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Encyclopedia > Cognitive Science
Mind and Brain Portal

Cognitive science is usually defined as the scientific study either of mind or of intelligence (e.g. Luger 1994). Practically every formal introduction to cognitive science stresses that it is a highly interdisciplinary research area in which psychology, education, neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy, computer science, anthropology, and biology are its principal specialized or applied branches. Therefore we may distinguish cognitive studies of either human or animal brains, mind and intelligence. Image File history File links Portal. ... Mental redirects here. ... Intelligence is the mental capacity to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn. ... Interdisciplinary work is that which integrates concepts across different disciplines. ... Psychology is an academic and applied field involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. ... Drawing of the cells in the chicken cerebellum by S. Ramón y Cajal Neuroscience is a field that is devoted to the scientific study of the nervous system. ... Linguistics is the scientific study of language. ... Socrates (central bare-chested figure) about to drink hemlock as mandated by the court. ... Computer science, or computing science, is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems. ... Initiation rite of the Yao people of Malawi Anthropology (from the Greek word , man or person) consists of the study of humanity (see genus Homo). ... Biology (from Greek βίος λόγος, see below) is the study of life. ...

Rendering of human brain based on MRI data

Contents

Image File history File links The human brain. ... Image File history File links The human brain. ...

History

Even in Ancient Greece philosophers like Plato and Aristotle were interested in understanding the nature of human knowledge. In the seventeenth century Descartes popularized the notion that the body and the mind were two separate entities, Res Extensa and Res Cogitans. Other thinkers on the matter of the mind in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries included George Berkeley, Robert Burton, Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, and John Locke. In the 1870s, Wilhelm Wundt moved the question of human knowledge into the arena of experimental psychology. Ancient Greece is a period in Greek history that lasted for around one thousand years and was extinguished by the newly-powerful Christianity. ... Plato (ancient Greek: Πλάτων, Plátōn, wide, broad-shouldered) (c. ... Aristotle (Greek: AristotélÄ“s) (384 BC – March 7, 322 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. ... René Descartes René Descartes (IPA: , March 31, 1596 – February 11, 1650), also known as Cartesius, worked as a philosopher and mathematician. ... René Descartes used the term res extensa and its opposite res cogitans in his philosophical system called the Cartesian system. ... ... Bishop George Berkeley George Berkeley (British English://; Irish English: //) (12 March 1685 – 14 January 1753), also known as Bishop Berkeley, was an influential Irish philosopher whose primary philosophical achievement is the advancement of what has come to be called subjective idealism, summed up in his dictum, Esse est percipi (To... Robert Burton is the name of several notable men: Robert Burton, (1577-1640), English scholar, cleric, and author Robert Burton, (1747-1825), North Carolina delegate to Continental Congress Robert Burton, (born c. ... Hobbes redirects here. ... David Hume (April 26, 1711 – August 25, 1776)[1] was a Scottish philosopher, economist, and historian. ... Immanuel Kant (22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804), was a German philosopher from Königsberg in East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). ... John Locke (August 29, 1632 – October 28, 1704) was an influential English philosopher. ... Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt (August 16, 1832–August 31, 1920) was a German physiologist and psychologist. ... Experimental psychology is an approach to psychology that treats it as one of the natural sciences, and therefore assumes that it is susceptible to the experimental method. ...


In the early twentieth century, the popular notion of mind was altered by John B. Watson's behaviorist viewpoint that consciousness was not an appropriate question for scientific inquiry and that only observable behavior should be studied. In the 1950s the prevailing viewpoint began to change again as scientists started conceptualizing theories of mind based on complex representations and computational procedures. George Miller pioneered the concept of mental representations, chunks of information that are encoded and decoded within the mind. John McCarthy, Marvin Minsky, Allen Newell, and Herbert Simon founded the field of artificial intelligence around the same time. Noam Chomsky further removed the study of the mind from the behaviorism of Watson, B.F. Skinner, and others that had been psychology's primary focus. John Broadus Watson (January 9, 1878–September 25, 1958) was an American psychologist who established the psychological school of behaviorism, after doing research on animal behavior. ... George Miller (born March 3, 1945) is an Australian film and television screenwriter, film director and producer. ... John McCarthy (born September 4, 1927, in Boston, Massachusetts, sometimes known affectionately as Uncle John McCarthy), is a prominent computer scientist who received the Turing Award in 1971 for his major contributions to the field of Artificial Intelligence. ... Marvin Lee Minsky (born August 9, 1927), sometimes affectionately known as Old Man Minsky, is an American cognitive scientist in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), co-founder of MITs AI laboratory, and author of several texts on AI and philosophy. ... Allen Newell (March 19, 1927 - July 19, 1992) was a researcher in computer science and cognitive psychology at the RAND corporation and at Carnegie-Mellon’s School of Computer Science. ... Herbert Alexander Simon (June 15, 1916 – February 9, 2001) was an American political scientist whose research ranged across the fields of cognitive psychology, computer science, public administration, economics, management, and philosophy of science and a professor, most notably, at Carnegie Mellon University. ... Hondas humanoid robot AI redirects here. ... Avram Noam Chomsky, Ph. ... Burrhus Frederic Skinner (March 20, 1904 _ August 18, 1990) was an American psychologist and author. ...


