Institut Jean Nicod

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Team Leader : Elisabeth Pacherie


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, cognitive ergonomics, law and economics.

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


  • The cognitive infrastructure of shared agency : 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 ?
  • Cognitive control : how to define it and characterize its functions ?

  • 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 ? What forms does the sense of agency take in human-machine interactions ?

  • 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.




Statutory Members

Post-doctoral fellows

PhD Graduates






  • EMOTIVA : Comment l’émotion motive l’action. ANR PRC, Julie Grèzes (LNC) & Elisabeth Pacherie, 2020-2024.
  • MYELEX : Implications de la myéline dans le contrôle exécutif à l’adolescence et à l’âge adulte, ANR PRC, M.-C. Angulo (PI), A. Cachia (co-PI) & V. Chambon (co-PI), 2022-2026
  • SOTIPAD : Ce projet de recherche examine les intéractions entre sentiment d’agentivité, influence sociale et trouble de la personnalité limite. Collaboration avec le CHU de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, financement de la Fondation de France, Valérian Chambon et Axel Baptista, 2020-2023.
  • CIRCLE  : Choice and information as cognitive rewards improving control level, ANR PRC, Valérian Chambon, B. Lau & J. Munuera, 2019-2022.
  • Reaching into the unknown  : goal-directed actions, agency and exploration, Research grant awarded by Frontiers in Cognition to Valérian Chambon & Valentin Wyart, 2019-2021
  • JointAction4HRI : Joint action for human-robot interaction, ANR PRC, Rachid Alami (LAAS, Toulouse, Michèle Guidetti (CLLE, Toulouse) & Elisabeth Pacherie (IJN), 2016-2021.



  • Buehler, D. (2021). Agential capacities : a capacity to guide." Philosophical Studies. 
  • Buehler, D. (2021). Skilled guidance. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 12, 3 : 641-667. (2021)
  • Buehler, D. (2021). Warrant from transsaccadic vision. Mind & Language, 36(3), 404-421.
  • Buehler, D. (2019). Flexible occurrent control. Philosophical Studies, 176(8), 2119-2137.
  • Le Bars, S., Bourgeois-Gironde, S., Wyart, V., Dilan-Sari, I., Pacherie, E., & Chambon, V. (forthcoming). Interplay of motor coordination and strategic reasoning on explicit and implicit sense of agency in joint action. Psychological Science.
  • Mylopoulos, L. & Pacherie, E. (eds) (2021). Skilled action control. Special issue. The Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 12, 3.
  • Pacherie, E. & Mylopoulos, M. (2020). Beyond automaticity : The psychological complexity of skill. Topoi, 40 : 649–662
  • Weiss A., Chambon V., Lee J.S., Drugowitsch J., Wyart V. (2021). Interacting with volatile environments stabilizes hidden-state inference and its brain signatures. Nature Communications, 12, 2228. 
  • Fernández Castro, V. & Pacherie, E. (2021) Joint actions, commitments and the need to belong. Synthese, 198 : 7597–7626
  • Le Bars, S., Devaux, A., Nevidal, T., Chambon, V. & Pacherie, E. (2020). Agents’ pivotality and reward fairness modulate sense of agency in cooperative joint action. Cognition 195.
  • Chambon V., Théro H., Vidal M., Vandendriessche H., Haggard P., Palminteri S. (2020). Information about action outcomes differentially affects learning from self-determined versus imposed choices. Nature Human Behaviour, 4, 1067–1079. 
  • Mylopoulos, M. & Pacherie, E. (2020). Self-control as hybrid skill. In A. Mele (ed.), Surrounding self-control (pp. 81-100). Oxford : Oxford University Press.
  • Butterfill, S. A. & Pacherie, E. (2020). Towards a blueprint for a social animal. In A. Fiebich (ed.), Minimal cooperation and Shared Agency (pp. 111-125). Dordrecht : Springer.
  • 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