What is Cognitive Science?

 

Cognitive Science concerns the explanation of mental faculties such as language acquisition, perception, decision making, creativity and awareness. Cognitive research is anchored in various fields, including Psychology, Linguistics, Philosophy, Logic, Computation, and Neuroscience. The uniqueness of the cognitive science curriculum is the integration of these different fields, aimed at uncovering the processes that underlie mental phenomena and deepen our understanding of the one the greatest mysteries of all time - the human mind.

An example of such an integrated research is the developement of theories of language acquisition and production: Linguistics and logic fields devise formal constraints emanating from language analysis, the field of psychology characterizes the processes which satisfy these constraints, the field of neurology locates the brain structures performing these same processes, and computational models provide a theoretical and conceptual framework for describing them.

The goal of the undergrad program and graduate studies is to introduce students to content, research methods and the different types of thought characteristic to cognitive science, thereby developing flexible thinking and interdisciplinary proficiency which will open various employment opportunities to graduates. Alumni of the program would, among other options, be able to carry out further research in cognitive science, and to specialize in unique fields in the hi-tech industry, such as computational linguistics, language and logic, neural computation, and computation and music.

Research methods characteristic of the cognitive sciences include empirical research in humans or animals, building and executing computational models, as well as analysis of the relationships between these models and the empirical research - in various areas of cognition studies.

Research in the department involves scientists from the faculties of Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and the School of Education. The department offers various study programs: a full Bachelor’s degree (B.A.), a Bachelor’s Minor, a Master's program (M.A.), an accelerated Master's program (B.A. + M.A. in four years), and Doctoral studies (Ph.D).