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Cognitive science is the study of how the mind works. This exploration began in the 1950s when researchers across several disciplines including psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience began to develop collaborative theories of how the mind operates based on intricate representations and computational processes. The Cognitive Science Society and the Cognitive Science journal were subsequently formed in the 1970s, and since then numerous universities throughout the world have initiated cognitive science programs and courses.
Cognitive science involves several differing outlooks and methodologies. Cognitive psychologists, for example, can engage in theorizing and computational modeling, but their primary experimentation methods involve actual human minds. Experiment participants are studied under controlled conditions, examining thought processes such as how they form ideas and concepts, how they apply those concepts, and how mental images affect their thought process.
Psychologists today are increasingly choosing experiment participants from culturally diverse sources, approaching mental operations from more varied directions. Addressing theories on the nature of the human mind requires a framework of artificial intelligence (AI), utilizing computational models based on the aforementioned psychological experimentation. This is done by developing and testing computational models that simulate mental operations and human performance.
Work in cognitive science operates under the premise that the human mind functions similarly to computers, with a human’s mental representations and computational procedures being analogous with a computer’s data structures and algorithms. Interdisciplinary cognitive science peaks when the theoretical and experimental coincide, using combined psychological and neurological experiments with computational models to fully comprehend the complexity of human thinking.