What Do We Mean By Cognitive Science

2653 words - 11 pages

Project 1

What do we mean by cognitive science?

Name: Silvia Paniagua Suárez
D.N.I.: 76.129.755-P
Date: 11/11/2010

1. Introduction

In this project I am going to analyse some definitions about cognitive science and establish the similitudes and differences between these definitions. Previously, I will try to explain the epistemological basis of cognitivism. To conclude the project, I will try to make my own definition about cognitive science.

2. Epistemological basis of cognitive science

The birth of Cognitive Science takes place in the decade of 1950. There are some important movements represented by young investigators in many different disciplines. Thus, the most ...view middle of the document...

So, Chomsky proposed his generative grammar theory to explain that mind and internal representations have an influence on linguistic processes.

So then, the Cognitive Science has knowledge as an object of study. In this way, the Cognitive Science try to analyse the nature of knowledge through empiric methods. For this reason, this new paradigm ends with the dichotomy of mind and body, considering mind embodied, that is, all the mental processes are supported by neurons and those processes are associated to our sensorial experiences, and all the information we have is organised in schematic configurations that we create and save in our memory. This schematic configurations are very important, because are related to the studies about memory that some cognitive investigators made.
These studies established that there are two kinds of knowledge: declarative information and capability, that is, for example, we can have a lot of information about a sport but we do not have the ability to perform it. So, declarative information is explicit while procedural capability is implicit, and this information is stored in our memory.

Aktinson and Shiffrin included notions about short-term memory and long-term memory. Short-term memory is the ability to store the information that we are perceiving and we need attention. This information disappears very quickly and short-term memory is very limited. Long-term memory is where the storage where we have implicit and explicit information. This information is what differentiate us from others because of feelings, experiences, knowledge, etc. conclusively, it is where we have the information that makes us as an individual.

But all the information we store in our memory is organised in schematic configurations as I have said before, that is, in terms of neurological connections all is interrelated creating schemes through prototypes (an image or example that we have of something). So, the first time we see something we won't pay attention to what is it, but the second time, we will make a relation between the first image to the second image until we get a process or recognition.

By the way, I have to emphasize that one of the most important features of the Cognitive Science is the interdisciplinariness, because the relevant answers to all the questions that the Cognitive Science tries to find come from the discoveries from other disciplines such as psychology, linguistics, neurology, anthropology, biology, philosophy, etc. and so, one good example of this interdisciplinariness are the connectionist theories which try to explain the mental and behavioural phenomena as processes that emerge from nets formed by simple units that are interconnected, for example: every unit of the net would be words, and every connection an indication of semantic similitude. Connectionism appears in the decade of 1950, but has its precedents in 1888, when Santiago Ramón y Cajal discovered the structure of neurons and the way...

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