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3 - 4 December 2019

Educational seminar Current trends in cognitive sciences IV

The topic of the fourth educational seminar in the series Current trends in cognitive sciences was The Development of Pragmatic Competence in Children. The seminar lasted two days, and it included four sessions. The lectures were given by Mirjana Mirić, Ph.D., Institute for Balkan Studies, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Belgrade.



The seminar was attended by a large number of students from the Faculty of Philosophy in Niš, mostly from the Department of Serbian language and literature, Department of English, and Department of Psychology. Each session was followed by a fruitful discussion. You can find more details here.



11 - 18 May 2019


On May 11th and May 18th, 2019, Center for Cognitive Sciences hosted the third seminar in the series Current Trends in Cognitive Sciences. The seminar included lectures from the fields of Psychology, Linguistics, and Cognitive Linguistics, and it attracted a large number of students from the Faculty of Philosophy in Niš. 

The first two lectures of the seminar were given on May 11th, 2019, and both lectures dealt with topics from the field of Psychology. The first lecture was given by Marija Pejičić, MA, from the Psychology Department, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš, and the topic of the lecture was GENDER STEREOTYPES IN EMOTIONAL BEHAVIOUR.


The second lecture was given by Nikola Ćirović, MA, also from the Psychology Department, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš. The topic of the second lecture was FACTOR ANALYSIS OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN THE COGNITIVE DOMAIN: LATENT STRUCTURE OF EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS. Both lectures were followed by a fruitful discussion.


The following two lectures of the seminar dealt with topics from the fields of Linguistics and Cognitive Linguistics, and they were give on May 18th, 2019. The first lecture, titled THE AT-ISSUE STATUS OF NON-RESTRICTIVE RELATIVE CLAUSES: A CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS OF ENGLISH AND SERBIAN, was given by Ema Živković, MA, English Department, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš.


The second lecture was given by Mladen Popović, MA, English Department, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš, and it was titled PERSUASIVENESS OF AFFORDANCES IN VIDEO GAMES. Again, both lectures were followed by a detailed discussion.



26 - 27 March 2019

Professor Popivanov's visit

On March 26th, Professor Ivo Popivanov, New Bulgarian University, Sofia, Bulgaria, gave a seminar titled Seminar on neuroimaging methods: functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The seminar attracted student and university staff form the University of Niš interested in this area of research, and the presentation was followed by a fruitful discussion.


On Wednesday, March 27th, Professor Popivanov gave a lecture titled Neural representation of faces and bodies in primate inferotemporal cortex, which was also followed by a detailed discussion.



Professor Vidanović's Lecture

On Monday, November 26th, 2018, Professor Đorđe Vidanović, PhD, CogSci Forum Coordinator, gave a talk titled The Cognitive Principle of Force Dynamics and Metaphor of Mihailo Petrović Alas. The lecture was occasioned by the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mihailo Petrović Alas, who is universally regarded as the most prominent Serbian mathematician. In collaboration with the Niš chapter of the Serbian Academy of the Sciences and Arts, the lecturer presented some of the lesser known works by Alas, namely those pertaining to what is today known as cognitive science. The basis of the lecture was the book Metaphors and Allegories (1933); however, Professor Vidanović also drew attention to the fact that the beginning of Petrović’s interest in employing mathematical and physical models in the investigation of human cognition was actually marked by the work The Elements of Mathematical Phenomenology (1911). These efforts led to a construct which bears a striking similarity to that which is today known to cognitive linguists as the Image Schema, that is to say an abstract conceptual structure developed on the basis of the human experience of movement and force. Given the highly eclectic nature of the presented material and the high attendance, the lecture was followed by an extremely productive round of questions and discussion. More details are available here.


13 - 14 November 2018

Professor Todd Oakley's visit

On Tuesday, November 13th, 2018, Professor Todd Oakley, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland (Ohio) gave the first of the two talks during his visit to the Center for Cognitive Sciences, University of Niš. The talk was titled How Institutions Think Analogically: A Sedimentation and Motivation Model of Money.

With Zlatev’s Sedimentation and Motivation Model as the starting point, the lecturer described the processes by which metaphors and analogies become conventionalized and later universalized; this description was followed by a depiction of these processes as they pertain to money – the example used was coin minting in ancient Greece. Further examples served as evidence that while commodity money (e.g. coins) does not have a culturally universal form, the notion of credit in terms of the debtor/creditor relationship is cross-cultural. The conclusion was that, although various authorities use appeals to essence via analogy to legitimize their forms of commodity money, the functional purpose of money is far more pedestrian, i.e. that it serves as an accounting method. Given that the lecture also pertained to the relationship between money and authority, it gave way to a discussion on the various implications given, ranging from the rhetorical ones to those related to cryptocurrencies.