The term cognitive science was coined by Christopher Longuet-Higgins in his 1973 commentary on the Lighthill report, which concerned the then-current state of Artificial Intelligence research. In the same decade, the journal Cognitive Science and the Cognitive Science Society began. Christopher Longuet-Higgins, (April 11, 1923 - March 27, 2004) was not a scientist in two distinct areas - theoretical chemistry and cognitive science - and also an amateur musician, keen to advance the scientific understanding of the art. ... The Lighthill report (1973) formed the basis for the decision by the British government to end support for AI research in all but two universities [from AIAMA]. The report stated that AI researchers had failed to address the issue of combinatorial explosion when solving problems within real world domains. ... Hondas humanoid robot AI redirects here. ...


Principles of Cognitive Science

Approaches

There are several approaches to the study of cognitive science. These approaches may be classified broadly as symbolic, connectionist, and dynamic systems.

  • Symbolic - holds that cognition can be explained using operations on symbols, by means of explicit computational theories and models of mental (but not brain) processes analogous to the workings of a digital computer.
  • Connectionist (subsymbolic) - holds that cognition can only be modeled and explained by using artificial neural networks on the level of physical brain properties.
  • Dynamic Systems - holds that cognition can be explained by means of a continuous dynamical system in which all the elements are interrelated, like the Watt Governor.

Mental redirects here. ... Connectionism is an approach in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology and philosophy of mind. ... A neural network is an interconnected group of neurons. ... A dynamical system is a concept in mathematics where a fixed rule describes the time dependence of a point in a geometrical space. ... A centrifugal governor is a specific type of governor that controls the speed of an engine by regulating the amount of fuel admitted, so as to maintain a near constant speed whatever the load or fuel supply conditions. ...

Levels of analysis

One of the central principles of systemics applied in the symbolic approach to cognitive science is that (1) there are different Levels of Analysis (LOA) from which the brain and mind can be studied, and (2) mental phenomena are best studied from multiple levels of abstraction. For example, these levels are broken into three (not well separated) groups, based on Marr's description of them: Systems theory or general systems theory or systemics is an interdisciplinary field which studies systems as a whole. ... There is also an Australian journalist and biographer named David Marr. ...

  • Computational (Behavioral) level: describes the directly observable output (or behavior) of a system.
  • Algorithmic (Functional) level: describes how information is processed to produce the behavioral output.
  • Implementational (Physical) level: describes the physical substrate that the system consists of (e.g. the brain; neurons).

A simple analogy often used to describe LOA is to compare the brain to a computer. The physical level would consist of the computer's hardware, the behavioral level represents the computer's software, and the functional level would be the computer's operating system, which allows the software and hardware components to communicate. A BlueGene supercomputer cabinet. ... Hardware is the general term that is used to describe physical artifacts of a technology. ... Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... An operating system (OS) is a computer program that manages the hardware and software resources of a computer. ...


Another division of LOA, called specification levels, has been introduced by Gadomski (1993) in the TOGA (Top-down Object-based Goal-oriented Approach) metatheory, where the recognition of the levels is goal-oriented and they are connected by abstract carrier relation (see Computational modeling). From the top perspective, the following initial levels are distinguished: physical, information processing and intelligence. They can be decomposed successively according to arbitrarily assumed criteria of their user/developer. A system, person, or organization that tends to achieve a goal and demonstrate it in subsequent actions. ... In general, a carrier is a system or process with a specific property or is attributed of something (in physical or in abstract sense). ...


A central tenet of cognitive science is that a complete understanding of the mind/brain cannot be attained by studying only a single level. For example, consider the problem of remembering a phone number and recalling it later. How does this process occur? One approach would be to study behavior through direct observation. You could present a person with a phone number, ask them to recall it after some delay, and measure their accuracy. Another approach would be to study the firings of individual neurons while a person is trying to remember the phone number. Neither of these experiments on their own would fully explain how the process of remembering a phone number works. Even if we had the technology available to map out every neuron in the brain in real-time, and we knew when each neuron was firing, we still would not know how a particular firing of neurons translates into the observed behavior. Thus we need an understanding of how these two levels relate to each other. This can be provided by a functional level account of the process. By studying a particular phenomenon from multiple levels, we are better able to understand the processes that occur in the brain to give rise to a particular behavior. For criticisms of this framework see Functionalism (psychology). Functionalism is the philosophical underpinning of much empirical research in psychology and cognitive science; however, as research goes on the functionalist approach is continually criticised for its shortcomings. ...


