PS 232 - Introduction to Cognitive Science
What are the critical components of "mind," "consciousness," "knowledge," and "thought"? Students will survey philosophical, psychological, neuroscientific, anthropological, and computational approaches to understanding this question-an interdisciplinary field of study known as cognitive science. Cognitive Science defines itself through the types of questions it asks and the methods used to answer them. One fundamental approach to developing our hypotheses and theories involves the development of models testable representations of these processes and ideas. These models are tested and refined against the array of low-level physiological processes, individual behaviors, and group and global systems that define our cognitive world. As we iterate this modeling-testing loop, we hope to come closer to understanding the foundations of thought and mind. Students will also survey the fields associated with cognitive science and discover how its methodologies interconnect them. Traditional computational and mental-representation models as well as a few alternative propositions involving dynamical systems will be examined through rigorous study. As a result, students will gain tools to broaden and inform their inquiry in any field that focuses on the mind and thought.
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