Cognitive Science Curriculum
Our Department is responsible for the management of the M.A. programme in Cognitive Science, run (for the first time in Poland) from the academic year 2005-2006 on.
Cognitive science is a multidisciplinary science of mind and cognitive processes. It is the study aiming at explaining – among others – mental processes, such as perception, representation, emotions, consciousness, memory, reasoning, language or communication. Drawing on the achievements of a wide range of scientific disciplines cognitivists develop their own methods by means of which they try to solve fascinating mysteries of the mind, intelligence and consciousness. They search for answers to the question of what mechanisms – biological, computational, or others – constitute the basis of what we call “intelligence”; they investigate the role of the environment – including its physical, biological, as well as cultural and social aspects – in the development of cognitive processes and analyze the functions of language as an information medium and communication tool.
The source of inspiration and the basis for the development of cognitive science are, first of all, psychology, biology, computer science, theories of artificial intelligence, linguistics, logic and philosophy. However, due to its multidisciplinary nature, cognitive science, drawing on their achievements, analyzes problems from many different perspectives, and uses a much wider variety of methods. As a result, cognitive science is the study of a different nature than those traditional disciplines.
Therefore, the study of cognitive science has been designed in such a way that the graduate should obtain and demonstrate modern education, combining elements of humanities and social sciences with the knowledge of information technology and natural sciences, while crossing traditional boundaries among them. The course of study provides a unique and coherent body of knowledge, skills and competences, which embraces cognitive problems, so far dispersed among several disciplines, such as: the issues concerning the functioning of the mind, cognitive tools, fundamentals of communication among subjects (both – people and machines), from the perspective of phenomenological description of these phenomena, their neurophysiological basis, as well as from the computational (logical) perspective.
Cognitive science graduates are expected to become qualified for both – research work and working in institutions and organizations operating in different areas of public life – from civil service to industry. Cognitive knowledge is useful wherever tasks in connection with the issues related to stimulating cognitive development are tackled, or solutions for social communication are designed, or communication improvements in the human – computer relation are developed. The graduate of cognitive science can both benefit from the knowledge and skills acquired from its multitude of basic disciplines and work out solutions to multi-disciplinary problems, that would require, for example, the binding of psychological knowledge with computer science and artificial intelligence, or theories of linguistics with biology and philosophy.