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Vol 7 - Issue 1

Cognitive Engineering

List of Articles

Foreward – note to the reader
Bernard Claverie

La revue « Ingénierie Cognitique » s’est donné pour mission de publier les textes scientifiques, technologiques, épistémologiques et philosophiques concernant les technologies et méthodes cognitives, c’est-à-dire celles utilisées pour connaître la cognition humaine, mais également les conséquences de sa mise en oeuvre et les moyens de l’action que l’on peut avoir sur elle.

Cognitive warfare: Foreword to the thematic issues
Mathieu Valette, Christian Harbulot, Antoine Hardouin

This special issue of this journal brings together a set of texts written by researchers from two French groups involved, first, in a public polemologic research programme, GECKO, and second, in a wider network devoted to conflictual cognitive action, CIVIL. The texts are published under the responsibility of their authors and are intended to provide a basis for thematic reflection stemming from some initial French-language work on the subject of ’cognitive warfare’.

Cognitive Warfare, Culture and National Narrative
Mathieu Valette

This article sets out the initial elements of a problematisation of cognitive warfare from a semiotic point of view. It will first propose a phenomenological framework for cognitive warfare, in terms of targets and attacks, and will sketch out a discussion about symbolic and cultural creations as conveying an authority, i.e. a legality that builds social cohesion. We’ll examine the national narrative as a symbolic creation necessary to communal living, but vulnerable to hostile attack, and a key component of a cognitive defence that still needs to be invented. Finally, we’ll look at the digital dimension as an intrinsic vulnerability in the "cultural defence" system of democracies.

The civil legitimacy of cognitive warfare
Christian Harbulot

This article addresses the issue of the civil culture of cognitive warfare, which is very rarely taken into account. In addition to military confrontation, three other types of confrontation can be considered here. Ideological and cultural confrontation, referring to the cognitive means used to destabilise or challenge a dominant ideological system. Geo-economic confrontation, all the informational manoeuvres linked to economic warfare. Societal confrontation, the intrusion of civil society players into economic problems. The players involved in these issues come from the civilian world, not the military.

Typologies of warfare and conflicts: an introduction to Vietnamese doctrines and perceptions
Jean-Philippe Eglinger

The concept of “cognitive warfare” (in its “Western” meaning) appeared very recently in Vietnam. Working on the semantic field of this concept (like others recently borrowed from the “West”) allows us to understand its “journey” and the perception that the Vietnamese authorities may have of it. However, beyond this semantic study, it is necessary to apprehend and understand Vietnamese military traditions, notably the revolutionary war, to be able to assess how they can constitute a favourable environment for the "absorption" of this "imported" concept and allow its reuse in a “Vietnamized” form either in a military or civilian context to serve Vietnam’s influence.

Cognitive warfare as seen from Japan: Recent and situated concept and posture
Thomas Fassler, Mylène Hardy

Japan has recently modified its defence posture and developed a country-specific defence architecture that includes elements of cognitive warfare. The article studies Japanese government publications to analyse how the country conceptualizes cognitive warfare in relation to its security environment and positions itself as an actor for cognitive warfare through a posture of active defence. Some highlights of Japanese thinking are examined, such as the use of narratives or the emphasis on technology to "defend [the] nation at all times”.

Cognitive warfare and influence strategies in the European Union
Nicolas Ravailhe

Cognitive and information wars are dreaded in the European Union (EU). Europe is trying to protect itself against foreign influences that undermine its values and economic interests. The European Parliament has called for responses to civil cognitive attacks on the entirety of society. However, the stakeholders in the European decision-making processes also practice cognitive warfare. They use terminology that is less provocative on the highly politically correct European stage. Reputational influence and strategic lobbying are used to create frames of reference that secure their interests in the EU. Using concrete examples, this article identifies the perception of cognitive warfare in the EU and how it is used to shape the design of European decisions.

Use of the concepts and techniques of cognitive warfare in French politics
Arnaud de Morgny

In representative democracies, access to power is achieved through elections. Thus, actors in the political field, through the discursive modes they use, use the techniques of cognitive warfare to shape the representations and perceptions of public opinion and its electorate component. The goal is to obtain cognitive superiority over their adversaries in the minds of the electorate. We will clear up the use of the concepts and techniques of cognitive warfare in the French political field in its rhetorical and ideological aspects as tools of cognitive superiority. We will analyse the search for cultural hegemony as a pursuit of mass cognitive encirclement.

