Luca Bonatti

Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)

Social & Behavioural Sciences

I am ICREA Research Professor in Cognitive Development, associated to the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain. I have been full professor at the University of Nantes, France, and associate professor at the University of Paris 8, France, at SISSA/ISAS, Trieste, Italy. I have also been visiting professor at the University of Budapest, Hungary, at the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain, and at New York University. I received my PhD in Philosophy of Mind at Rutgers, under the supervision of Jerry Fodor. I am interested in reasoning, language learning, imagination of physical events and infant cognition.

Research interests

I work on artificial and natural language learning, natural categorization, and theories of deductive and probabilistic reasoning. I study cognition both in adults and young infants. In adults, the focus of my latest research is on how language learners can find words and rules in an unknown speech stream. I have promoted a dual model of language acquisition, giving evidence that lexical learning and grammatical learning recruit different acquisition mechanisms. In infant cognition, my work focuses on early abilities of reasoning about the future, and on how basic categories affect infants’ organization of experience. Recently, with my collaborators, I have proposed a novel theory of how infants reason about uncertain events and on how their reasoning is affected by what they experience. I have tried to show that infants have intuitions about the future that are not based on their experience of the past, but on their logical abilities of analyzing current events.

Selected publications

– Endress AD & Bonatti LL 2016, ‘Words, rules, and mechanisms of language acquisition (vol 7, pg 19, 2016)’, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews-cognitive Science, 7, 4, 289 – 289.

– Teglas E & Bonatti LL 2016, ‘Infants anticipate probabilistic but not deterministic outcomes’, Cognition, 157, 227 – 236.