Interdisciplinary nature

Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary field with contributors from various fields, including psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy, computer science, anthropology, biology, and physics. Cognitive science tends to view the world outside the mind much as other sciences do. Thus it too has an objective, observer-independent existence. The field is usually seen as compatible with the physical sciences, and uses the scientific method as well as simulation or modeling, often comparing the output of models with aspects of human behavior. Still, there is much disagreement about the exact relationship between cognitive science and other fields, and the interdisciplinary nature of cognitive science is largely both unrealized and circumscribed. Psychology is an academic and applied field involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. ... Drawing of the cells in the chicken cerebellum by S. Ramón y Cajal Neuroscience is a field that is devoted to the scientific study of the nervous system. ... Linguistics is the scientific study of language. ... Socrates (central bare-chested figure) about to drink hemlock as mandated by the court. ... Computer science, or computing science, is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems. ... Initiation rite of the Yao people of Malawi Anthropology (from the Greek word , man or person) consists of the study of humanity (see genus Homo). ... Biology (from Greek βίος λόγος, see below) is the study of life. ... The first few hydrogen atom electron orbitals shown as cross-sections with color-coded probability density. ... Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena and acquiring new knowledge, as well as for correcting and integrating previous knowledge. ... Wooden mechanical horse simulator during WWI. A simulation is an imitation of some real thing, state of affairs, or process. ... An abstract model (or conceptual model) is a theoretical construct that represents physical, biological or social processes, with a set of variables and a set of logical and quantitative relationships between them. ...


Many, but not all, who consider themselves cognitive scientists have a functionalist view of the mind—the view that mental states are classified functionally, such that any system that performs the proper function for some mental state is considered to be in that mental state. Thus, according to functionalism about the mind, even non-human systems, such as other animal species, alien life forms, or advanced computers can, in principle, have mental states. This perspective is one of the reasons the term "cognitive science" is not exactly coextensive with neuroscience, psychology, or some combination of the two. Functionalism is a theory of the mind in contemporary philosophy, developed largely as an alternative to both the identity theory of mind and behaviorism. ... Drawing of the cells in the chicken cerebellum by S. Ramón y Cajal Neuroscience is a field that is devoted to the scientific study of the nervous system. ... Psychology is an academic and applied field involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. ...


From the external point of view, the largest interdisciplinary context of cognitive science is systemics. It includes the socio-cognitive extension of the cognition models and theories over different social environments social systems, with the emphasis on distributed cognition and intelligence. Systems theory or general systems theory or systemics is an interdisciplinary field which studies systems as a whole. ... Socio-cognitive may relate to systems, processes, functions, models, as well as can indicate the branch of science, engineering or technology, such as socio-cognitive research, socio-cognitive interactions. ...


Cognitive science - The term

The term "cognitive" in "cognitive science" is "used for any kind of mental operation or structure that can be studied in precise terms" (Lakoff and Johnson, 1999). This conceptualization is very broad, and should not be confused with how "cognitive" is used in some traditions of analytic philosophy, where "cognitive" has to do only with formal rules and truth conditional semantics. (Nonetheless, that interpretation would bring one close to the historically dominant school of thought within cognitive science on the nature of cognition - that it is essentially symbolic, propositional, and logical.) This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Mark L. Johnson is Knight Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Oregon. ... 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ...


The earliest entries for the word "cognitive" in the OED take it to mean roughly pertaining "to the action or process of knowing". The first entry, from 1586, shows the word was at one time used in the context of discussions of Platonic theories of knowledge. Most in cognitive science, however, presumably do not believe their field is the study of anything as certain as the knowledge sought by Plato. The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is generally regarded as the most comprehensive and scholarly dictionary of the English language. ... 1586 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar. ... Plato (ancient Greek: Πλάτων, Plátōn, wide, broad-shouldered) (c. ... Personification of knowledge (Greek Επιστημη, Episteme) in Celsus Library in Ephesos, Turkey. ...


Scope of cognitive science

Cognitive science is a large field, and covers a wide array of topics on cognition. However, it should be recognized that cognitive science is not equally concerned with every topic that might bear on the nature and operation of the mind or intelligence. Social and cultural factors, emotion, consciousness, animal cognition, comparative and evolutionary approaches are frequently de-emphasized or excluded outright, often based on key philosophical conflicts. Some within the cognitive science community, however, consider these to be vital topics, and advocate the importance of investigating them. Animal cognition is the title given to a modern approach to the mental capacities of animals. ... Comparative psychology, taken in its most usual, broad sense, refers to the study of the behavior and mental life of animals other than human beings. ... Evolutionary psychology (abbreviated ev-psych or EP) is a theoretical approach to psychology that attempts to explain certain mental and psychological traits—such as memory, perception, or language—as evolved adaptations, i. ...


In any way, the essential questions of cognitive science seem to be: What is intelligence? and How is possible to model it computationally?.


Below are some of the main topics that cognitive science is concerned with. This is not an exhaustive list, but is meant to cover the wide range of intelligent behaviors. See List of cognitive science topics for a list of various aspects of the field. This page aims to list articles on Wikipedia that are related to cognitive science. ...


Artificial intelligence

Main article: Artificial intelligence Hondas humanoid robot AI redirects here. ...


"... One major contribution of AI and cognitive science to psychology has been the information processing model of human thinking in which the metaphor of brain-as-computer is taken quite literally. ." AAAI Web pages.


Artificial intelligence (AI) involves the study of cognitive phenomena in machines. One of the practical goals of AI is to implement aspects of human intelligence in computers. Computers are also widely used as a tool with which to study cognitive phenomena. Computational modeling uses simulations to study how human intelligence may be structured. (See the section on computational modeling in the Research Methods section.) A computer simulation or a computer model is a computer program which attempts to simulate an abstract model of a particular system. ...


