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Cognitive Science
COGS 100
Michael Picard

Historical Landmarks Introduction p.3 - Cognitive Science: Science of the mind. - Set problems that they are trying to solve and a set of phenomena that they are trying to model and explain. (Part of the reasons why COGS is a distinctive discipline) - The most fundamental driving assumption of COGS is that minds are information processors. - Brain – Information processor. - COGS flourished in the 60s and 70s. Marked by a series of powerful and influential studies of aspects of mental functioning. Later decades of the 20 C saw challenges to some of the basic assumptions of the „founding fathers‟ of COGS. (Turn to the brain) Crucial factor: development of new techniques for studying the brain. Possibility of studying the responses of individual neurons. Mapping changing patterns of activation in different brain areas. Chapter One The prehistory of COGS p.5-6 Overview - Late 70s COGS became an established part of intellectual landscape. (Same time as an academic field crystallized around a basic set of problems, techniques and theoretical assumptions from many different disciplines and areas. Many had been around for a fairly long time.) COGS offered a new way of putting them together as a way of studying the mind. - COGS is at heart an interdisciplinary endeavor. - Best way to understand COGS is to try to think your way back until you can see how things might have looked to its early pioneers. (Ex: When religion was well mapped out) - The prehistory of COGS involves parallel, and largely independent, development in PSYC, Linguistics and Math logic. Reaction against behaviorism in PSYC. Ideas of algorithmic computation in Math logic. Emergence of linguistics as the formal analysis of language. Emergence of info-processing models in PSYC. By concentrating on these four developments we will be passing over the important influences, such as neuroscience and neuropsychology. The direct study of the brain had a relatively minor role to play in COGS. Almost all COGS scientists are convinces that in some fundamental sense the mind just is the brain and that therefore all mind activity is happening in the brain. Dualists, believe that the mind and brain are two separate things. All this changes in the 70s and 80s because of new technologies for studying neural activity and new ways of modeling COG abilities. Until many COG scientists believed that the mind could be studies without studying the brain. Chapter One 1.1 The reaction against behaviorism in PSYC p.6-11 - Behaviorism was (and kind of still is) an influential movement in PSYC. Takes many different forms, but share basic assumption that psychologist should confine themselves to studying observable phenomena and measurable behavior. Avoid speculating about unobservable mental states, relying instead on non-psychological mechanisms linking particular stimuli w/ particular responses. = Are the products of conditioning. (Being trained or conditioned to encourage/discourage certain types of behavior.) - According to behaviorists, psychology is really the science of behavior. - Psychology moved out of from behaviorism. This can be appreciated that proved important for the later development of COGS by looking at 3 landmark papers. (Each was an important statement of the idea that various types of behavior could not be explained in terms of st
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