On Wednesday, November 14th, 2018, Professor Todd Oakley delivered the second of the two lectures during his visit to the Center for Cognitive Sciences, titled Representation and the Semiotic Circuit: Hypotyposic abstraction as a Human Singularity.

The first point of the lecture was the clarification of the meaning of the term representation in semiotics, as the term has come to be increasingly misused. Following the first segment, the notion of the semiotic circuit was presented by the lecturer, with emphasis on the fact that each species has its own circuit, and that the circuit varies in complexity from one species to another. The examples given were earthworms, vervet monkeys, and humans. The varying degrees of complexity were illustrated by the semiotic circuit of earthworms primarily facilitating sunlight avoidance, and by the fact that vervet monkeys may even use theirs to deceive their fellow troop members using predator alert signals. The key difference between vervet monkeys as representatives of higher mammals and humans was that, while monkeys do have an extraordinary capacity for hypostatic abstraction, this capacity in humans becomes the capacity for hypotypostic abstraction due to man’s capacity for considering hypotetical situations. The lecture was followed by a round of questions and discussion, primarily as the audience was familiar with language ability experiments on primates.


Dr Hristova's lecture

On Thursday, May 3rd, 2018, Prof. Evgenia Hristova, PhD from the New Bulgarian University in Sofia delivered a lecture titled Mind Perception for Human and Artificial Cognitive Agents. The lecturer began by outlining the problem of mind perception, that is, how humans perceive the mind of other cognitive agents. Following this introduction, prof. Hristova presented a study in which the respondents graded the cognitive abilities of artificial cognitive agents such as robots in several categories. In addition to the results themselves, the lecturer also drew attention to the necessity of improving and making the grading categories more consistent. Given the multidisciplinary nature of such research, the lecture gave way to a lengthy and productive round of questions and discussion.

March - April 2018


March 24th, 2018

The first day of the seminar concerned cognitive narratology. The lecturers were Prof. Jelena Jovanović, PhD, and Prof. Dejan Milutinović, PhD; both are staff members of the Department of Serbian and Comparative Literature at the Faculty of Philosophy in Niš, serving as an assistant professor and associate professor, respectively.

The first lecture was titled Frame and Framing: From Classical to Cognitive Narratology and delivered by dr Jovanović. It outlined the rejection of structuralism as the source of narratological interpretation by the first generation of post-classical narratologists and their embrace of methods found in cognitive science. In accordance with the topic, the results of this transition were highlighted; namely, the dismissal of the classical notion of the text as an autonomous phenomenon and the acceptance of context as a valid facet of analysis.

The lecture by dr Milutinović was titled Genre as a Cognitive Category. The lecturer drew parallels between the different historical epochs of science and the chronologically equivalent notions on the nature of literature before presenting the headway made in the contemporary epoch - namely the development of the four-category model which builds upon the classical three-tier model. These lectures served as an introduction to cognitive narratology for those audience members from other faculties and departments, and as such led to a round of questions and discussion.

March 31st, 2018

The second day of the seminar hosted three lectures given by prof. Dušan Stamenković, PhD, from the Faculty of Philosophy in Niš, prof. Milkica Nešić, PhD, from the Faculty of Medicine in Niš, and an online lecture given by dr Renee Timmers from the Department of Music, University of Sheffield.

Dr Stamenković gave a talk titled Metaphor Comprehension: Theories and Research Directions. During the talk, the lecturer gave a detialed overview and comparison of various approaches to the study of metaphor comprehension, ranging from Conceptual Metaphor Theory to more contemporary experimental research in the domain of cognitive psychology that explores mechanisms such as categorization and analogy. Following the detailed theoretical introduction, Dr Stamenković present findings from his own research and outlined the main directions for future research.

Dr Nešić's
lecture titled The relationship between attention, working memory, and consciousness started with an overview of brain circuitry that supports the most important cognitive functions, and it also included an insight into previous research in the field. After that, dr Nešić presented the findings of her study dealing with woring memory.

Dr Renee Timmers
gave an online talk titled Communication in Musical Ensembles. During the talk, she discussed the role played by both social and cognitive processes in developing a synchronised and coherent ensemble performance within a rehearsal or concert context. Social processes concern the perceived relationships between ensemble members, their verbal interactions, as well as relational characteristics of their nonverbal behaviour. Cognitive processes relate among others to the ability of musicians to anticipate and adapt to each other whilst playing, and to employ visual and auditory cues to inform such anticipation and adaptation. Recent research conducted with colleagues and students are reviewed that are relevant due to their methodological innovations and the insights they offer on ensemble performance. The studies examined 1) how patterns of verbal communication emerge and develop across rehearsals of a vocal quintet, leading up to a concert performance, 2) patterns of adaptation and auditory- visual cuing in a string quartet, and 3) the ability to use visual information for synchronisation and its dependence on relevant motor expertise. These studies observe different layers of musical communication from explicit verbal behaviour to neurological contributors.

