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Cognitive Science

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About: Cognitive science is concerned with the scientific study of the mind. Cognitive Science examines the nature and the working of cognitive processes particularly as they relate to a given context whether computational, physical, biological, neural, or social. It includes research on intelligence and behavior, especially focusing on how information is represented, processed, and transformed to support a wide range of tasks such as goal-oriented and opportunistic reasoning, learning, language-based communication, interacting with technology or analyzing data, or judging risks in security and safety.  It comprises areas of perception, memory, reasoning, language, emotion, and decisions in brains (of humans or other animals) and machines (computers, robots, agents).  Cognitive science models the mind at different levels: computational, neuro-physical, or social.

Cognitive science has emerged as a transdisciplinary research area that has basic-level roots in philosophy, psychology, computer science, neuroscience, linguistics, anthropology, and sociology.  At the same time cognitive science has also inextricably evolved and advanced through the use of technologies that provide windows into the mind: affective computing, eye tracking, linguistic and behavioral coding and analytics, decision aids, neuro-physiological measurement apparatus (e.g., fMRI and EEG neuro-imagining), dynamic modeling and alignment of brain networks, wearable-ubiquitous computing, and brain-computer interaction technologies, to name a few.

Areas of Strength: Some areas of strength in Cognitive Science in the college include computational discourse analysis and psycholinguistics, decision-making, memory and learning, multi-agent interaction, intelligent associates, distributed cognition, pattern recognition, knowledge acquisition, situation awareness, analogical problem solving and knowledge transfer, cognitive hemispheric asymmetry and face / image recognition, cognitive modeling and models of perception and language, multi-modal capturing and analysis of neural, visual, and cognitive processes (e.g., for cyber analysts), dynamic network modeling, brain network alignment, and temporal causality analysis of neural events.

Some of the practical areas in which IST faculty members have applied principles of cognitive science are:  emergency crisis management, DoD C3I (communications, control, communications, and intelligence), estimating the success of natural-language communications, peer-to-peer patient support in online forums, image analyst work, intelligence analyst work, software design, cyber situation awareness/cyber security work, police cognition, fighter pilot performance, medical decision making, and data triage and intrusion detection of network analysts.

Faculty: John M. Carroll, Vasant Honavar, Sharon Huang, David Reitter, Frank RitterJohn Yen

Affiliated Faculty: Ping Li,