The Institute of Cognitive Studies (IEC) is a mono-partner Labex within the Idex PSL, whose contours coincide with that of the Département d’Etudes Cognitives (DEC) at Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS).

The Institute of Cognitive Studies (IEC) of Ecole normale superieure is a unique interdisciplinary center conducting research and offering advanced courses in Cognitive Science. It promotes fundamental research, teaching and translational research on human cognition, at the interface between humanities and social sciences, life sciences, and engineering and computer sciences.

The IEC supports strategic research programs in four cutting-edge areas:

  1. Language, Communication
  2. Social cognition
  3. Perception, attention and consciousness
  4. Decision making and rationality

The IEC puts together in a single location, 62 top-level research scientists with expertise from the entire spectrum of disciplines (philosophy; psychology; linguistics; neuroscience; mathematics; etc) and provides them with common experimental platforms and resources, run by a collegial governance. It is composed of 6 research units CNRS INSERM and 1 services unit hosted by the Departement d'Etudes Cognitives. 


The IEC offers a unique training opportunity in Cognitive Science through two integrative, inter-disciplinary teaching programs at the master level: the "Cogmaster" of ENS, EHESS and Université Paris Descartes, and the "Philmaster" of ENS and EHESS. These programs are supported by IEC through the recruitment of administrative staff, short-term international-mobility scholarships for master and doctoral students, doctoral fellowships and international seminars in epistemology & ethics. The IEC also supports projects to develop international cooperations with foreign prestigious centers. 

Governance of the IEC follows the procedure established in the DEC: a director is nominated for 5 years. An executive committee composed of the heads of the teams and a strategic committee including representatives of the institutional partners take decisions through regular meetings. An external Scientific Advisory Board examines all the existing teams and propositions for the creation of new teams every 5 years. 

At the institutional level, IEC is hosted by the ENS, with strong connections with CNRS, INSERM, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Univ Paris Descartes, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, and Paris Est Créteil.