Institute for Complex Systems - Sapienza - CNR

  • Full Screen
  • Wide Screen
  • Narrow Screen
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
ISC Sapienza



Digging for the roots of understanding



ISC Coordinator: Claudio Castellano

National Coordinator: Claudio Castellano

European Coordinator: Guenther Knoblich

Funding Body: European Science Foundation


• Professor Guenther Knoblich, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
• Professor Luc Steels, Free University of Brussels, Belgium
• Dr. Andreas Roepstorff, University of Aarhus, Denmark
• Professor Dan Zahavi, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
• Dr. Joanna Raczaszek-Leonardi, University of Warsaw, Poland

Starting Date: 1/1/2012

Ending Date: 31/12/2014


The DRUST collaborative research project (CRP) brings together eminent
European research groups that cover the full breadth of Cognitive
Science (cognitive anthropology, cognitive neuroscience, cognitive
psychiatry, artificial intelligence, linguistics, philosophy, and
psychology) in an interdisciplinary examination of how different types
of common ground support interpersonal and intercultural
understanding. Communication plays a key role for such an
understanding but only to the extent that dialog partners have
sufficient common ground. Misunderstandings occur because most
dimensions on which common ground can exist are not universally shared
and not a priori present. New research in the Humanities and the
Cognitive Sciences has shown that partners in dialogue and partners in
action often differ in their perception of the situation, prior
background, inference capacity, and linguistic conventions. Although
common ground is available when individuals interact with members of
their own culture in well-defined contexts, considerable gaps in
common ground occur in today?s multicultural societies where
individuals with different cultural backgrounds interact in
heterogenous contexts. Profound misunderstandings easily go unnoticed.
A better comprehension of the neural, psychological, and cultural
processes that establish common ground is thus crucial for identifying
the roots of interpersonal understanding and intercultural
understanding and can help to reduce misunderstandings and the serious
consequences such misunderstandings can cause.