There is some debate in the field as to whether the mind is best viewed as a huge array of small but individually feeble elements (i.e. neurons), or as a collection of higher-level structures such as symbols, schemas, plans, and rules. The former view uses connectionism to study the mind, whereas the latter emphasizes symbolic computations. One way to view the issue is whether it is possible to accurately simulate a human brain on a computer without accurately simulating the neurons that make up the human brain. Connectionism is an approach in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology and philosophy of mind. ...


Attention

Main article: Attention Look up Attention in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Attention is the selection of important information. The human mind is bombarded with millions of stimuli and it must have a way of deciding which of this information to process. Attention is sometimes seen as a spotlight, meaning one can only shine the light on a particular set of information. Experiments that support this metaphor include the dichotic listening task (Cherry, 1957) and studies of inattentional blindness (Mack and Rock, 1998). In the dichotic listening task, subjects are bombarded with two different messages, one in each ear, and told to focus on only one of the messages. At the end of the experiment, when asked about the content of the unattended message, subjects cannot report it. Dichotic Listening is a procedure used commonly in investigating selective attention in the auditory domain. ...


Language processing

An example of a phrase structure tree. This is one way of representing human language that shows how different components are organized hierarchically.
An example of a phrase structure tree. This is one way of representing human language that shows how different components are organized hierarchically.

Main articles: Cognitive linguistics, Language, Linguistics, Psycholinguistics Phrase diagram for Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. ... Phrase diagram for Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. ... In linguistics and cognitive science, cognitive linguistics (CL) refers to the currently dominant school of linguistics that views the important essence of language as innately based in evolutionarily-developed and speciated faculties, and seeks explanations that advance or fit well into the current understandings of the human mind. ... Linguistics is the scientific study of language. ... Psycholinguistics or psychology of language is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language. ...


The ability to learn and understand language is an extremely complex process. Language is acquired within the first few years of life, and all humans under normal circumstances are able to acquire language proficiently. Some of the driving research questions in studying how the brain processes language include: (1) To what extent is linguistic knowledge innate or learned?, (2) Why is it more difficult for adults to acquire a second-language than it is for infants to acquire their first-language?, and (3) How are humans able to understand novel sentences they have never heard before?


The study of language processing ranges from the investigation of the sound patterns of speech to the meaning of words and whole sentences. Linguistics often divides language processing into orthography, phonology and phonetics, syntactics, semantics, and pragmatics. Many aspects of language can be studied from each of these components and from their interaction. Linguistics is the scientific study of language. ... The orthography of a language is the set of symbols (glyphs and diacritics) used to write a language, as well as the set of rules describing how to write these glyphs correctly, including spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. ... The vowels of modern (Standard) Arabic and (Israeli) Hebrew from the phonological point of view. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone meaning sound, voice) is the study of sounds and the human voice. ... For other uses, see Syntax (disambiguation). ... Semantics (Greek semantikos, giving signs, significant, symptomatic, from sema, sign) refers to the aspects of meaning that are expressed in a language, code, or other form of representation. ... In linguistics and semiotics, pragmatics is concerned with bridging the explanatory gap between sentence meaning and speakers meaning. ...


The study of language processing in cognitive science is closely tied to the field of linguistics. Linguistics was traditionally studied as a part of the humanities, including studies of history, art and literature. In the last fifty years or so, more and more researchers have studied knowledge and use of language as a cognitive phenomenon, the main problems being how knowledge of language can be acquired and used, and what precisely it consists of. Linguists have found that, while humans form sentences in ways apparently governed by very complex systems, they are remarkably unaware of the rules that govern their own speech. Thus linguists must resort to indirect methods to determine what those rules might be. If speech is indeed governed by rules, they appear to be opaque to any conscious consideration. The following is a list of linguists, those who study linguistics. ...


A very fecund way to approach cognitive issues in language is the pragmatics of language, that is, the current use of the language by a real speaker. From a pragmatic analytical perspective it is possible to show that some people who have a profession in which they categorically work with language (e.g. journalists) have a behavior which is not predictable by known theories. The pragmatic approach is also useful in the study of collective distributed decision making, particularly in broadcasted systems (for instance aviation approach control - APP). Fecundity is the potential reproductive capacity of an organism or population, measured by the number of gametes (e. ... Decision making is the cognitive process of selecting a course of action from among multiple alternatives. ...


Learning and development

Main articles: Learning, Developmental psychology To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article or section is incomplete and may require expansion and/or cleanup. ...


Learning and developments are the processes by which we acquire knowledge and information over time. Infants are born with little or no knowledge (depending on how knowledge is defined), yet they rapidly acquire the ability to use language, walk, and recognize people and objects. Research in learning and development aims to explain the mechanisms by which these processes might take place.


