The header of the Tilburg center for Cognition and Communication

Tilburg center for Cognition and Communication (TiCC)

We study how people communicate with each other and how computer systems can be taught to communicate with us.


Tilburg center for Cognition and Communication

The Tilburg center for Cognition and Communication (TiCC) is one of five Centers of Excellence at Tilburg University.

Humans generally communicate very efficiently. We use language to exchange factual information, but also, for example, to express our thoughts and feelings. We do this face-to-face, using speech and supported by appropriate non-verbal behaviours such as facial expressions or gestures. But we also increasingly communicate with each other using a broad range of computer-mediated communication systems, including social media, MOOCs and games.

How does this work? How does our brain acquire, understand and produce language? How do we express and process information in different modalities, ranging from speech and gesture to text and diagram? Can we implement these skills in the technological devices that we use every day for communication purposes, including computers, tablets and smartphones? Can we develop tools to support mental, physical or age-related deficiencies in communication? Can we teach advanced  communication skills to the robots that are entering our society? What impact will this have, both on individual users and on society as a whole?

Research Approach

To address these questions the Tilburg center for Cognition and Communication (TiCC) uses a multidisciplinary approach. At TiCC we study human behaviour using carefully conducted experiments and surveys, but also by automatic analyses of big data sets. We develop and implement computational and cognitive models and benefit from the recent advances in neural networks and deep learning. These insights are applied in many practical domains, including cultural heritage, education, e-Health, journalism and virtual reality.


TiCC brings together a wide range of disciplines including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cognitive Science, Communication Sciences, Computer Science, Linguistics, Neuroscience and Psychology.

TiCC hosts over 80 researchers, including more than 30 PhD researchers, coming from all over the world. In addition, TiCC has a program for international Research Associates, to facilitate collaboration with TiCC Researchers.


TiCC research is partly funded through external research grants, awarded both by Dutch (The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, NWO) as well as European (ERC, H2020) funding organisations. We collaborate with a broad and international range of universities and research centers as well as companies and non-profit organisations.

Upcoming events

Social robot helps teaching toddlers a second language

In cooperation with a consortium of European universities and companies, researchers at TiCC are developing a social robot that is designed to interact naturally with young children to help them learn English or Dutch. Press release

Eric Postma in 'EenVandaag':

Should we be scared of the Human Robot? Interview