What is Cognitive Science?

Cognitive science is defined as a collaborative, interdisciplinary field of research that studies intelligence and the human mind. It includes research and experts from the fields of anthropology, artificial intelligence, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, and others. Generally speaking, researchers working in cognitive science come together with their various tools, theoretical perspectives, and methodologies to ask and answer questions about the mind and its functions.

While, at first glance, the cognitive sciences may seem to be an arbitrary group of disparate academic fields, a closer look at each discipline with regard to its interest in the human mind reveals an opportune synergy for the study of the mind. Philosophers were some of the first academics to theorize the mind and continue to ask questions related to its function and purpose. Anthropologists regularly work with material relating to the function of the human mind but from the framework of studying culture as a created and motivating force. They may be interested in the effects of cognition on material culture or culture on the mind. Linguists similarly study the reciprocal relationship between spoken and written language, culture, the brain, and the mind. Psychologists interested in cognition analyze how the brain processes information taken from the wider world and how this relates to the mind and physical action taken. Similarly, neuroscientists studying the details of brain architecture and function may take an interest in recreating the connections they find between structures of the brain and functions of the mind. To that end, artificial intelligence is a burgeoning field in the cognitive sciences as it has the potential to test the collective theories of these other fields through computer modeling.

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Cognitive Science Topics

Cognitive Science Resources

From the history of cognition to the role of cognitive scientists in each of their parent disciplines, there are thousands of resources available through Study.com related to this field. Many of these are cognitive science courses available online, covering psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and linguistics, each addressing essential subjects that make up the study of the mind. Video lessons, quizzes, and study guides are ready to help students and teachers prepare for classes and research in the cognitive sciences.

Cognitive Science Courses

The scope of cognitive science mean that there are hundreds of courses available that relate to this area of research. Psychology courses include lessons on neuroscience and intelligence, both artificial and organic, and anthropology courses often include aspects of linguistics and, to a lesser extent, philosophy. Aspects of each of these disciplines study the human mind, and, when brought together, can tell stories of cognition that help to plan and advance such research.

Cognitive Science Test Prep for Teachers and Students

Cognitive Science Test Prep

Students seeking to earn college credit for their independent study of psychology and prospective teachers and school counselors can benefit from Study.com's test prep materials focusing on cognitive science. The CLEP Introductory Psychology Exam course provides students hoping to obtain college credit via tests with a solid foundation in psychology. It includes subjects such as sensation, perception, cognitive and personality theories, psychological disorders, treatment, and research. The Praxis Psychology Prep course reviews human development, social psychology, treatment, learning, motivation, and more to help prospective teachers and school counselors prepare for this important exam. Study.com's courses will help test-takers study key topics and be ready to succeed as they sit for these tests.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is an example of cognitive science?

    Cognitive science is a field of research focused on the human mind that incorporates studies from many different scientific disciplines. An example of this research would be the building of realistic artificial intelligence based on the brain research of psychologists and neuroscientists, the social theories of anthropologists, and theories of mind of philosophers.

  • What is cognitive science in psychology?

    Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary study of the human mind. In psychology, it is primarily manifest in the perspective of cognitive psychology, which is concerned with the reflexive relationship between the brain and cognition. This includes perception, creativity, and memory.