Cognitive science

Figure illustrating the fields that contributed to the birth of cognitive science, including linguistics, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, philosophy, anthropology, and psychology
A well known example of a phrase structure tree. This is one way of representing human language that shows how different components are organized hierarchically.
The Necker cube, an example of an optical illusion
An optical illusion. The square A is exactly the same shade of gray as square B. See checker shadow illusion.
Image of the human head with the brain. The arrow indicates the position of the hypothalamus.
An artificial neural network with two layers.

Interdisciplinary, scientific study of the mind and its processes with input from linguistics, psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, computer science/artificial intelligence, and anthropology.

- Cognitive science
Figure illustrating the fields that contributed to the birth of cognitive science, including linguistics, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, philosophy, anthropology, and psychology

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Wilhelm Wundt (seated) with colleagues in his psychological laboratory, the first of its kind.

Psychology

Scientific study of mind and behavior.

Scientific study of mind and behavior.

Wilhelm Wundt (seated) with colleagues in his psychological laboratory, the first of its kind.
One of the dogs used in Pavlov's experiment with a surgically implanted cannula to measure salivation, preserved in the Pavlov Museum in Ryazan, Russia
False-color representations of cerebral fiber pathways affected, per Van Horn et al.
Skinner's teaching machine, a mechanical invention to automate the task of programmed instruction
Baddeley's model of working memory
The Müller–Lyer illusion. Psychologists make inferences about mental processes from shared phenomena such as optical illusions.
Group photo 1909 in front of Clark University. Front row: Sigmund Freud, G. Stanley Hall, Carl Jung; back row: Abraham A. Brill, Ernest Jones, Sándor Ferenczi.
Psychologist Abraham Maslow in 1943 posited that humans have a hierarchy of needs, and it makes sense to fulfill the basic needs first (food, water etc.) before higher-order needs can be met.
Developmental psychologists would engage a child with a book and then make observations based on how the child interacts with the object.
An example of an item from a cognitive abilities test used in educational psychology.
Flowchart of four phases (enrollment, intervention allocation, follow-up, and data analysis) of a parallel randomized trial of two groups, modified from the CONSORT 2010 Statement
The experimenter (E) orders the teacher (T), the subject of the experiment, to give what the latter believes are painful electric shocks to a learner (L), who is actually an actor and confederate. The subject believes that for each wrong answer, the learner was receiving actual electric shocks, though in reality there were no such punishments. Being separated from the subject, the confederate set up a tape recorder integrated with the electro-shock generator, which played pre-recorded sounds for each shock level etc.
An EEG recording setup
Artificial neural network with two layers, an interconnected group of nodes, akin to the vast network of neurons in the human brain.
A rat undergoing a Morris water navigation test used in behavioral neuroscience to study the role of the hippocampus in spatial learning and memory.
Phineas P. Gage survived an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head, destroying much of his brain's left frontal lobe, and is remembered for that injury's reported effects on his personality and behavior.

Some psychologists can also be classified as behavioral or cognitive scientists.

A cognitive model, as illustrated by Robert Fludd (1619)

Cognition

Cognition refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses".

Cognition refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses".

A cognitive model, as illustrated by Robert Fludd (1619)
When the mind makes a generalization such as the concept of tree, it extracts similarities from numerous examples; the simplification enables higher-level thinking (abstract thinking).

These and other approaches to the analysis of cognition (such as embodied cognition) are synthesized in the developing field of cognitive science, a progressively autonomous academic discipline.

Principle diagram of a cybernetic system with a feedback loop

Cybernetics

Wide-ranging field concerned with regulatory and purposive systems.

Wide-ranging field concerned with regulatory and purposive systems.

Principle diagram of a cybernetic system with a feedback loop
Simple feedback model. AB < 0 for negative feedback.
Ctesibius' water clock, as visualized by the 17th-century French architect Claude Perrault
James Watt
Norbert Wiener

At its most prominent during the 1950s and 1960s, cybernetics is a precursor to fields such as computing, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, complexity science, and robotics amongst others.

