Institut Jean Nicod

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Individual and Collective Agency, Intentionality & Rationality



Our research aims at understanding the cognitive underpinnings of individual and collective action and the relationships between individual and collective agency processes. Our perspective is interdisciplinary and combines approaches from philosophy, cognitive science, psychopathology, law and economics.

At present, we are particularly interested in the following sets of empirical and conceptual issues:

The cognitive infrastructure of shared intentionality: How do the cognitive processes and structures involved in joint action relate to those involved in individual action? How should the notions of shared intentionality, collective perspective and we-mode be characterized? Does empirical evidence support the idea of irreducible we-mode processes?

Coordination processes and their interplay: How do top-down and bottom-up coordination processes interact to align agent’s intentions and action so as to yield successful joint action? What role do conventions, social norms and commitments play in fostering coordination? How do those processes and devices connect up to relevant equilibrium notions in dynamic game-theory?

Choice-models: what are the mechanisms at work in individual and collective choice and how should we model them in the framework of decision and game-theory.

• Phenomenology of action: What are the relations and differences between the respective mechanisms underlying our experience of agency in individual and in joint action? Could our experience of agency for joint action be not just quantitatively but also qualitatively different from our experience of individual agency?

Decision environments: How do individuals and groups of individuals, small or large (societies), represent and adapt to the environments in which they make their decisions? How could environments be designed and individual and collective choice mechanisms implemented so as to maximize cognitive adequacy between decisions and their contexts? Legal and economic mechanisms are studied in the team from that particular angle.


CIRCLE: Choice and information as cognitive rewards improving control level, ANR PRC, Valérian Chambon, B. Lau & J. Munuera, 2019-2022.

BE-AGENTBeing an agent in an uncertain world: a neuro-computational approach - ANR Jeune Chercheur, Valérian Chambon, 2016-2020. 

SAJASense of Agency in Joint Action, ANR PRC, Elisabeth Pacherie, coll. V. Chambon, S. Bourgeois-Gironde, F. de Vignemont, J. Dokic, V. Wyart, E. Koechlin, 2016-2020.

Reaching into the unknown: goal-directed actions, agency and exploration, Research grant awarded by Frontiers in Cognition to Valérian Chambon & Valentin Wyart, 2019-2020

JointAction4HRI : Joint action for human-robot interaction, ANR PRC, Rachid Alami (LAAS, Toulouse, Michèle Guidetti (CLLE, Toulouse) & Elisabeth Pacherie (IJN), 2016-2020.

Macaque40 Implication of a minimal information and limited computational abilities on money emergence: An experimental approach with humans, macaques and artificial agents. ANR PRC, Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde, 2016-2019.



Permanent researchers
Elisabeth Pacherie (DR CNRS)
Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde (PU Paris 2)
Valerian Chambon (CR, CNRS)
Denis Buehler (Prof. Junior ENS)


Jérôme Munuera (dir. V. Chambon)
Marion Rouault (dir. V. Chambon & V. Wyart)
Pierre Jacquet (dir. V. Chambon)
Victor Fernandez Castro (dir. E.Pacherie)



PhD students
Alexis Kaiser (dir. Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde)
Basile Garcia (dir. Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde & Stefano Palminteri)
Jules Salomone (dir. Sacha bourgeois-Gironde)
Sandra Lasry (dir. Elisabeth Pacherie)
Axel Baptista (dir. Valérian Chambon) 
Quentin Vantrepotte (dir. Valérian Chambon)
Marie Vidal (dir. Maria Cecilia Angulo ; co-dir. Valérian Chambon)
Victor Chung (E. Pacherie)
Marine Pagliari (V. Chambon & B. Berberian)


Visiting PhD students
Mikel Hualde


Visiting scholar

Edgar Phillips (E. Pacherie)


Master students

Clémence Bergerot (V.Chambon)
Marius Fouquerand (V.Chambon)  
Chanez Delorme (E. Pacherie/ C. Paternotte) 



Some recent publications


Le Bars S., Devaux A., Nevidal T., Chambon V.* & Pacherie E.* (under review). Agents’ pivotality and reward fairness modulate sense of agency in cooperative joint action. *co-senior authors. PsyArXiv. Preprint. 10.31234/ (link)

Butterfill, S. A. & Pacherie, E. (forthcoming). Towards a blueprint for a social animal. In A. Fiebich (ed.), Minimal cooperation and Shared Agency. Dordrecht: Springer.

Mylopoulos, M. & Pacherie, E. (forthcoming). Self-control as hybrid skill. In A. Mele (ed.), Surrounding self-control.

Martin, J.R. & Pacherie, E. (2019). Alterations of Agency in Hypnosis: A New Predictive Model. Psychological Review, 126(1): 133-152. (link)

Sahaï, A., Desantis, A., Grynszpan, O., Pacherie, E., & Berberian, B. (2019). Action co-representation and the sense of agency during a joint Simon task: Comparing human and machine co-agents. Consciousness and cognition, 67, 44-55.

Sidarus N., Palminteri S., Chambon V. (2019). Cost-benefit trade-offs in decision-making and learning. PLOS Computational Biology, 15(9): e1007326.

Bigenwald A. & Chambon V. (2019). Criminal Responsibility and Neuroscience: No Revolution Yet. Frontiers in Psychology: Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 10, 1406.

De Petrillo F., Caroli M., Gori E., Micucci A., Gastaldi S., Bourgeois-Gironde S., Addessi E. (2019). Evolutionary origins of money categorization and exchange: an experimental investigation in tufted capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp.). Animal cognition 22 (2), 169-186.

Vinckier, F., Rigoux, L., Kurniawan, I.T., Hu, C., Bourgeois-Gironde, S., Daunizeau, J., Passiglione, M. (2019). Sour grapes and sweet victories: How actions shape preferences. PLoS computational biology 15 (1), e1006499          

Di Costa S., Théro H., Chambon V., Haggard P. (2018). Try and try again: Post-error boost of an implicit measure of agency. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71:1584-95.

Lefebvre, G., Nioche, A., Bourgeois-Gironde, S. Palminteri, S. (2018). Contrasting temporal difference and opportunity cost reinforcement learning in an empirical money-emergence paradigm. PNAS 115 (49), E11446-E11454.


Maurer, C., Chambon, V., Bourgeois-Gironde, S., Leboyer, M., Zalla, T. (2018). The influence of prior reputation and reciprocity on dynamic trust-building in adults with and without autism spectrum disorder. Cognition 172, 1-10