April 14th, 2018

The final day of the seminar consisted of two lectures delivered by Prof. Mihailo Antović, PhD, Head of Center for Cognitive Sciences in Niš, and Prof. Đorđe Vidanović, PhD, CogSci forum coordinator.

The first lecture - Levels of Grounding in Meaning Construction: A New Approach to Cognitive Semantics – was delivered by Prof. Antović. Following an introduction to the problem of symbol grounding as outlined by Harnad in 1990, Prof. Antović proposed a multi level-grounding system on the basis of a study of music referentiality.

The final lecture was delivered by Prof. Vidanović and it was titled Paradise Lost and the Interpretation of the World. On the basis of the book Perception and the Fall from Eden, Prof. Vidanović offered an interpretation whereby well-known mechanisms of cognitive linguistics are an inevitable consequence of man’s existence in an imperfect world; were the opposite to be true, phenomena such as polysemy would not exist, as human language would exist on a perfect one-on-one correspondence with the world.

Following a round of questions and discussion, the seminar was concluded by Vladimir Figar, secretary of the Center for Cognitive Sciences in Niš.


Dr Valt's lecture

On Thursday, March 22nd, 2018, Dr. Christian Valt of the International Psychoanalytic University of Berlin gave a lecture titled Event-Related Brain Potentials of Performance Monitoring: From Basic Research to the Evaluation of Psychotherapy. The lecture concerned the application of monitoring two different brain potentials onto evaluating the nature of panic disorder as well as monitoring the progress of patients suffering from the aforementioned disorder. To that end, the lecturer presented two different experiments. The first dealt with the nature of the two potentials in addition to presenting their interplay in patients – the first potential (Ne/ERN) was related to internal stressors, whereas the latter (VPP) was related to external stressors; in addition, the two potentials were found to be equally amplified in persons suffering from unexpected reoccurring panic attacks. The latter experiment concerned the monitoring of these potentials in patients who had been undergoing psychotherapy for one year at the time. While no attenuation in the internal potential was detected, the external potential was found to have been significantly affected towards normalization. This serves as a preliminary indication of psychotherapy being successful in alleviating the hyper-vigilant attitude characteristic of the disorder. The lecture was followed by a brief round of questions and discussion.

February - March 2018

Dr Antović's visits to Sheffield and Bratislava

In February and March 2018 prof. Mihailo Antović, PhD, Head of the CogSci Center paid research visits to the University of Sheffield and University of Bratislava (CEEPUS), where he gave several talks and discussed possible research collaboration with the Department of Music at Sheffield and Center for Cognitive Sciences / Department of Informatics at Comenius University in Bratislava.


Dr Snežana Milosavljević Milić's lecture

On Wednesday, December 13th, 2017, Professor Snežana Milosavljević Milić, Ph.D. gave an invited talk titled COGNITIVE NARRATOLOGY – CHALLENGES, SCOPE, PERSPECTIVES. The lecture introduced the main tenets and directions of research within the discipline of Cognitive Narratology. Starting from the initial narratological shift in humanities and social sciences, and science in general, which took place in the 1980s, the lecturer proceeded with the discussion of the most important milestones, as well as the most influential figures who directed the development of the discipline. In that sense, the main challenges, scope, and future directions concerning research in this filed were also addressed. Finally, the lecture gave way to a productive discussion.



Nikola Stojanović's lecture

On Wednesday, December 6th, 2017, Nikola Stojanović gave a lecture titled Experimental Animal Models in Psychiatric Research. The lecture concerned the application of Animal Models in the development of new medication for psychiatric conditions such as pathological anxiety. The development of such medication is necessitated by the myriad of side effects caused by the administration of current medication. The lecture presented many facets of this line of research, including animal models in neuropharmacology, classification of anxiety disorders, the genesis and mechanism of anxiety, classification of tests as well as the criteria of their validity, and the translation of animal models onto clinical studies. The lecturer concluded the presentation by emphasizing the necessity of continuing research in this field. The lecture was followed by a brief round of questions and discussion.



Dr Nešić's lecture

On Wednesday, May 17th, 2017, Dr Janko Nešić gave a lecture titled Phenomenological argument for the substantival self. In his talk, Dr Nešić outlined the simple phenomenological argument to the metaphysical conclusion that the self is an individual substance and not a bundle of experiences. Drawing on modern philosophical accounts of mineness (from Zahavi to Guillot), pre-reflective self-consciousness (Nida-Rümelin) and acquaintance (Gertler, Goff) the lecturer managed to show that if one is acquainted with oneself, that is if one has self-acquaintance and acquaintance with one’s experiences (one has self-awareness and awareness of experiences), one acquires introspective knowledge that oneself is a substance. The lecture attracted a large audience of students of Philosophy, and it gave way to an elaborate discussion.


