What is Cognitive Science?

One of the three branches of science represented by the FBPCS organisation is cognitive science. It is a relatively new field of science concerning the mind, kick-started with the 'Cognitive Revolution' that sprung up within the intellectual community in the 1950s. But, what actually is cognitive science?

The cognitive science are defined as the study of intelligence and the mind. It can encompass a wide range of sub-sciences, including psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, and artificial intelligence. It became of interest to the intellectual community in the 1970s, with the formation of the Cognitive Science Society and the founding of the peer-reviewed journal 'Cognitive Science. Over the past 5 decades, this field of study has expanded, with around 100 universities around the world, offering their students Cognitive Science programs.

Cognitive science is applicable to scholars from many fields of study, as long as they have a focus and interest of better understanding the human mind i.e. the tasks, nature and functions of cognition. Cognitive science has a particular focus on how the brain and the nervous system represents, processes and transforms information. A popular ideology for cognitive scientists, is that the brain handles information, much in the same way as a computer processes data. This mind-computer theory is rooted in the way the brain carries out complex mental procedures, including, matching, rotating, retrieval, matching, searching and deduction.

Areas of interest in the field of cognition include: memory, reasoning, perception, language, emotion and attention. To study these functions that are rooted within the brain, cognitive scientist look closely at the brain and is modular organisation, and neural network. In cognitive science, the actions of the brain are best understood in representational structures within the mind, and the computer-like procedures that operate on them.

This is a a brief simplification of the field of cognitive science. Within it are a lot of complex theories that go right into the workings of the brain, and its ways of processing all the information it encounters. There is plenty of more detailed information on the subject available online, if you are interested in knowing more about the fascinating world of cognitive science.