What is Cognitive Science?

Cognitive Science is defined as the scientific study of mind from an interdisciplinary perspective. The main contributing disciplines across universities all over the world are computer science, psychology, linguistics, philosophy and neuroscience. Its origins can be traced back to the mid-1950s when theories of mind were developed based on representations and computational procedures. In 1977, the first organization, Cognitive Science Society was formed and its journal Cognitive Science was published.


Cognitive Science is not a simple sum of the contributing disciplines. With the cooperation of related disciplines, it exhibits theoretical and methodological variety in the study of mind.

It is an interdisciplinary field which aims to study processes of the natural and artificial minds, and self-organizing behavior of natural and artificial agents and their community. It builds experimental and theoretical models to test several hypotheses about perception, action,  reasoning, memory, planning and emotion of living things (humans, animals) and the artificial (e.g. computers, robots).


Today, there are more than sixty universities in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia that have established cognitive science programs. However, the number of international conferences on cognitive science and related disciplines is much higher. Considering the list of disciplines in Cognitive Science, namely anthropology, artificial intelligence, education, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy and psychology, 21 possible two-discipline multidisciplinary combinations exist. Among these combinations, 11 have standard labels (e.g. “psycholinguistics” as a combination of psychology and linguistics, or “computational neuroscience” as a combination of artificial intelligence and neuroscience) and 15 have associated journals.