Cognitive Science

Jesse Berlin

Welcome to the Cognitive Science program at University College. We are home to a diverse community of students and scholars passionate about cognitive science.

So what is cognitive science? Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of mentality in humans and machines. It encompasses work done in computer science, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy, and psychology. Drawing on the concepts, theories, and methodologies of these disciplines, cognitive scientists seek an understanding of such mental phenomena as perception, language, reasoning, and consciousness in broadly information-processing terms, and they aim to integrate this understanding with a neurophysiological account of how the human brain works. With its origins in the mid-20th century birth of computers and subsequent computationalist revolution, as well as a now decades-long history of discovery, cognitive science is one of the most exciting areas of contemporary research into the nature of the mind.

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of cognitive science, our students are encouraged to excel in the field’s traditional sub-disciplines: they learn how to program like computer scientists, analyze language like linguists, argue like philosophers, and research like psychologists. But they are also rewarded for thinking outside of these disciplinary boxes so as to synthesize their learning and enrich their understanding.

With its unique balance of breadth and depth, a cognitive science degree means an opportunity for intellectual development and career preparation rarely found in more traditional undergraduate programs.