March - April 2017

Educational seminar Current Trends in Cognitive Sciences

In the period between March 18th and April 8th 2017, Center for Cognitive Sciences organized the first educational seminar intended for MA and Ph.D. students from the University of Niš. The event included seven lectures and workshops given both by the members of the Center, and by guests from the New Bulgarian University in Sophia, Bulgaria. Overall, the seminar attracted a large audience of students from various disciplines.

On Saturday, March 18th, 2017, Prof. Milkica Nešić, Ph.D. Vice-Head of Center for Cognitive Sciences, gave a lecture titled Neuroscience of Communication, From Molecules to Society, which was given at the Faculty of Philosophy in Niš. The lecture attracted a great number of students.


On Saturday, March 25th, 2017, two lectures were given in lecture hall no. 8 in the main University building.

The first lecture, titled The Link Between Linguistics and Musicology: Theoretical, Methodological, and Experimental Basics, was given by Prof. Mihailo Antović, Ph.D., Head of Center for Cognitive Sciences. The lecture explored various frameworks that address the problem of grounding and meaning construction in various contexts.

The second lecture was given by Prof. Đorđe Vidanović, Ph.D., CogSci Forum Coordinator, and it was titled The Semantics of Consciousness. Dr Vidanović provided an elaborate discussion on the problem of consciousness from the perspective of Philosophy of Mind, and its implications for the study of cognitive sciences.


Saturday, April 1st, 2017, hosted two lectures that were given in lecture hall no. 8 in the main University building.

The first lecture, titled Frame Interaction and Network Equilibrium in Conceptual Metaphors: Discussing the Explanatory Adequacy of Conceptual Blending, was given by Vladimir Figar, MA.


The second lecture/workshop, titled Identifying and Analyzing Metaphor and Metonymy in Comics was given by Asst. Prof. Dušan Stamenković, Ph.D., CogSci Secretary, and Miloš Tasić, MA, from the Faculty of Machine Engineering, University of Niš. After the main part of the lecture, participants from the audience analyzed some specific instances of metaphor and metonymy in comics with the lecturers. 


The seminar was concluded on Saturday, April 8th, 2017, with two lectures given by faculty members of the New Bulgarian University, Sophia, Bulgaria.

The first lecture was given by Prof. Maurice Grinberg, Ph.D., and it was titled Social Dilemmas and Game Theory. Dr Grinberg provided a comprehensive overview of research which includes the application of game theory to certain psychological problems.


The final lecture of the seminar was given by Prof. Eugenia Hristova, Ph.D., and it was titled Eye-Tracking: Methodology and Applications. The participants had an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the scope of application of eye-tracking methodologies, and to also experience the equipment and software firsthand, as the lecturer brought along two portable eye trackers and the accompanying software.




Dr Farkaš's workshop

On Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, Prof. Ing. Igor Farkaš, Dr., Centre for Cognitive Science, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovak Republic, held a workshop titled “Brain-computer interface based on motor imagery.”
Namely, Brain-computer interface (BCI) has become an important technology, based on non-invasive measurement of the brain signals, allowing the users to control the environment by their own thought. Motor imagery based approach to BCI utilizes the modulation sensory-motor-related brain oscillatory rhythms that can be correctly interpreted after processing. Additionally, the workshop also dealt with the issue of neuroscience and technical background behind the BCI and the lecturer discussed the range of applications that this technology affords - ranging from computer gaming to neurorehabilitation. Finally, Dr Farkaš also addressed the main challenges and philosophical aspects of this technology. Like the previous lecture, this workshop was also followed by a fruitful discussion.



Dr Farkaš’s lecture


On Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017, Prof. Ing. Igor Farkaš, Dr., Centre for Cognitive Science, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovak Republic, gave a lecture titled “Computational modeling in cognitive robotics.”
The lecture provided an introduction to artificial neural networks, a major paradigm in cognitive robotics that represents a constructivist (synthetic) approach to the understanding of cognitive functions, using physical or simulated robots. This important approach was also illustrated on selected tasks of motor learning, body representations, or (simple) language grounding. The talk gave way to an insightful discussion.



Dr Keith Holyoak's lecture

On Wednesday, March 1st, dr Keith Holyoak, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, from UCLA, Los Angeles, USA, gave an online talk titled Commonsense Moral Reasoning. During the talk, he discussed how ordinary people make judgements about moral issues and introduced some of the previous research that questions one popular approach based on utilitarianism. Subsequently, he introduced a more promising approach called 'deontological coherence theory' which tries to unify findings in moral psychology that have often been interpreted as heuristics or biases. The lecture gave way to a productive discussion.



