Prof. Dr. Rafael Núñez


Rafael_small Rafael Núñez is Visiting Professor at transArts. As a guest researcher, Rafael will collaborate with the Center in the SNF-funded project Towards a Science of Music Performance and contribute his expertise and knowledge in transdisciplinary research.

Rafael also works at the Department of Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego, where he is the director of the Embodied Cognition Lab. Rafael grew up in Chile, obtained his doctoral degree in Switzerland, and completed his post-doctoral work in Stanford and Berkeley, California. He investigates human cognition — especially conceptual systems and abstraction — from the perspective of the embodied mind. His multidisciplinary approach uses methods such as psycholinguistic experiments, gesture studies, brain imaging, and field research with isolated indigenous groups in the Andes and Papua New Guinea. Rafael’s book, Where Mathematics Comes From: How the Embodied Mind Brings Mathematics into Being (with George Lakoff) presents a new theoretical framework for understanding the human nature of Mathematics and its foundations. He is the founding co-director of the Fields Cognitive Science Network for the Empirical Study of Mathematics and How it is Learned.