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France  Anglais  Last update : 17/12/2022     



Teams : DiLiS 

  Training and professional background
  Research interests
  Awards and research grants
  Main publications and conferences

My PhD project presentation: Inter-individual variations and their impact on language evolution

The main goal of my thesis is to study to which extent inter-individual variation can influence linguistic evolution and change, as well as the emergence of structure in languages. To do so, I will use different approaches:

  • Agent-based modeling using an Iterated Learning approach with Bayesian agents, in structured networks with inter-individual variation;
  • Experimental paradigms by studying the change, in real-time, of artificial languages in small groups of people whose interactions are structured as networks, and where I will implement inter-individual variation;
  • A case study in order to study the effect of inter-individual variation in colour perception (and more specifically, in the blue-green range) on colour vocabulary.



2020 - 2023 : PhD (ED NSCO) "Inter-individual variations and their effect on language evolution" directed by Dan Dediu, François Pellegrino (DDL, Lyon), as well as Kenny Smith (CLE, Edimbourg)
Laboratoire Dynamique du Langage (Lyon) and Center for Language Evolution (Edimbourg)


2020 : Master's degree in Cognitive Sciences, with high distinction
ENS Lyon


2020 : Internship (2nd year of Master), where I studied the link between the environment and the color lexicon (see Master thesis)
Laboratoire Dynamique du Langage (Lyon)


2019 : Internship on animal cognition, with a specific interest on automatic tracking methods
Animal Cognition and Neuroscience, CIMEC (Italie)


2020 : Internship on cognitive ergonomy for truck drivers
Renault Trucks (Lyon)


2017 : First year of Master in Computer Sciences, with high distinctions
Université Lyon 2, in exchange with NCU (National Central University, Taïwan)


2016 : Graduate degree in Cognitive Sciences, with high distinction
Université Lyon 2


2014 : Internship in the team "Brain, behavior and learning lab"
Institut des sciences cognitives (Lyon)




Linguistic variation


Cognition and language


Cultural and language evolution




2022-2023 Bourse Programme Van Gogh dans le cadre d'une collaboration France - Pays-Bas (montant total 3200 euros)


2022 Bourses Au Fil de l'Eau, ASLAN (AFE), pour les projets ColLang (1350 euros) et Résovar (1100 euros)


2020 - 2023 Scholarship from the Doctoral School of Neuroscience and Cognition (ED 476 NSCo)
University of Lyon




2020: Teaching cognitive psychology to second-year bachelor students in psychology (2 classes - 40h a semester)



PhDs and master thesis

Josserand, M., 2020, "Speaking about colors: a cross-linguistic statistical investigation of the effects of the physical environment on the way languages conceptualize the color space", Mémoire Master 2, Mémoire Master 2 Sciences Cognitives, ENS Lyon, 83, 83 p.


Josserand, M., Tang, M., Pellegrino, F. & Dediu, D., 2021, "Interindividual variation refuses to go away: A Bayesian computer model of language change in communicative networks", Frontiers in Psychology, 12, pp. 2176 (doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.626118)


Josserand, M., Meeussen, E., Majid, A. & Dediu, D., 2021, "Environment and culture shape both the colour lexicon and the genetics of colour perception", Scientific Reports, 11, pp. 19095 (doi:10.1038/s41598-021-98550-3, Full text)


Lemaire, B., Rucco, D., Josserand, M., Vallortigara, G. & Versace, E., 2021, "Stability and individual variability of social attachment in imprinting", Scientific Reports, 11, pp. 7914


Josserand, M., Rosa-Salva, O., Versace, E. & Lemaire, B., 2021, "Visual Field Analysis: A reliable method to score left and right eye use using automated tracking", Behavior Research Methods, 675

Invited presentations

Josserand, M., 2022, "Blue and green, or grue? The colour lexicon: between cultural and environmental influences", Center for Mind and Brain Sciences (Rovereto, Italie)


Dediu, D. & Josserand, M., 2022, "Blue and green, or grue? The color lexicon at the intersection of the environment, genetics, and culture", University of Tübingen (Germany, online)


Allassonnière-Tang, M. & Josserand, M., 2021, "La variation individuelle dans tous ses états sur Twitter et Wikipedia", Institut Rhônalpin des systèmes complexes (France, online)

Conference presentations

Josserand, M., Caparos, S., Pellegrino, F. & Dediu, D., 2022, "The colour lexicon is shaped by environment and biology: comparing Himba and French colour perception", JcCOLE: Joint Conference for Language Evolution, Kanazawa, Japan, September 2022


Josserand, M., 2021, "Systèmes multi‑agents et évolution du langage", Journées francophones sur les systèmes multi-agents, France, online, 28-30 juin


Josserand, M., 2021, "Etude de l’évolution du langage via des réseaux d’agents bayésiens", Colloque des jeunes chercheurs en sciences cognitives, France, online, Janvier 2021

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