Welcome to the Hang Seng Centre for Cognitive Studies

Director: Stephen Laurence
Associate Director: Luca Barlassina
Associate Director: George Botterill


The Hang Seng Centre for Cognitive Studies supports collaborative research on fundamental issues concerning the nature of cognition. The Centre is highly interdisciplinary, bringing together researchers across a broad range of different fields — including animal psychology, anthropology, biology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, economics, evolutionary psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, and philosophy. It has established collaborative links with many universities in the UK, Europe, and the United States.

The CentreThe Centre organizes seminars, workshops, and conferences to address such issues as the nature and organization of the human mind, what characteristics and capacities are uniquely or distinctively human, the relation between culture and the mind, the psychological and neurological basis for core cognitive capacities, the development and evolutionary history of core cognitive capacities, and the philosophical implications of the scientific study of the mind and cognition.

Since 1992 the Centre has run a number of major interdisciplinary projects involving a series of workshops over one or more years, and one or more international conferences. Each project has resulted in the publication of one or more collections of original interdisciplinary essays (see Projects and Publications for more details).

The Centre was founded in Sheffield in 1992, by Peter Carruthers, who was Director from 1992 until 2000. It was established through an endowment from the Hang Seng Bank of Hong Kong, made available through the generosity of Sir Q W Lee. The Centre is now housed in the innovative new Humanities Research Institute at the University of Sheffield.

The Centre is currently involved with the AHRC Culture and the Mind Project, a five year project bringing together researchers in philosophy, anthropology, and psychology to investigate the philosophical consequences of the impact of culture on the mind and the cognitive and evolutionary foundations of culture.

For information on upcoming public seminars and conferences, see News and Events.