Communication in Social Interaction


The Communication in Social Interaction (CoSI) group aims to advance our understanding of situated language use and comprehension, with a particular focus on multimodal signalling and signal processing. More specifically, we investigate the influence of visual bodily signals on language comprehension in face-to-face social interaction, as well as the architecture of multimodal communicative acts and the cognitive mechanisms that underpin their orchestration. Our research also focuses on investigating the behavioural and cognitive processes that allow interlocutors to coordinate with one another to achieve mutual understanding and interactional alignment in face-to-face conversation.

We are currently based at the MPI for Psycholinguistics as well as at the Donders Centre for Cognition, Radboud University.

An overview of our current activities and members can be found here and here.


What we do...

The group recently started a new project entitled “Communication in Action (CoAct)”, which was recently launched as part of an ERC Consolidator grant awarded to Judith Holler. The aim of this project is to identify visual patterns in multimodal signalling, as well as to investigate binding and prediction mechanisms underlying the processing of multimodal utterances during comprehension.

And how we do it...

In all of this, we treat human language as a joint action, and as a situated, multimodal phenomenon shaped by the communicative intentions of the interacting agents. In terms of methods, we use a mix of approaches, involving both quantitative corpus studies and experimentation, as well as empirical paradigms from psycholinguistics, neuroscience, psychology, and linguistics. In addition to traditional tools, we also use techniques such as Virtual Reality, motion capture and physiological measures.









Judith Holler

Senior Investigator
Multimodal Language Department
+31 24 3521591
Judith [dot] Holler [at] mpi [dot] nl

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