Cognitive warfare and psychological influence
Bernard Claverie, Jean-François Trinquecoste

Directed cognitive influence consists, particularly in the field of cognitive warfare, of altering, modifying, or preventing the autonomous development of a human target’s thoughts. These interventions can have lasting, even permanent, consequences on the targeted people. Several methods are used, some of which relate to psychology or medicine, which obviously raises the problem of the ethics of such practices in an illegal exercise of protected professions.

Cognitive warfare and technological dependence
Julien Cegarra

The aim of this article is to highlight the strong interplay between cognitive warfare and recent technological developments (primarily the smartphone and social media networks). More specifically, it shows that technological dependence in the personal and professional spheres not only enables but also facilitates cognitive warfare. The article goes on to argue that democratic societies need to question the consequences of this technological dependence.

Cognitive warfare through the lens of the OODA loop
Nicolas Moinet

Whereas information warfare consists in modifying an action in a limited way, cognitive warfare attempts to shape the target in order to control its intentions, by providing it with adequate reading grids. The genetics, experience and culture highlighted in the orientation phase of the OODA loop are all areas in which the aim is to encircle the adversary cognitively in a deep and lasting way.

Low-level cognitive warfare: The War of the brains
Bernard Claverie, Baptiste Prébot

Cognitive Warfare is defined in different ways, and the main approaches concern social phenomena, largely collective and shared communication, and orient attention on target groups or societies. However, based on information physics technologies and artificial intelligence, the targeting aspect of cognitive warfare differs in that it focuses on the cognitive skills of the victims’ brains, whose functioning is altered in this way.

Cognitive warfare: Taking advantage of incommunication
Benoit Le Blanc

Human communication very often comes up against incommunication. The receiver is not always in sync, nor available to converse, or willing to listen, and incommunication sets in. But with the new technical tools dedicated to communication, it is becoming possible to voluntarily create situations of incommunication. To get out of this situation, studies on communication point to two solutions: allowing the receiver time between information and communication, or offering the sender a space for negotiation. These are two avenues we can explore to counter attacks of the "cognitive war" type.

(War)gaming: pedagogical matters as stakes for cognitive resilience
Mylène Hardy

It seems interesting to focus on cognitive resilience while working on the processual dimension of cognition in the context of cognitive warfare. In this perspective the emphasis is placed on pedagogy to prepare for this, and in particular on using serious games. The article highlights that wargaming is a process of co-construction, enabling designers and players alike to take a reflexive step back.

Design lab for cognitive security
Axel Ducourneau

This article argues for the sustainable development of a design lab for cognitive security based on six key principles: (1) society-centric analysis, (2) a prospective attitude, (3) horizontal and vertical coherence, (4) agility in the organisation of experiments, (5) speed of execution and (6) iterative integration of results with a view to prototyping solutions. These six principles combined underline the need for cognitive operations to be founded on an emic understanding of the target population (i.e. based on the concepts and thought systems specific to the people being studied), applied in an integrated and synchronised way throughout the ’organisation’ (and its partners) and within a constrained timeframe that enables the implementation of an appropriate deterrence strategy.

From audience analysis to micro-targeting: A behavioural tool for cognitive warfare
Julien Debidour, Paul Pelletier

In an era where technology and data define the everyday experience, behavioural micro-targeting is emerging as a key strategy in shaping individual and collective perceptions. Audience analysis plays a central role in understanding the motivations and attitudes of target groups, while data mining and artificial intelligence enhance the precision of targeting through automation and real-time adaptation. By combining these techniques, influencing actions find a new amplitude in their practical realisation.

The influence of social media networks on the cognitive resilience of young people – impact on combatants
Paul Janin

Behavioural research is struggling to objectify the general influence of social media networks, and therefore their impact on combatants. However, given that the three most popular social media networks operate by manipulating users’ brains unknowingly, further research is needed to better understand the mechanisms involved and identify the potential dangers. Too often associated with a danger to teenagers, social media networks seek to influence the behaviour of all their users, both implicitly and explicitly. This article aims to raise awareness of the potential dangers of social media networks and the need to learn how to protect oneself.

Closing remarks: perceiving the cognitive warfare?
Christian Harbulot, Mylène Hardy, Nicolas Moinet

In conclusion, this special issue on cognitive warfare raises the question of its real perceptibility, what happens in cases of "false positives", and the shortcomings affecting the study of this research object. A number of avenues for reflection emerge.

Other issues :


Volume 24- 7

Issue 1
Issue 2


Volume 23- 6

Issue 1


Volume 21- 5

Issue 1


Volume 20- 4

Issue 1


Volume 19- 3

Issue 1


Volume 18- 2

Issue 1


Volume 17- 1

Issue 1