Chomsky in 2017

Noam Chomsky

Chomsky in 2017
Carol Schatz, whom Chomsky married in 1949
The Great Dome at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Chomsky began working in 1955
Chomsky, photographed in 1977
Chomsky speaking in support of the Occupy movement in 2011
Set inclusions described by the Chomsky hierarchy
Chomsky at the 2003 World Social Forum, a convention for counter-hegemonic globalization, in Porto Alegre
Chomsky (far right) and his wife Valeria (second from right) with David and Carolee Krieger of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, 2014
Chomsky receiving an award from the president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, David Krieger (2014)

Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historical essayist, social critic, and political activist.

Francisco de Goya, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (El sueño de la razón produce monstruos), c. 1797

Reason

Capacity of consciously applying logic by drawing conclusions from new or existing information, with the aim of seeking the truth.

Capacity of consciously applying logic by drawing conclusions from new or existing information, with the aim of seeking the truth.

Francisco de Goya, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (El sueño de la razón produce monstruos), c. 1797
René Descartes
Dan Sperber believes that reasoning in groups is more effective and promotes their evolutionary fitness.

Psychologists and cognitive scientists have attempted to study and explain how people reason, e.g. which cognitive and neural processes are engaged, and how cultural factors affect the inferences that people draw.

Minsky in 2008

Marvin Minsky

Minsky in 2008
3D profile of a coin (partial) measured with a modern confocal white light microscope.
The Minskytron or "Three Position Display" running on the Computer History Museum's PDP-1, 2007

Marvin Lee Minsky (August 9, 1927 – January 24, 2016) was an American cognitive and computer scientist concerned largely with research of artificial intelligence (AI), co-founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AI laboratory, and author of several texts concerning AI and philosophy.

Hume in 1754

David Hume

Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian, economist, librarian and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of philosophical empiricism, scepticism, and naturalism.

Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian, economist, librarian and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of philosophical empiricism, scepticism, and naturalism.

Hume in 1754
An engraving of Hume from the first volume of his The History of England, 1754
David Hume's mausoleum by Robert Adam in the Old Calton Burial Ground, Edinburgh.
Statue of Hume by Alexander Stoddart on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh
David Hume by Allan Ramsay, 1766
Statues of David Hume and Adam Smith by David Watson Stevenson on the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh
Statue on Edinburgh's Royal Mile

Hume influenced utilitarianism, logical positivism, the philosophy of science, early analytic philosophy, cognitive science, theology, and many other fields and thinkers.

Partial map of the Internet, with nodes representing IP addresses

Information

Processed, organized and structured data.

Processed, organized and structured data.

Partial map of the Internet, with nodes representing IP addresses
Galactic (including dark) matter distribution in a cubic section of the Universe
Information embedded in an abstract mathematical object with symmetry breaking nucleus
Visual representation of a strange attractor, with converted data of its fractal structure

The cognitive scientist and applied mathematician Ronaldo Vigo argues that information is a concept that requires at least two related entities to make quantitative sense.

Charles Babbage, sometimes referred to as the "father of computing".

Computer science

Study of computation, automation, and information.

Study of computation, automation, and information.

Charles Babbage, sometimes referred to as the "father of computing".
Ada Lovelace published the first algorithm intended for processing on a computer.

Computer science research also often intersects other disciplines, such as cognitive science, linguistics, mathematics, physics, biology, Earth science, statistics, philosophy, and logic.

Chronology of the universe as deduced by the prevailing Big Bang theory, a result from science and obtained knowledge

Linguistics

Scientific study of human language.

Scientific study of human language.

Chronology of the universe as deduced by the prevailing Big Bang theory, a result from science and obtained knowledge

As linguistics is concerned with both the cognitive and social aspects of language, it is considered a scientific field as well as an academic discipline; it has been classified as a social science, natural science, cognitive science, or part of the humanities.