November / December 2016

Professor Antović's visit to the University of Vienna

In November and December 2016, Prof. Mihailo Antović, head of the Center for Cognitive Sciences, was a guest lecturer in the MEi, Middle European Indisciplinary Master Program in Cognitive Science at the University of Vienna. Among other activities, Prof. Antović gave a lecture entitled "Musicolinguistics: Why Would Connections between Music and Language Matter for Cognitive Science", and a workshop on "multilevel grounding" in meaning construction. The visit was supported by the CEEPUS exchange program, in which the Center for Cognitive Science participates along with eight partner institutions from central and southeast Europe.




Dr Patrick Plummer's lecture

On Thursday, 3 November 2016, Patrick Plummer, Ph.D. from UCLA, Los Angeles, USA, gave an online lecture titled "The Effects of Context on Word Recognition" in which he focused on different aspects of language comprehension during reading. Namely, his work is focused on how readers coordinate the cognitive processes that underlie word identification and sentence comprehension with the constraints imposed by visual acuity and the requirements of fine oculomotor control. During the lecture he introduced selected projects designed to investigate the influence of linguistic context on word recognition during reading using high temporal resolution eye-tracking methodologies. More specifically, he presented two sets of experiments, where the first set of experiments examined the effects of prior sentence context on the extraction of orthographic (letter) and phonological (sound) information at the earliest stages of word identification, while the second set was designed to examine the influence of various corpus-based lexical characteristics on word recognition difficulty and eye-movement control during reading. Finally, the lecture gave way to a fruitful discussion.




CogSciNiš 2016: Symbol Grounding in Cognitive Science


(click to download the poster/programme)

On 20 and 21 May 2016, Center for Cognitive Sciences hosted the third cognitive science symposium named CogSciNiš 2016: Symbol Grounding in Cognitive Science, supported by the Faculty of Philosophy and the University of Niš. The symposium was held in the main building of the University of Niš and consisted of two main talk sessions, one plenary lecture and a round table discussion titled "Schemas, Grounds, and Meaning in Language, Music, Vision, and Beyond - Open Issues and Collaboration Opportunities". The opening speech was given by professor Vesna Lopičić, University's vice-rector for international cooperation, while the plenary video-link lecture, "Is Music a Universal Language" was given by professor Anthony Brandt (Rice University, USA), whereas the list of participants included: Emilios Cambouropoulos, Danae Stefanou, Maximos Kaliakatsos-Papakostas, George Athanassopoulos, and Asteris Zacharakis from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Computational and Cognitive Musicology Group), Oliver Kutz and Maria Hedblom from the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Evgeniya Hristova from the Center for Cognitive Science, New Bulgarian University, Milena Petrović and Gordana Acić from the University of Arts in Belgrade, as well as four representatives of the host university - Đorđe Vidanović, Mihailo Antović, Vladimir Figar and Dušan Stamenković. Besides this, we had several video-link participants: Dimitris Tasoudis and Petros Vouvaris (University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki), Anna Piata (Swiss Center for Affective Sciences), and Cristóbal Pagán Cánovas (University of Navarra), along with one virtual listener - Constant Bonard (University of Geneva). The symposium allowed the participants to link their studies related to the domains of musicology, linguistics and cognitive science, and plan some directions for institutional and research collaboration in the future.


Professor Hristova's Lecture

On Tuesday, 17 May, 2016, Professor Evgeniya Hristova, Ph.D. from the Center for Cognitive Science, New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria, gave a lecture titled "Moral judgments about decision of artificial cognitive systems" in which she presented a number of studies carried out by her colleagues and her - in these studies they tested how moral human subjects may find different decisions made or potentially made by humanoid robots or artificial intelligence cognitive systems.


Dr Canovas's Lecture

On Saturday, 23 April, 2016, Cristóbal Pagán Cánovas, Ph.D. from the Institute for Culture and Society, University of Navara, Spain, gave a lecture via video link titled “The Poetics of Time: Cognition, Culture, Communication.” The lecture was given at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš, during the annual conference “Language, Literature, Time 2016”. The lecture started with the introduction and comparison of the classical Conceptual Metaphor Theory and the more recent model proposed in the form of Conceptual Blending Theory, emphasizing the shortcomings of the former and potential advantages of the latter. In addition to the overview of metaphorical conceptualizations of time in poetry, the lecture also provided ample psychological evidence for the “existence” of the TIME IS SPACE metaphor, and it also introduced more recent research efforts in the study of metaphorical gestures conducted on materials from the Red Hen database. The lecture ended in a fruitful discussion.


