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Research Projects

Joint Diagrammatical Reasoning

Joint Diagrammatical Reasoning in Language is an international research project aimed at understanding how we use and develop shared external representations together and how these aid in problem solving processes (see also jointdiagrams.org). 

Problem solving is central to everyday life, e.g. in organizations, academia, education, politics, corporations, etc., either explicitly in processes of creative innovation, research or organization, or more implicitly in informal discussions about tasks at hand. It is generally believed that problem solving processes benefit from a collaborative, dialogical setting, mediated by language and other representational means. However, while language is often referred to as a tool for thought and social coordination, there has yet to be an adequate investigation of the way we dev elop our ways of thinking together through linguistic interactions.

In order to investigate such issues, we rely on a pragmatist conceptual framework inspired by the works of C. S. Peirce and in particular his ideas on diagrams and diagrammatic reasoning. The overall aim of the present project is to further develop this framework applying it to linguistic problem solving with a view to study joint diagrammatical reasoning: that is, the way interlocutors negotiate, elaborate, and align their conceptual schematizations of a joint problem and the impact of these processes on their cognitive and behavioral performance.

The project is coordinated by Prof. Frederik Stjernfelt and Kristian Tylén and is funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research – Humanities, and Aarhus University.

Project Participants:

Frederik Stjernfelt, University of Copenhagen

Svend Østergaard, Aarhus University

Riccardo Fusaroli, Aarhus University

Kristian Tylén, Aarhus University

Johanne Stege Bjørndahl, Aarhus University

Joanna Raczaszek-Leonardi, Warsaw University

Sun-Joo Shin, Yale University


Digging for the Roots of Understanding is a European collaborative project investigating interpersonal and intercultural understanding from deeply interdisciplinary perspectives: How do we build successful interactions? How do we misunderstand each other and what is the role of these misunderstandings?

While much research focuses on how pre-existing common ground is needed for successful interactions, we investigate the online coordination of common ground and the potential constructive role of differences and misunderstanding.

The local node of Drust involves Kristian Tylén and Riccardo Fusaroli. Drust is funded by the EuroCore program of the European Science Foundation.


Several mental illnesses have been associated with unusual speech patterns (mostly monotone, emotionless voices), with consequent negative impact on social interactions.  This project employs non-linear methods of voice analyses and machine learning techniques to investigate monological and dialogical speech production in clinical patients and matched controls. The study provides a quantitative ground to qualitative psychiatric assessments of patients’ speech patterns. Crucially, it is a preliminary step in better understanding some of the social impairments in the clinical populations and the dynamics of social interaction, with potential therapeutical impact. Hear more about the project (in Danish) on P1 Videnskabensverden: http://videnskab.dk/krop-sundhed/psykiske-lidelser-kan-hores-i-din-stemme

Clinical Voices involves Riccardo Fusaroli (project coordinator) and Kristian Tylén. Clinical Voices is funded by a Interacting Minds Centre seed grant.

The Humanomics Research Programme

Mapping the dynamics of the Humanities

The aims of the programme are (a) to map the content and context of the humanities over the last fifteen years, and (b) to identify theoretical and methodological resources for developing an empirically-based philosophy of the humanities. By looking at the structure and dynamics of the humanities at universities and other research institutions (e.g., museums, archives, cultural institutions), the programme seeks to provide empirical insight into which humanist theories, methods, concepts, etc. that are operative in today’s science system ... Read more on project homepage