Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary field of investigation that was officially founded in the 1970s, and which has its roots in the cybernetic era. In the beginning it consisted of computer science, neuroscience, psychology, philosophy of mind, linguistics, and anthropology.
These disciplines were unified in their aim to study the mind as a physical symbol system, an idea which was based on the creation of the first examples of artificial intelligence and robotics. Later, this idea was generalized to include artificial neural networks as distributed symbol processors.
Today the field of cognitive science has become even more diverse. There are many different theories of mind which overlap in different degrees and which are in competition with each other. Many researchers continue to focus on the computational metaphor of mind, while others prefer to focus on the dynamics of interaction of an agent in its environment, on human consciousness, or on the properties of living systems.
Dr. Froese occasionally gives introductory courses to these recent trends.
The members of this group are working on distinct lines of research that explore the mind as a complex phenomenon consisting of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors. One important goal, which unifies many of these lines into a coherent project, is to better understand the reach of social self-organization in various temporal and spatial scales. This approach is applied to topics related to the origins of living systems as well as the origins of complex societies. Another important topic is the study of how people are interconnected.
The thematic integration of this group is supported by a common methodology and strategy, since all of the lines of research are based on complexity theory and on various tools from computer science. The main tools are drawn from the fields of artificial life and human-computer interaction, in particular evolutionary robotics, artificial neural networks, agent-based models, virtual reality, and sensory substitution interfaces.
Project web site.