Dr Lu's Lecture

On Thursday, 21 April, 2016, Wei-lun Lu, Ph.D. (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic) gave a lecture titled “Use of parallel texts as a methodology in cognitive linguistics: Deictic verbs as viewpoint operators.” The introductory part of the talk included some of the basic tenets of Conceptual Metaphor Theory, and the discussion of the notion of “construal” as one of the most salient cognitive phenomena advocated by contemporary cognitive linguistics, which was followed by an overview of some more specific research areas. Namely, apart from presenting the results of his research on the use of parallel corpora in the investigation of deictic verbs as viewpoint operators, the lecture also stressed the importance of a comprehensive methodological approach to research in the domain of cognitive linguistics. One of the main suggestions included the use of renowned classics that have been translated multiple times into many languages, thereby yielding fruitful ground for investigation and cross-linguistic comparison. The lecture eventually led to a productive discussion.


Cognitive Comics Studies Lecture Series

From 30 March to 13 April 2016, Center for Cognitive Sciences hosted the Cognitive Comics Studies Lecture Series, which gathered three eminent comics scholars from Serbia, the Netherlands and the United States. The first lecture, titled Visual Manifestations of Conceptual Metaphor and Metonymy in Comics, was given on 30 March by Miloš Tasić (Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Niš). This introductory lecture was followed by two video-link lectures. The first of them was Charles Forceville's (Media Studies, University of Amsterdam) Stylistics in Comics on 6 April 2016. The closing lecture in the series was Neil Cohn's (University of California, San Diego / Tilburg University) The Visual Language of Comics: What comics can tell us about the mind (and vice versa) on 13 April 2016. The lectures introduced the field of cognitive comics studies and displayed some of the possibilities for further research in this domain.

THE POSTER (click to download)



Dušan Stamenković's visit to the University of Vienna

From 3 to 28 December 2015, Asst. Professor Dušan Stamenković, CogSciNiš member and secretary, visited the University of Vienna through CEEPUS III academic network (CIII-AT-0103-10-1516 – Cognitive Science, Knowledge Studies, and Knowledge Technologies), where he participated in curricular activities within the Middle European interdisciplinary master programme in Cognitive Science (MEi:CogSci). During his visit, he gave a public lecture entitled The Contribution of Cognitive Linguistics to Gaming and Comics Studies, and a workshop titled Identifying and Analysing Metaphor, Metonymy, and Image Schemata in Visual Languages, both of which were part of the MEi:CogSci programme activities. Besides this, he participated in classes within the course Introduction to Cognitive Science I, whereas he also visited Comnenius University in Bratislava. With his colleagues from Vienna and Bratislava he discussed various cooperation possibilites, as well as directions for founding an MA programme in cognitive sciences at the University of Niš.


Nikola Stojanović's Talk

On Wednesday, 23 December 2015, Nikola Stojanović, a lecturer from the Faculty of Electronic Engineering (University of Niš), gave a talk entitled Virtual reality: new research possibilities in cognitive sciences. The lecturer provided an overview of various activities his research group had performed, some of which had been directed at raising awareness about the importance of VR technologies in diverse fields - from entertainment to science. It was pointed out that there are possibilities for cooperation with the Center for Cognitive Sciences in the domain of spatial, language and auditory cognition. After the presentation, numerous participants had the opportunity to try out the Oculus Rift VR system.


Jana Mitić's and Naomi Benecasa's Talk

On 8 December, 2015, Jana Mitić (Faculty of Arts, University of Niš) and Naomi Benecasa (Rice University, Houston, Texas) gave a lecture titled “Study of the Perception of musical Timbre Inspired by Cognitive Linguistics.” The presenters provided a brief overview of the role of conceptual metaphors in the study of musical meaning, which was then followed by some specific examples from the presenters’ professional experience. In addition to colorful illustrations of the use of conceptual metaphors and image schemata in the descriptions of musical timbre, the presentation also included a live cello-performance of some selected pieces aimed to illustrate not only examples of upward/downward movement and circular motion, but also instances of the emotional/affective content that most musical pieces can evoke, and how these effects can be either stressed or downplayed by the performer’s interpretation.


CogSci Meetings with Students

During June and July 2015, several members of the Center for Cognitive Sciences organized a series of meetings and workshops with students interested in cognitive sciences. These meetings yielded a number of plans related to possible research and papers in the forthcoming months, predominantly in the areas of cognitive linguistics and cognitive musicology.



Professor Oakley's Visit

Professor Todd Oakley, one of the world's most eminent cognitive linguists and Chair of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio, USA), visited the University of Niš, Faculty of Philosophy, and Center for Cognitive Sciences from 12 to 15 May 2015. During his visit, he gave a number of lectures and workshops - “Invocation or Apostrophe?: Rhetorical Dimensions of Prayer Idioms in Broadcast Television”, “Semantic Domains in The Dream of the Rood”, “Becoming Human: The Phylogeny of Homo Rhetoricus”, “The Fluidity-to-Elasticity Hypothesis: the Perspectives” (sa prof. dr Đorđem Vidanovićem), “Deonstemic Modals in Legal & Political Discourse: The Cognitive Semiotics of Layered Actions”. A detailed program of his visit can be found in the attached poster. POSTER


Dr Moustafa's Lectures

On Monday, 27 April, and Wednesday, 29 April, Dr Ahmed Moustafa (School of Social Science and Psychology and the Marcs Institute, University Of Western Sydney) gave two lectures, titled Behavioral and Computational Studies of Parkinson's Disease and Designing Computational Models of Brain and Behaviour. Among other things, he elaborated on the ways in which the existing treatments of Parkinson's disease may benefit from behavioral and computational models. Video link.