A major question in the study of cognitive development is the extent to which certain abilities are innate or learned. This is often framed in terms of the nature versus nurture debate. The nativist view emphasizes that certain features are innate to an organism and are determined by its genetic endowment. The empiricist view, on the other hand, emphasizes that certain abilities are learned from the environment. It is clear that intelligent behavior has components that are both innate and learned, but the extent to which particular behaviors are innate is a major research question. In the area of language acquisition, for example, many questions remain about whether or not a special language acquisition device is necessary to facilitate the learning of language, or if humans can learn language through more general learning processes that take advantage of the information available in the environment. Look up innate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In the field of psychology, nativism is the view that certain skills or abilities are native or hard wired into the brain at birth. ... Genetics (from the Greek genno γεννώ= give birth) is the science of genes, heredity, and the variation of organisms. ... In philosophy generally, empiricism is a theory of knowledge emphasizing the role of experience. ... Language acquisition is the process by which the language capability develops in a human. ...


A significant step was made in cognitive science in 1968 when Anthony V. Manzo was able to demonstrate that reading comprehension could be dramatically improved through mental modeling, also known as cognitive apprenticeship training. Previously reading comprehension was believed to be a best predictor of Intelligence, and therefore nearly immutable. The research methodology was based on a teaching practice known as the ReQuest Procedure. Constructivist approaches to human learning have led to the development of a theory of cognitive apprenticeship (Collins, Brown, & Newman, 1987; Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989). ...


Memory

Main articles: Memory In psychology, memory is an organisms ability to store, retain, and subsequently recall information. ...


Memory allows us to store information for later retrieval. Memory is often thought of consisting of both a long-term and short-term store. Long-term memory allows us to store information over prolonged periods (days, weeks, years). We do not yet know the practical limit of long-term memory capacity. Short-term memory allows us to store information over short time scales (seconds or minutes).


Memory is also often grouped into declarative and procedural forms. Declarative memory--grouped into subsets of semantic and episodic forms of memory--refers to our memory for facts and specific knowledge, specific meanings, and specific experiences (e.g., Who was the first president of the U.S.A.?, or "What did I eat for breakfast four days ago?). Procedural memory allows us to remember actions and motor sequences (e.g. how to ride a bicycle) and is often dubbed implicit knowledge or memory .


Cognitive scientists study memory just as psychologists do, but tend to focus in more on how memory bears on cognitive processes, and the interrelationship between cognition and memory. One example of this could be, what mental processes does a person go through to retrieve a long-lost memory? Or, what differentiates between the cognitive process of recognition (seeing hints of something before remembering it, or memory in context) and recall (retrieving a memory, as in "fill-in-the-blank")?


Perception and action

The Necker cube, an example of a visual illusion.
The Necker cube, an example of a visual illusion.

Main article: Perception Image File history File links Necker_cube. ... Image File history File links Necker_cube. ... In psychology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. ...


Perception is the ability to take in information via the senses, and process it in some way. Vision and hearing are two dominant senses that allow us to perceive the environment. Some questions in the study of visual perception, for example, include: (1) How are we able to recognize objects?, (2) Why do we perceive a continuous visual environment, even though we only see small bits of it at any one time? One tool for studying visual perception is by looking at how people process visual illusions. The image on the right of a Necker cube is an example of a bistable percept, that is, the cube can be interpreted as being oriented in two different directions. Senses Senses are a UK based alternative rock band from Coventry. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Hearing, or audition, is one of the traditional five senses, and refers to the ability to detect sound. ... An optical illusion is any illusion that deceives the human visual system into perceiving something that is not present or incorrectly perceiving what is present. ...


The study of haptic (tactile), olfactory, and gustatory stimuli also fall into the domain of perception. Haptic, from the Greek αφή (Haphe), means pertaining to the sense of touch. ... Tactition is the sense of pressure perception. ... Olfaction, the sense of smell, is the detection of chemicals dissolved in air (or, by animals that breathe water, in water). ... Taste is one of the most common and fundamental of the senses in life on Earth. ...


Action is taken to refer to the output of a system. In humans, this is accomplished through motor responses. Spatial planning and movement, speech production, and complex motor movements are all aspects of action.


Research methods

Many different methodologies are used to study cognitive science. As the field is highly interdisciplinary, research often cuts across multiple areas of study, drawing on research methods from psychology, neuroscience, computer science and systems theory. Psychology is an academic and applied field involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. ... Drawing of the cells in the chicken cerebellum by S. Ramón y Cajal Neuroscience is a field that is devoted to the scientific study of the nervous system. ... Computer science, or computing science, is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems. ... Systems theory is a transdisciplinary/multiperspectual theory that studies structure and properties of systems in terms of relationships from which new properties of wholes emerge. ...


Behavioral experiments

In order to have a description of what constitutes intelligent behavior, one must study behavior itself. This type of research is closely tied to that in cognitive psychology and psychophysics. By measuring behavioral responses to different stimuli, one can understand something about how those stimuli are processed. Cognitive Psychology is the school of psychology that examines internal mental processes such as problem solving, memory, and language. ... Psychophysics is the branch of cognitive psychology dealing with the relationship between physical stimuli and their perception. ...

