Cognitive science is the study of thought processes, mental representations, and information processing. The goal is to understand the nature of cognition, with respect to its methods, origins, development, and use.
Oberlin offers a cognitive science concentration that integrates the perspectives and methodologies of such parent disciplines as psychology, neuroscience, computer science, philosophy, anthropology, and linguistics. Our program is cross-disciplinary and fits well into the liberal arts philosophy. We take advantage of Oberlin’s strengths in many academic areas—from neuroscience to music theory, and more.
The cognitive science concentration shows how different fields of study approach thinking and look at similar issues. We examine thinking at many levels of analysis, ranging from the study of single neurons in the brain, to the investigation of the cognitive process of the individual, to complex decision-making in social groups. Given its broad scope, cognitive science tackles a host of significant issues: the nature of human consciousness, the nature of knowledge representation in the mind/brain, the possibility and ways that computers might think, and the link between mental and physical processes.
The concentration does not replace a major or a minor, but adds to the breadth of a major, whether in biology, economics, or music theory. If you choose to pursue the cognitive science concentration, it will prepare you well for graduate-level study as the program complements many academic fields.
Focusing on the study of human cognition from many perspectives, you will become familiar with a variety of practical approaches used to investigate human knowledge. Given the concentration’s cross-disciplinary structure, you must take relevant courses from several fields of inquiry.
Requirements include two core courses in psychology and neuroscience, and four elective courses from participating departments within the concentration: psychology, neuroscience, computer science, economics, philosophy, Hispanic studies, and anthropology.
In addition, you may take an appropriate three-credit private reading or other course offering that may count as one of the electives. You will need prior approval from the program chair of cognitive sciences.
This concentration is open to any student, irrespective of major. However, the concentration does not substitute for a major or minor. Consult with a program faculty member and complete the Declaration of Cognitive Science Concentration form if you wish to pursue this course of study.
PSYC 206 - Sensory Processes and Perception
PSYC 305 - Advanced Methods in Human Psychophysiology
ANTH 204 - Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology
NSCI 331 - Hormones, Brain and Behavior
CSCI 364 - Artificial Intelligence
Associate Professor, neuroscience Office: Science Center A238
Phone: (440) 775-8357
Associate Professor, psychology Office: Severance Hall 205
Phone: (440) 775-8362
Assistant Professor, psychology Office: Severance Hall 213
Phone: (440) 775-5317
Associate Professor, philosophy Office: King Building 122
Phone: (440) 775-8398
Professor, computer science Office: King Building 223D
Phone: (440) 775-8095
Professor Emeritus, economics
Phone: (440) 775-8483