Professor Nešić's Lecture

On Wednesday, 08 April 2015, professor Milkica Nešić (Faculty of Medicine, University of Niš) gave a lecture entitled Neuroscience of Communication - from Molecule to Society, in which she described a set of links between molecules, cells, and the physiology of the human body on the one hand, and the functioning of the nervous system and social functions on the other.   


Professor Obrenović's Lecture

On Thursday, 18 December 2014, professor Joviša Obrenović (Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš) gave a lecture titled Two Brain Hemispheres, Two Types of Consciousness, One Personality?, in which he used several theoretical frameworks to discuss various aspects of lateralization of the human brain.


Professor Antović's SCOPIA Workshop

On Tuesday, 25 November 2014, professor Mihailo Antović, Head of Center for Cognitive Sciences, held a SCOPIA workshop at Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts. The workshop entitled From Concepts to Connotation: A Cognitive Linguistic Approach to Music Cognition introduced several segments of a research program conducted by the music cognition group at the Center for Cognitive Sciences in order to suggest how studies of music and language cognition may inform both theoretical and experimental work in cognitive linguistics. Video link.


Professor Dimitrijević's Lecture

On Tuesday, 4 November 2014, Professor Srboljub Dimitrijević (Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš) gave a lecture titled Cognition, Circumstances, Factors, in which he presented a number of philosophical views on the problem of cognition.

3/5/2014 – 6/5/2014

Professor Mark Turner's Visit and CogSciNiš 2014

On 3rd and 4th May 2014, The Second Cognitive Science Symposium – Workshop on Multimodal Communication was held at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš. In addition to participants from the Faculty of Philosophy in Niš, the symposium also hosted guests from Croatia, Bulgaria, Greece, and the US. The event was organized by the Center for Cognitive Sciences, University of Niš, in cooperation with the University of Niš, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, Embassy of the United States in Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy, and the Joint Research Center of the Serbian Academy and University of Niš.

Dr Mark Turner, Professor of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University and one of the leading cognitive scientists today, opened the symposium with the plenary lecture titled Mind and the Media: Cognitive Processes of Persuasion During Virtual Interaction where he introduced a new research project that is currently under way. Among other problems, he introduced the audience to the notions of a scene of joint attention, scene of classic joint attention, and a scene of blended joint attention. The opening lecture inspired a number of questions from the audience which gave way to a fruitful discussion.

The remainder of the first day of the seminar included a video conference via Polycom with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, as well as presentations given by participants from the University of Zagreb and University of Niš. The final talk of the day, titled Music, Language, Meaning, and Cognition: A Research Program, was given by Dr Mihailo Antović, Head of Center for Cognitive Sciences at the University of Niš.

The second day of the symposium started with the plenary lecture given by Dr Djordje Vidanović from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš, titled The Tractability of Conceptual Blending, where he discussed the problem of meaning construction at human level, especially in case where the tractability of this process is highly questionable, like with the space-time relationship in physics. The plenary lecture was followed by two consecutive sessions that included participants from the University of Athens, University of Zagreb, New Bulgarian University in Sofia, University of Niš, and University of Novi Sad.

In all, by bringing together scholars from various disciplines, some of which include cognitive science, psychology, and linguistics, the symposium provided a multidisciplinary environment for the study of various aspects of communication and meaning construction in different contexts.

Download the Workshop poster
Download the Workshop Program and Book of Abstracts

Professor Turner's visit, supported by the US Embassy in Serbia, continued on 5th and 6th May, with a number of activities. On 5th May he gave the lecture titled Speaking, Gesture, Bodily Stance: Studying Multimodal Communication in a Massive Electronic Corpus at the Faculty of Philosophy, where presented the possibilities of The Little Red Hen Lab. On 6th May, professor Turner organized a workshop on Trends in Modern Cognitive Linguistics and Latest Developments in Conceptual Blending Theory with the staff and students of the Faculty of Philosophy. The visit ended with the workshop entitled Niš, Serbia and Northeast Ohio – Possibilities for Prospective Students, held at the American Corner in Niš.

