What Is Cognitive Science?




People keep asking me what cognitive science is, and i’ve managed to whittle it down to the following answers.

1. (In contrast to psychology):
Psychology studies what a person is thinking about, maybe based on the stress in their life or their childhood development. On the other hand, cognitive science seeks to understand how a person even thinks in the first place. we still don’t know how a person actually sees in color, or adds two numbers together.

2. Cognitive science is not so much a interdisciplinary field, but a common point in many different fields. A cognitive scientist is not an anthropological-computer-

programming-linguistic-psychologist, rather, all of these fields have some parts that are concerned with how information is processed in the brain 

3. All the things that are easy and automatic for you do, like recognizing friends, reading words, seeing in 3-D, avoiding doors or understanding what the people around you are saying turn out to be massively difficult for computers to do. And everything that is “hard” to do, like multiplying long numbers together very quickly, or reading through a 10,000 item list, is quite easy for a computer to do. Figuring out why is is partially the role of cognitive science (and the reasons that we know of so far are fascinating)

4. Cognitive science is about trying to understand the most complex thing in the known universe. So far, we are only capable of working on a level where we assume that all brains are the same. it’s amazing how much we don’t know, even when we have to make this simplifying assumption.

5. There are more connections in your brain than there are stars in the Milky Way. And no one has a good idea about how all of it works. Also, there are a few million neurons in your stomach, but we really don’t know what those are for.


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