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Explanation of Cognitive science | Fourth Semester | BSc.CSIT (TU)

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cognitive scienceExplanation of cognitive science | Fourth Semester
Second Year | Tribhuvan University (TU)
Subject: Cognitive Science | BSc.CSIT

Cognitive science
Cognitive science can be defined as the study of mind or the study of thought. We can also define it as the interdisciplinary study of cognition. Cognition includes mental states and processes such as thinking, remembering, language understanding and generation, visual and auditory perception, learning, consciousness, emotions, etc. It embraces multiple research disciplines, including psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, neuroscience, linguistics, anthropology, sociology, and biology. It relies on varying scientific methodology (e.g. behavioral experimentation, computational simulations, neuro-imaging, statistical analyses), and spans many levels of analysis of the mind (from low-level learning and decision mechanisms to high-level logic and planning, from neural circuitry to modular brain organization, etc.).

Some cognitive scientists limit their study to human cognition; other consider cognition independently of its implementation in humans or computers.

Cognitive science grew out of three developments: the invention of computers and the attempts to design programs that could do the kinds of tasks that humans do; the development of information processing psychology where the goal was to specify the internal processing involved in perception, language, memory, and thought; and the development of the theory of generative grammar and related offshoots in linguistics.

Cognitive science was a synthesis concerned with the kinds of knowledge that underlie human cognition, the details of human cognitive processing, and the computational modeling of those processes. There are five major topic areas in cognitive science: knowledge representation, language, learning, thinking, and perception.
Cognitive science differs from cognitive psychology in that algorithms that are intended to simulate human behavior are implemented or implementable on a computer

Cognitive science’s approach to the study of mind is often contrasted with that of behaviorism. The behaviorist approach to psychology seeks to describe and predict human behavior in terms of stimulus-response correlations, with no mention of unobservable mental states (including mental constructs such as symbols, ideas) or mental processes (such as thinking, planning, etc.) that might mediate these correlations. A behaviorist who would willing even to talk about the “mind” would view it as a “black box” that could only be understood in terms of its input-output behavior. Cognitive science in general seeks to understand human cognitive functions in terms of metal states and processes, i.e., in terms of algorithm that mediate between input and output.

The goal of cognitive science is to understand:

  • the representations and processes in our minds that underwrite these capacities,
  • how they are acquired, and how they develop, and
  • how they are implemented in underlying hardware (biological or otherwise).

Stated more simply, the goal of cognitive science is to understand how the mind works.

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