Download the Visit Poster


Dr Dušan Stamenković's Lecture

On Thursday, 20 March 2014, Dr Dušan Stamenković, Asst. Professor in the Department of English, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš, gave a lecture titled Cognitive Linguistics and the Visual Language of Comics. Stamenković presented the results of various studies related to visual language cognition, and suggested a number of possibilities for further research in this domain.


Professor Jelka Crnobrnja Isailović's Lecture

On Tuesday, 18 February 2014, Dr Jelka Crnobrnja Isailović, Professor in the Department of Biology and Ecology (Faculty of Sciences and Mathematics, University of Niš) and Senior Scientist at the Institute for Biological Research "Siniša Stanković", Belgrade, gave a lecture entitled Heterogeneous Environments and the Evolution of Hominids, in which she gave an overview of evolutionary processes, paying special attention to the ways in which various changes in the environment of hominids determined their evolution. The lecture was followed by a thorough and interesting discussion.


Dr Vuk Milošević's Lecture

On Tuesday, 24 December 2013, Dr Vuk Milošević (Clinic of Neurology, Clinical Center Niš) gave a lecture entitled The Brain as a Network: Neurophysiological Methods in the Study of Cortical Functional Connectivity, in which he presented the structure of the brain as a complex system and gave an overview of various experimental methods used in contemporary research. The lecture was followed by a discussion on the issues of causality, emergence, artificial intelligence and research possibilities.


Professor Mihailo Antović's Lecture

On Thursday, 28 November 2013, professor Mihailo Antović PhD (Faculty of Philosophy, Niš; Head of Center for Cognitive Sciences) gave a lecture titled Music, Language and Cognition: In Search of Underlying Principles, in which he provided a survey of his previous and forthcoming research endeavors in the field. You can download professor Antović's papers from his website: www.mihailoantovic.com


Professor Anthony Brandt's Lecture

On Thursday, 31 October 2013, professor Anthony Brandt PhD (Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA) gave a video-link lecture titled The Science and Art of Creativity, within the programme of the Center for Cognitive Sciences, University of Niš. The successful composer, professor of music theory and cognitive scientist, who obtained his PhD at Harvard, presented the basics of his own theory of creativity, based on the models proposed by David Eagleman, Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner. By presenting a set of examples from the world of fine and applied art, architecture, music and design, professor Brandt pointed at some possible abstract principles which govern creative thought, after which he answered numerous questions coming from the audience. See the poster and prof. Brandt's short bio.

Activities organized by the Cognitive Science Forum between 12/01/2011 and 15/05/2013:


Professor Boban Arsenijević's Lecture

As a part of the Cognitive Science Forum's programme for 2013, on 15 May 2013, professor Boban Arsenijević PhD (Faculty of Philosophy - University of Niš) gave a lecture titled Space in Cognition: Biological, Linguistic and AI Perspectives, which was followed by a thorough and interesting discussion.


Professor Ray Jackendoff's Lecture

On 26 April 2013, Ray Jackendoff PhD, Seth Merrin Professor of Philosophy, Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University, and one of the most prominent modern linguists, gave a video-link lecture within the Language, Literature, Marginalization Conference, held at the Faculty of Philosophy - University of Niš. The lecture was entitled What You Can Say with Marginal Syntax: A Hierarchy of Grammatical Complexity. Link.


Professor Branimir Todorović's Lecture

On 10 April 2013, Professor Branimir Todorović (Faculty of Sciences and Mathematics, University of Niš) gave a lecture entitled Intelligent machines, Models, Learning Algorithms and Applications at the University of Niš, within the Cognitive Science Forum programme. Professor Todorović's interesting lecture contributed to the process of linking various local cognitive scientists studying different aspects of cognition.


Professor Ronnie Wilbur's Lecture

On 29 March 2013, Professor Ronnie Wilbur PhD (Purdue University) gave a lecture entitled Structure of ASL and Applications, with a special emphasis on event structure in sign languages. The lecture was organised by the Faculty of Philosophy and Cognitive Science Forum. Link.



Professor Todd Oakley's Second Visit

From 14 until 19 March 2013, Todd Oakley PhD, professor and Chair of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University, visited the University of Niš. During his visit, the renowned cognitive scientist conducted two workshops at the Faculty of Philosophy – one in cognitive linguistics (An Introduction to Construction Grammar) and one in cognitive semantics (Basic Elements of the Conceptual Blending and Integration Model). Besides this, together with Đorđe Vidanović PhD, professor at the Faculty of Philosophy and the coordinator of the Cognitive Science Forum, he gave a lecture entitled Autism and Intersubjectivity: A Report on Preliminary Research. Professor Oakley’s visit is a part of the continual cooperation between the Department of Cognitive Science (Case Western Reserve University) and the Cognitive Science Forum (University of Niš). The visit was organised by the University of Niš, the Faculty of Philosophy, the SANU Research Centre and the Cognitive Science Forum. Visit programme. Link.

Activities in 2011 and 2012