[Paroles de chercheurs] Cognitive science to understand the challenges of our society

Albert Maucheiber is a Doctor of Neuroscience and Clinical Psychologist, Chiasma and co-founder of ACTE Lab. In 2019, he published the book “Your Brain Plays Tricks on You” in which he discusses the workings of the brain and the biases induced by some of its mechanisms. He works in a number of groups calling for the use of cognitive science to answer some of our society’s challenges.

1 – Can you explain to the readers what your research is about?

I began my research into psychiatry on anxiety disorders and social phobia in particular. Then I worked on the attentional biases associated with the discovery of faces in people who fear the judgment of others as well as the cognitive processing of this information. While still in psychiatry, I worked on the initial management of bipolar disorders as well as the first psychotic episode in young adults.

After this period, I settled as a liberal psychologist and I became interested in general population, specifically how we form our opinions, make our decisions and how we change our thoughts: Mental flexibility. Eager to tackle this topic beyond the walls of my practice, I co-founded Chiasma a few years ago. Chiasma is a structure that is interested in thinking critically about yourself: Can you trust yourself? What are the factors that can affect the way we see the world?

In the same direction, I published a book that synthesizes all these topics in Allary Editions titled your mind is playing tricks on youSo that this knowledge can be spread to as many people as possible. Finally, still in the desire to apply cognitive science to society, I recently participated in the founding of Act Lab, Those interested in cognitive and behavioral brakes in the event of a climate emergency.

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2 – What resonances do your works find in today’s society?

There are a lot of applications out there for the subjects I work on by their very nature. Since I am interested in how we form our opinions; whether it is about oneself, others or in a broader sense, such as obtaining information; It affects many aspects of our society: fake newsIclimate emergency, ns polarization of society, But this also, mobility between individuals at work, social rhythm where four day work week, On this last topic, I conducted in collaboration with Cog’X An impact study on this change in pace of work and its consequences on employee psychology at start-up RH Welcome to the Jungle, which now has 200 employees.

Cognitive sciences, through the knowledge they gain or the method they allow to be applied, can inform us about each of these key issues.

However, what I don’t do is develop products or applications. For most of these subjects, I am more interested in the transmission of knowledge than its application, it is on the pedagogical side that I focus.

3 – What boundaries do you think your field of research will have to overcome in the coming years?

There is a tremendous amount of work to be done! Cognitive science is a completely new field and our theoretical model still needs a lot of development. Before we begin to understand how our mental system works and the many limitations that need to be overcome, we will probably be wrong several times: technical limitations that allow us to have a better overview of the brain as well as its functioning. may give, but exclusively human limits.

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We need a great deal of reciprocity between the various fields we are interested in humans: psychology, sociology, neuroscience, neuroscience, philosophy, anthropology, and many others, each of these disciplines. Building has its contribution, and, unfortunately, for the time being, everyone builds in their corner without worrying about knowing whether these principles are compatible with each other. I think that one of the biggest challenges that will have to be overcome in the years to come, and also in the coming decades, will be the development of these “unified and coherent” theoretical models between the various concepts of human beings and what it is. anime.

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