  • Reaction time. The time between the presentation of a stimulus and an appropriate response can indicate differences between two cognitive processes, and can indicate some things about their nature. For example, if in a search task the reaction times vary proportionally with the number of elements, then it is evident that this cognitive process of searching involves serial instead of parallel processing.
  • Psychophysical responses. Psychophysical experiments are an old psychological technique, which has been adopted by cognitive psychology. They typically involve making judgments of some physical property, e.g. the loudness of a sound. Correlation of subjective scales between individuals can show cognitive or sensory biases as compared to actual physical measurements. Some examples include:
    • sameness judgments for colors, tones, textures, etc.
    • threshold differences for colors, tones, textures, etc.
  • Eye tracking. This methodology is used to study a variety of cognitive processes, most notably visual perception and language processing. The fixation point of the eyes is linked to an individual's focus of attention. Thus, by monitoring eye movements, we can study what information is being processed at a given time. Eye tracking allows us to study cognitive processes on extremely short time scales. Eye movements reflect online decision making during a task, and they provide us with some insight into the ways in which those decisions may be processed.

Eye tracking is a technique used in cognitive science, psychology (notably psycholinguistics), human-computer interaction (HCI), marketing research, medical research, and other areas. ...

Brain imaging

Image of the human head with the brain. The arrow indicates the position of the hypothalamus.
Image of the human head with the brain. The arrow indicates the position of the hypothalamus.

Brain imaging involves analyzing activity within the brain while performing various cognitive tasks. This allows us to link behavior and brain function to help understand how information is processed. Different types of imaging techniques vary in their temporal (time-based) and spatial (location-based) resolution. Brain imaging is often used in cognitive neuroscience. Image File history File links Hypothalamus. ... Image File history File links Hypothalamus. ... The hypothalamus (from Greek ὑποθαλαμος = under the thalamus) is a region of the mammalian brain located below the thalamus, forming the major portion of the ventral region of the diencephalon and functioning to regulate certain metabolic processes and other autonomic activities. ... The field of cognitive neuroscience concerns the scientific study of the neural mechanisms underlying cognition and is a branch of neuroscience. ...

  • Single photon emission computed tomography and Positron emission tomography. SPECT and PET use radioactive isotopes, which are injected into the subject's bloodstream and taken up by the brain. By observing which areas of the brain take up the radioactive isotope, we can see which areas of the brain are more active than other areas. PET has similar spatial resolution to fMRI, but it has extremely poor temporal resolution.
  • Electroencephalography. EEG measures the electrical fields generated by large populations of neurons in the cortex by placing a series of electrodes on the scalp of the subject. This technique has an extremely high temporal resolution, but a relatively poor spatial resolution.
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging. fMRI measures the relative amount of oxygenated blood flowing to different parts of the brain. More oxygenated blood in a particular region is assumed to correlate with an increase in neural activity in that part of the brain. This allows us to localize particular functions within different brain regions. fMRI has moderate spatial and temporal resolution.
  • Optical imaging. This technique uses infrared transmitters and receivers to measure the amount of light reflectance by blood near different areas of the brain. Since oxygenated and deoxygenated blood reflects light by different amounts, we can study which areas are more active (i.e., those that have more oxygenated blood). Optical imaging has moderate temporal resolution, but poor spatial resolution. It also has the advantage that it is extremely safe and can be used to study infants' brains.
  • Magnetoencephalography. MEG measures magnetic fields resulting from cortical activity. It is similar to EEG, except that it has improved spatial resolution since the magnetic fields it measures are not as blurred or attenuated by the scalp, meninges and so forth as the electrical activity measured in EEG is. MEG uses SQUID sensors to detect tiny magnetic fields.

Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is a nuclear medicine tomographic imaging technique using gamma rays. ... Image of a typical positron emission tomography (PET) facility Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine medical imaging technique which produces a three dimensional image or map of functional processes in the body. ... Electroencephalography is the neurophysiologic measurement of the electrical activity of the brain by recording from electrodes placed on the scalp or, in special cases, subdurally or in the cerebral cortex. ... Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is the use of MRI to measure the hemodynamic response related to neural activity in the brain or spinal cord of humans or other animals. ... Optical imaging is a method to in neuroscience used to measure activation of the cortex. ... Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is the measurement of the magnetic fields produced by electrical activity in the brain, usually conducted externally, using extremely sensitive devices such as SQUIDs. ... Electroencephalography is the neurophysiologic measurement of the electrical activity of the brain by recording from electrodes placed on the scalp or, in special cases, subdurally or in the cerebral cortex. ...

Computational modeling

A Neural network with two layers.
A Neural network with two layers.

Computational models require a mathematically and logically formal representation of a problem. Computer models are used in the simulation and experimental verification of different specific and general properties of intelligence. Computational modelling can help us to understand the functional organization of a particular cognitive phenomenon. Image File history File links MultiLayerNeuralNetwork_english. ... Image File history File links MultiLayerNeuralNetwork_english. ... A computer simulation or a computer model is a computer program which attempts to simulate an abstract model of a particular system. ... Property designates those real or intellectual goods that are commonly recognized as being the rightful possessions of a person or group. ... Intelligence is a property of mind that encompasses many related mental abilities, such as the capacities to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn. ... Understanding is a psychological state in relation to an object or person whereby one is able to think about it and use concepts to be able to deal adequately with that object. ...

