elena pasquinelli


I’ve been working for Fondation La main à la pate since 2012 as project coordinator. Since then, I’m in charge of creating synergies between educators and researchers (cognitive science, neuroscience, and education). I also develop pedagogical resources for teachers (primary and middle school) and contribute to the professional development for teachers and teachers’ trainers in topics such as: cognitive science, learning and the brain, critical thinking. In September 2016, I’ve been appointed national coordinator of the Networks of Innovation sector. 


I currently develop my research activity as associate member of the Institut Jean Nicod (Ens, EHESS, CNRS). Institut Jean Nicod is an interdisciplinary lab at the interface between cognitive, 

humans, and social sciences. It is one of the research labs of the Institut pour l'étude de la cognition (IEC) of the Ecole normale supérieure (Paris)

I share my views with the members of the Think Tank Compas Education, Technologies, Cognition


Research activity

My domain of research is the philosophy of cognitive sciences and m

y research interests are in mind-brain-behavioral studies and their application to domains of

 social interest, namely: education, the media and technology.

Science and society
I'm interested in the reflection about translational research, or: how to translate basic knowledge into usable knowledge and, finally, applications.

  • One related topic concerns the public reception of science, the resistance to science or denialism in modern society, "bad science", scientific myths and pseudo-science.
  • More in particular I'm preoccupied by the public understanding of mind and brain sciences - from neurophilia to the persuasive effect of brain images - and the public understanding of knowledge about the brain and mind. I'm especially interested in "neuromyths" (myths about the mind and brain): how and why do they exist and persist.

Translational research in education
I'm interested in the development of evidence-based and science-informed models and in their application to education. 
  • As member of Fondation La main à la pâte I'm especially interested in science education and in the learning/teaching of critical thinking skills. 

Believability and illusions

A further aspect of my research concerns research on illusory phenomena.

  • I've worked in particular on haptic perceptual illusions and on the notions of believability, illusion of reality and realism in the interaction with new media and technologies. 

  • I'm interested in what do people do when interacting with fiction - from movies, to virtual reality, to hoaxes - in comparison to facts.


Together with Daniel Andler Roberto Casati I teach a cours on education, cognition and the brain at the Master of Cognitive Sciences of the Ecole normale supérieure, Paris. 

See Education&Cognition Syllabus 2017-2018

Research seminars, workshops, summer schools

Research Seminar on Education&Cognition 2015-2016 (Groupe Compas-DEC ENS) 

Erice International School on Mind, Brain, and Education - 2015 Course on "The teaching brain"