Department of Psychology

Situated Action and Communication

The Centre has at its core a commitment to studying psychological phenomena in relation to the contexts and situations in which they emerge. Its work covers a multitude of areas – such as developmental psychology, animal behaviour, understanding of object functions, autism and psycholinguistics. It also covers a multitude of methods – such as naturalistic observations, experiments, conversation analysis, cross-cultural studies, longitudinal studies and so on.

Our focus on situation and context takes the body and the social and material world in which we live as fundamental to all Psychology. Many of our studies focus on the processes through which animate beings are not only influenced by, but actually shape their immediate worlds. In this vein, ‘things’ in the world – often seen as physical objects – are often deeply social as well.

International Network: TESIS- Towards an Embodied Science of Intersubjectivity (2011-2015)

The centre is part of a Marie-Curie ITN (Initial Training Network) involving Centres at the Universities of Copenhagen, Heidelberg, Munich, Parma, San Sebastian, Hertfordshire, Chieti, and the partnership of LEGO, Interactive-Academie and Springer (

A Summer School was held in June 2014 at Cowdray Park, UK on 'Ways of Engaging and Making Sense'. Please see our YouTube video for more:

Autism Research Network

The Autism Research Network has been set up in response to informal discussions with parents and practitioners in the Hampshire area. The primary aim of this Network is to create a forum to promote a genuine communication channel amongst researchers, practitioners, cares, parents and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in order to improve the lives of autistic individuals and their families.


Research Areas

Nonverbal Intersubjective Engagements
Nonverbal Intersubjective Engagements
03:32 minutes

Nonverbal Intersubjective Engagements

Programmes: Attentional and intentional engagements in infants (Reddy, Costantini, Fantasia, Delafield-Butt) and in Adults (Reddy, de Jaegher) and in Dogs (Kaminski); Sensory and Interactive skills in Autism (López, Kargas); Attentional awareness in Dogs (Kaminski), phonemic and semantic skills in autism (Kargas, Devonshire)

The Transparency of Mind in Action
The Transparency of Mind in Action
02:33 minutes

The Transparency of Mind in Action

Programmes: Fake Injuries in Football (Morris), Gaze and Steering (Kadar), Sniffing robots (Kadar), The kinematics of Giving (Reddy, Morris, Becchio, Sinigaglia, Ferrara), Gaze, non-verbal cues and expectancies in football (Dicks), Perceiving intentions in infancy and in Autism (López, Ambriosini, Reddy, Sinigaglia, Costantini); Philosophy of mind (Costall)

Culture and Communication
Culture and Communication
03:00 minutes

Culture and Communication

Programmes: Community resilience across the UK (Fasulo, Inkpen, Teeling), Isolation and support in old age (Fasulo, Drahota, Teeling), Cross-cultural developmental studies in social cognition (Kaminski, Reddy, Liebal), Household conflict (Zinken), Situation meaning and reading development (Devonshire, Morris)

Materiality and Mind
Materiality and Mind
03:25 minutes

Materiality and Mind

Programmes: Motor learning and cybernetics (Costall, Kadar), Sensory environments, the Elderly (Drahota, Udell, Costall), The intentionality of objects (Costall, Rodriguez, Rossmanith), Discourse and Identity (Fasulo, Piazza)

Situated action and communication members

PhD Students/Research Staff

External Members

  • Dr Christina Becchio (University Torino)
  • Dr Mike Chase (University of East London)
  • Dr Jonathan Delafield-Butt (University of Strathclyde)
  • Dr Katja Liebal (University of Berlin)
  • Dr Hanne de Jaegher (University of San Sebastian)
  • Dr Gabriela Markova (University of Vienna)
  • Prof Ezequiel di Paolo (University of San Sebastian)
  • Dr Robert Piazza (University of Sussex)
  • Prof Corrado Sinigaglia (University of Milano)

Links with International Centres

  • Centre for Research in Life, Mind and Society (CLMS), University of the Basque Country, San Sebastian, Spain
  • Centre for Subjectivity Research (CSR), University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Institute for Advanced Study, University of Konstanz, Germany
  • Max Planck Instiute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, NL
  • Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Developmental Psychology), Leipzig, Gemany
  • Enactive Network (EN), Universite de Technologie de Compiegne, France
  • Wales Autism Research Centre, University of Cardiff, Wales
  • Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
  • Klinik fuer Allgemeine Psychiatrie fuer Psychsoziale Medizin, Universitaet Heidelberg
  • Centre for Neural and Cognitive Sciences, University of Hyderabad, India
  • Aesthetics of Interaction in the Design of Intelligent Products and Systems, Technische Universiteit, Eindhoven, NL

Advisory Panel

  • Prof Daniel Hutto - University of Hertfordshire
  • Prof Cintia Rodriguez -  Univ Autonoma de Madrid
  • Prof Audrey van de Meer - Dept of Psychology, NTNU, Trondheim
  • Prof Derek Edwards - Dept of Social Sciences, University of Loughborough
  • Prof Dan Zahavi - Centre for Subjectivity Research, University of Copenhagen