Studies & Degrees in Cognitive Studies

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Cognitive Studies Study Programs

Level: Undergraduate Bachelors     Location: Villanueva de la Cañada

Cognitive Studies, as the name suggests, is a program that focuses on the study of the human cognition or consciousness and the cognitive processing. This quest for understanding the human mind can be dated back even to the time of Plato. Cognitive science began as a series of philosophical questions about the nature of knowledge; a good example would be Plato’s dialog called Meno where he investigated the source of knowledge. In 1930s and 1940s, the early cyberneticists such as Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts started what would become the modern culture of cognitive science. Both had yearned to understand the organizing principles of the mind which led them to the invention of the neural network. With the limited technology available at that time, however, the neural network was not developed to its modern and more accurate form until the later years. Another significant advancement in Cognitive Studies came in the form of a review written by Noam Chomsky on B.F. Skinner’s book entitled Verbal Behavior. Skinner’s behaviorist paradigm, which focused on the functional relations between stimulus and response, was the dominant theory in psychology during that time. With the publication of Chomsky’s review, psychologists and scientists came to realize that a theory like the generative grammar attributed to internal representations and characterized underlying order was necessary to fully understand the human mind. Noam Chomsky’s paper would inspire many theories in later Cognitive Studies which, during the 1970s and 1980s, focused more on the possibility of artificial intelligence. The limits of AI research programs became apparent, however, in the late 1980s; but modern Cognitive Science are now focused on reintroducing symbolic models using tools from modern computer science lab using dynamical system models.

This major is a cross between psychology, philosophy, and science. This is the best major for those who are curious as to the processes by which humans think, solve problems, and reason. Courses offered in this major will help students to become more flexible when it comes to reasoning and complex problem-solving as well as to encourage them to become inquisitive and have a clear thinking. With the right mixture of science and liberal arts courses, students will learn skills on problem solving and decision-making. Courses about the human cognition are, of course, required; these courses are, but are not limited to communication, cognitive development, cognitive processes, sociocultural aspects of learning, and applications of theories of knowledge. Students, upon taking this major, will develop an appreciation of the scientific method and research process as well as leadership and the ability to process complex information, use systematic analysis, and facilitate the learning of others.

Career opportunities for graduates of Cognitive Studies are abundant. Students who have attained a high level of education and area of specialization can work in the artificial intelligence field, robotic biotechnology, human-computer interfaces, teaching, neuroscience, software development, technical writing field, and consulting. They can also find better career opportunities if they take a step higher and study in one of the connected disciplines such as medicine and kinesiology.