Dr. Pierre Pica, PhD - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Dr. Pierre Pica


Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Paris | France

Main Specialties: Other

Additional Specialties: Linguistics

ORCID logohttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9452-5446

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Dr. Pierre Pica, PhD - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Dr. Pierre Pica



Pierre Pica (born January 5, 1951), is a research associate (Chargé de Recherche) at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris. Visiting Professor with the Brain Institute of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, he is a specialist in theoretical linguistics and more specifically of comparative syntax.

Dr. Pica has concentrated his research on the notion of parameters in linguistic. He has also shown that the respective properties of reflexive pronouns could be derived from their morphological properties. He is currently studying the distinction between the internal and external aspects of the Faculty of language and is also working on a fine grained distinction between competence and linguistic performance.

Over the last twenty years, Pica has risen to prominence as a result of his work on Binding Theory and evidentiality. More recently he has been working on Mundurucu (an indigenous language spoken in Para (Brazil). He is currently collaborating with Stanislas Dehaene and Elizabeth Spelke in a study of numerical expressions and enumeration in Mundurucu. This research stresses the importance of these data for the study of the interaction of the Language Faculty and restricted set of pre-verbal 'core knowledge'. This research which stresses the importance of the notion of culture gap, as defined by Kenneth Hale (1975)'s seminal work, stands in opposition to the hypothesis related to relativism as derived from Sapir and Whorf in that it tends to demonstrate that knowledge, even culture, can in part be reduced to a small set of universal principles and intuitions. The research has given rise to a series of publications in Science magazine.

Primary Affiliation: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Paris , France


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Jan 1986 - Sep 1998
Université of Paris 8
Doctorat de 3 eme Cycle
Jan 1988 - Dec 1988
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Postdoctoral fellow


Jan 2016 - Sep 2012
Instituto Dor
Pesquisador associado
Jan 2014 - Sep 2012
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte
Jan 1996 - Dec 1996
Universidade de Brasília
Professor visitante
Jan 2012 - Jul 1995
Universiteit Leiden
Associate Researcher
Jan 1990 - Jan 1994
Université du Québec à Montréal
Chercheur Associé
Jan 1985 - Jan 1987
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Visiting Scholar
Jan 1974 - Oct 1974
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Research felow




Education enhances the acuity of the nonverbal approximate number system.

Psychol Sci 2013 Jun 26;24(6):1037-43. Epub 2013 Apr 26.

Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit, INSERM, Gif sur Yvette, France.

View Article
June 2013
8 Reads

Non-symbolic halving in an Amazonian indigene group.

Dev Sci 2013 May;16(3):451-62

Department of Psychology, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA.

View Article
May 2013
3 Reads

Comparing biological motion perception in two distinct human societies.

PLoS One 2011 14;6(12):e28391. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Unité Mixte de Recherche 7023, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Saint-Denis, France.

View Article
August 2012
3 Reads
3.230 Impact Factor

Flexible intuitions of Euclidean geometry in an Amazonian indigene group.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2011 Jun 23;108(24):9782-7. Epub 2011 May 23.

Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, Université Paris Descartes, 75006 Paris, France.

View Article
June 2011
24 Reads
9.810 Impact Factor

Exact Equality and Successor Function: Two Key Concepts on the Path towards understanding Exact Numbers.

Philos Psychol 2008 Aug;21(4):491

Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge MA02138, USA.

View Article
August 2008
27 Reads

Log or linear? Distinct intuitions of the number scale in Western and Amazonian indigene cultures.

Science 2008 May;320(5880):1217-20

INSERM, Cognitive Neuro-imaging Unit, Institut Fédératif de Recherche (IFR) 49, Gif sur Yvette, France.

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May 2008
26 Reads
31.480 Impact Factor

Core knowledge of geometry in an Amazonian indigene group.

Science 2006 Jan;311(5759):381-4

INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit, Service Hospitalier Frédéric Joliot, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, 91401 Orsay Cedex, France.

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January 2006
21 Reads
31.480 Impact Factor

Exact and approximate arithmetic in an Amazonian indigene group.

Science 2004 Oct;306(5695):499-503

Unité Mixte de Recherche 7023 "Formal Structures of Language," CNRS and Paris VIII University, Paris, France.

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October 2004
23 Reads
31.480 Impact Factor

Weak Crossover, Scope, and Agreement in a Minimalist Framework

Proceedings of the 13th West Coast Conference in Linguistics

Our paper presents a novel theory of weak crossover effects, based entirely on quantifier scope preferences and their consequences for variable binding. The structural notion of 'crossover' play no role. We develop a theory of scope preferences which ascribes a central role to the AGR-P System.

View Article
July 1995
10 Reads


Susan Carey
Susan Carey

Harvard University

Elizabeth S Spelke
Elizabeth S Spelke

Harvard University

Arlette Streri
Arlette Streri

Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception

Manuela Piazza
Manuela Piazza

Service Hospitalier Frédéric Joliot

Lisa Feigenson
Lisa Feigenson

Johns Hopkins University

Charles R Gallistel
Charles R Gallistel

Rutgers University