the “Pragmatics of Graph” at the XPrag 2022 Conference in Pavia, Italy, on the 22nd-23rd of September. Their experiment show that graphs are interpreted in view of the context in which they occur. This, they argue, suggest that people deploy similar pragmatic processes when they interpret graphs as they do when they interpret verbal communication.

Talk on the evolution of communication at Jcole 22

September 10, 2022

Christophe Heintz gave a talk at the Joint Conference on Language Evolution. 

Relevance Theory is based on the idea that interpretation of communicative stimuli is driven by the presumption of relevance. Christophe presented a theoretical proof that this presumption  could have evolved: it has adaptive value in the social ecology of partner choice.

The puzzle of great ape gestures: poster presentation at the Joint Conference of Language Evolution

September 10, 2022

Thom Scott-Phillips and Christophe Heintz presented their poster on great ape gestures at the Joint Conference on Language Evolution, on the 5th-8th of September. They argue that great ape gestures are best understood on the Ladyginian level of intentionality, where the animal is capable of intentionally manipulating the listener’s attention towards their own intention, but they do not intentionally make their informative intentions overt. The poster can be found below.