  • Symbolic modeling, is based on the technologies of expert systems or more general Knowledge-Based Systems. They are especially used in information engineering and, recently, in generalized systemics, see for example GOFAI.
  • Subsymbolic modeling which includes Connectionist/neural network models. Connectionism relies on the idea that the mind/brain is composed of simple nodes and that the power of the system comes primarily from the existence and manner of connections between the simple nodes. Neural nets are textbook implementations of this approach. Some critics of this approach feel that while these models approach biological reality as a repetition of how the system works, they lack explanative powers as complicated systems of connections with even simple rules are extremely complex and often less interpretable than the system they model.
  • Physical Dynamical systems.

All the above approaches tend to be generalized to the form of integrated computational models of a synthetic/abstract intelligence, in order to be applied to the explanation and improvement of individual and social/organizational decision-making. An expert system also known as a knowledge based system, is a computer program that contains some of the subject-specific knowledge of one or more human experts. ... Information Engineering (IE) or Information Engineering Methodology (IEM) is an approach to designing and developing information systems. ... Systems theory or general systems theory or systemics is an interdisciplinary field which studies systems as a whole. ... GOFAI stands for Good Old Fashioned Artificial Intelligence. ... Connectionism is an approach in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology and philosophy of mind. ... A neural network is an interconnected group of neurons. ... In engineering and mathematics, a dynamical system is a deterministic process in which a functions value changes over time according to a rule that is defined in terms of the functions current value. ... Decision making is the cognitive process leading to the selection of a course of action among alternatives. ...


Neurobiological methods

Research methods borrowed directly from neuroscience and neuropsychology can also help us to understand aspects of intelligence. These methods allow us to understand how intelligent behavior is implemented in a physical system. Drawing of the cells in the chicken cerebellum by S. Ramón y Cajal Neuroscience is a field that is devoted to the scientific study of the nervous system. ... Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology and neurology that aims to understand how the structure and function of the brain relate to specific psychological processes. ...

  • Single-cell recording.
  • Direct brain stimulation.
  • Animal models.

Example of an experiment using Single-Cell Recording Single-Cell Recording is a technique used in research to observe changes in voltage or current in a neuron. ... Postmortem studies are a neurobiological research method in which the brain of a patient, usually the subject of a longitudinal study, with some sort of phenomenological affliction (i. ...

Key findings

Cognitive science has much to its credit. Among other accomplishments, it has given rise to models of human cognitive bias and risk perception, and has been influential in the development of behavioral finance, part of economics. It has also given rise to a new theory of the philosophy of mathematics, and many theories of artificial intelligence, persuasion and coercion. It has made its presence firmly known in the philosophy of language and epistemology - a modern revival of rationalism - as well as constituting a substantial wing of modern linguistics. Cognitive bias is any of a wide range of observer effects identified in cognitive science and social psychology including very basic statistical, social attribution, and memory errors that are common to all human beings. ... Risk is a concept that denotes a potential negative impact to an asset or some characteristic of value that may arise from some present process or future event. ... Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel winner Daniel Kahneman, was an important figure in the development of behavioral finance and economics and continues to write extensively in the field. ... Face-to-face trading interactions among on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor Economics or oeconomics is the study of human choice behaviour. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Hondas humanoid robot AI redirects here. ... Persuasion is a form of influence. ... Coercion is the practice of compelling a person to act by employing threat of harm (usually physical force, sometimes other forms of harm). ... Philosophy of language is the branch of philosophy that studies language. ... According to Plato, Knowledge is what is both true and believed, though not all that is both true and believed counts as knowledge. ... Linguistics is the scientific study of language. ...


Criticisms

The philosophical underpinnings of research in cognitive science have been continually criticized by philosophers and scientists alike. See Functionalism (Cognitive Science) for an extended entry on this. Functionalism is the philosophical underpinning of much empirical research in psychology and cognitive science; however, as research goes on the functionalist approach is continually criticised for its shortcomings. ...


Notable researchers in cognitive science

See the Category of Cognitive Scientists or the list of cognitive scientists Below are some notable researchers in cognitive science. ...

Some of the more recognized names in cognitive science are usually either the most controversial or the most cited. Within philosophy familiar names include Daniel Dennett who writes from a computational systems perspective, John Searle known for his controversial Chinese Room, Jerry Fodor who advocates functionalism, and Douglas Hofstadter. Hofstadter, famous for writing Gödel, Escher, Bach, which questions the nature of words and thought, is Director of the Fluid Analogies Research Group of the Center for Research on Concepts and Cognition at Indiana University. In the realm of linguistics Noam Chomsky and George Lakoff have been influential. Popular names in the discipline of psychology include James McClelland and Steven Pinker. Daniel Clement Dennett (b. ... John Rogers Searle (born July 31, 1932) is Mills Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, and is noted for contributions to the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and consciousness, on the characteristics of socially constructed versus physical realities, and on practical reason. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Functionalism is the philosophical underpinning of much empirical research in psychology and cognitive science; however, as research goes on the functionalist approach is continually criticised for its shortcomings. ... Douglas Richard Hofstadter (born February 15, 1945) is an American academic. ... Douglas Richard Hofstadter (born February 15, 1945) is an American academic. ... GEB cover Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid (commonly GEB) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas Hofstadter, published in 1979 by Basic Books. ... Indiana University, founded in 1820, is a nine-campus university system in the state of Indiana. ... Avram Noam Chomsky, Ph. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... James L. (Jay) McClelland (born December 1, 1948) is a Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University. ... Steven Pinker Steven Arthur Pinker (born September 18, 1954) is a prominent American experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, and popular science writer known for his spirited and wide-ranging advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. ...


