GRK 2340

Graduiertenkolleg "Computational Cognition"

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Kristina Kobrock


Tel. +49 (0)541 969-2247
Room 50/104

Institute of Cognitive Science,
Wachsbleiche 27,
49090 Osnabrück, Germany



Prof. Dr. Nicole Gotzner
Prof. Dr. Elia Bruni

The role of language and pragmatics in higher-level cognition: forming abstract concepts in social interaction

The question that fascinates me is: “How does language support higher-level cognition?”. The starting point of my research is that language is not only a tool for communication but also plays a crucial role in cognitive processes such as perception and categorization (e.g., Sapir-Whorf hypothesis) but also higher-level cognitive abilities like reasoning (e.g., when using inner speech or in social interaction).

For my PhD I will try to answer the question of how language and pragmatics play a role in higher-level cognition like the formation of abstract concepts. My main hypothesis is that abstract concepts can only be formed with the help of language. How do you know the meaning of, for example, “truth”? Probably you learned it during several communicative interactions.
This project makes use of iterative, agent-based computational modeling to answer the research question: “Under which circumstances do more and more abstract concepts evolve?”.

Research interests:
- the role of language in cognition
- pragmatics
- computational modeling
- reinforcement learning
- explainable and fair AI
- open science, good research practices
- intersections with other cognitive science domains

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Kobrock, Kristina & Roettger, Timo B. (submitted). Assessing the replication landscape in experimental linguistics. Preprint (not RTG related)