PUBLI : Ilka Vari-Lavoisier, « Minds on the move : Crossing disciplines to shed new light on human cognition », WIREs Cognitive Science, Vol.12, 1, Jan-Feb.2021.


Mobility is inte­gral to mankind, but current cogni­tive research on migrants is almost nonex­is­tent. Most of the existing knowl­edge on human cogni­tion is based on data collected from (and by) the wealth­iest and least mobile citi­zens of the world. In turn, most of the migra­tion liter­a­ture relies on super­fi­cial, and at times erro­neous, assump­tions regarding the cogni­tive processes under­lying migra­tory phenom­enon. However, research conducted to date in reveals striking conver­gences between core issues rele­vant to scholars in cogni­tive science on the one hand, and in migra­tion studies on the other. This current lack on cross-​disciplinary dialog has no scien­tific grounds for two fields, which are inher­ently inter­dis­ci­pli­nary, and yet it has concerning sociopo­lit­ical impli­ca­tions. Mapping out a novel research agenda at the cross­roads of the cogni­tive and social sciences, this article stands as an invi­ta­tion for researchers to engage in further collab­o­ra­tive work involving joint data collec­tions and joint data analyses. This paper argues that researching migrant cogni­tion would give more breadth to cogni­tive science and more depth to migra­tion studies, which has the poten­tial to better inform the design of public poli­cies. Though the exam­ples of (a) visual percep­tion, (b) future-​oriented cogni­tion, and (c) language acqui­si­tion, this article shows that pairing the discov­eries of migra­tion scholars and cogni­tive scien­tists can move forward our under­standing on the human mind, in an ever-​moving world.