See also

To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The cognitive science of mathematics is the study of mathematical ideas using the techniques of cognitive science. ... Cognitive bias is any of a wide range of observer effects identified in cognitive science and social psychology including very basic statistical, social attribution, and memory errors that are common to all human beings. ... In linguistics and cognitive science, cognitive linguistics (CL) refers to the currently dominant school of linguistics that views the important essence of language as innately based in evolutionarily-developed and speciated faculties, and seeks explanations that advance or fit well into the current understandings of the human mind. ... == ISABEL IS COOL AND SHE LOVES COGNITIVE NEUROPSYCHOLOGY!!!!!!!!! == Cognitive neuropsychology is a branch of neuropsychology that aims to understand how the structure and function of the brain relates to specific psychological processes. ... The field of cognitive neuroscience concerns the scientific study of the neural mechanisms underlying cognition and is a branch of neuroscience. ... Cognitive Psychology is the school of psychology that examines internal mental processes such as problem solving, memory, and language. ... Computational Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary science that links the diverse fields of neuroscience, computer science, physics and applied mathematics together. ... Educational psychology is the study of how humans learn in educational settings, the effectiveness of educational interventions, the psychology of teaching, and the social psychology of schools as organizations. ... According to Dennett, heterophenomonology (phenomenology of another not oneself), is the process in which you take the vocal sounds emanating from the subjects’ mouths (and your own mouth) and interpret them! He goes on to assert that the total set of details of heterophenomenology, plus all the data we... Informatics includes the science of information, the practice of information processing, and the engineering of information systems. ... The Institute of Cognitive Science is a division of Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. ... Embodied Cognitive Science is an interdisciplinary field of research whose aim is to explain the mechanisms underlying intelligent behavior. ... In psychology, and the cognitive sciences more generally, enactivism is a theoretical approach to understanding the mind. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Below are some notable researchers in cognitive science. ... Institutions ... The term Neural Darwinism is used in two different ways. ... Simplified view of an artificial neural network A neural network is a system of interconnecting neurons in a network working together to produce an output function. ... Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology and neurology that aims to understand how the structure and function of the brain relate to specific psychological processes. ... Drawing of the cells in the chicken cerebellum by S. Ramón y Cajal Neuroscience is a field that is devoted to the scientific study of the nervous system. ... Notational bias is a form of cultural bias in which a notation induces the appearance of a nonexistent natural law. ... Psychology is an academic and applied field involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. ... Synthetic consciousness refers to attempts by computer scientists and others to implement machines which, as a minimum, give the impression to observers that they possess aspects of consciousness. ... This article or section should be merged with Society of Mind Marvin Minskys theory of the Society of Mind asserts that the mind is the product of the interaction of a vast society of distinct and individually simple processes known as agents. ... It has been suggested that Taxonomic classification be merged into this article or section. ...

References

  • Baumgartner, P., et. al. Eds. (1995). Speaking Minds: Interviews With Twenty Eminent Cognitive Scientists. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Bechtel, W. et. al. Ed. (1999). A Companion to Cognitive Science. Blackwell Companions to Philosophy. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.
  • Damasio, A. R. (1994). Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain. New York: Grosset/Putnam.
  • Gardner, H. (1985). The Mind's New Science. New York: Basic Books.
  • Gazzaniga, M. S. Ed. (1996). Conversations in the Cognitive Neurosciences. New York: The MIT Press.
  • Hunt, M. (1982). The Universe Within: A New Science Explores the Human Mind. Brighton: The Harvester Press.
  • Lakoff, G and Johnson, M. (1999). Philosophy In The Flesh. New York: Basic Books.
  • Luger, G. (1994). Cognitive science : the science of intelligent systems. San Diego: Academic Press.
  • Thagard, P. (2nd, 2005). Mind : Introduction to Cognitive Science. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Further reading

Education
  • Berkeley's "What can I do with a major in cognitive science?"
Definitions
History
List of People
Publications & Publishers
  • The Journal of Cognitive Science
  • The MIT Press
  • Indiana Undergraduate Journal of Cognitive Science

External links

  • Indiana Archives of Cognitive Science: An online information portal of everything Cognitive Science
  • A special issue of the journal Labyrinthe, 2005 (in French): "La cognition"
  • Departments of cognitive science
  • CogWiki: a wiki for Cognitive Science


  Results from FactBites:
 
Cognitive science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3199 words)
The term cognitive science was coined by Christopher Longuet-Higgins in his 1973 commentary on the Lighthill report, which concerned the then-current state of Artificial Intelligence research.
Most in cognitive science, however, presumably do not believe their field is the study of anything as certain as the knowledge sought by Plato.
Cognitive science is a large field, and covers a wide array of topics on cognition.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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