Cognitive Science

Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of the mind and deals with the nature of perception, motor organization, memory, language, thinking, consciousness, and learning and development.  It investigates these topics from a number of methodological perspectives, including behavioral evidence for how these systems operate and formal, symbolic, and biological evidence on the computational and neural machinery that underlies them. Research on these topics comes centrally from several traditionally distinct fields: experimental psychology, computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and neuroscience. Other relevant disciplines – biology, anthropology, economics, decision sciences, and education – are also part of this burgeoning field.  

To combine interests in linguists and cognitive science, doctoral candidates may pursue an interdisciplinary concentration. The PhD concentration is co-directed by Elissa Newport and Abigail Marsh. Students may also consult the Graduate Student Handbook and discuss with their advisors how best to combine linguistics program requirements and cognitive science requirements.

Interested undergraduate linguistics students can minor in cognitive science. The interim director of the cognitive science minor is Jagmeet Kanwal and the co-director is Jessica Kotfila.