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Cognitive Science

Studying cognitive science teaches you about the nature of consciousness, the interaction of mind and matter, and the relationship between thought and language.

Drawing on the disciplines of philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, mathematics, computer science, and linguistics, cognitive science addresses fascinating questions about the nature of thought, intelligence, perception, emotion, and other aspects of our mental life. Our students explore societal and ethical issues in the classroom and through research, including how these issues apply to artificial intelligence. They also reflect on philosophical arguments, conduct psychology experiments, build computer models of intelligence, and investigate the biological bases of cognition. While building knowledge and skills in the discipline, the curriculum also emphasizes writing, computational thinking, and scientific communication.

Students are encouraged to participate in research with faculty, both through our curriculum and the Undergraduate Research Center’s summer research program. We have ongoing research opportunities in artificial intelligence, as well as in our Thinking Lab and Multisensory Lab. Past students have been involved in research on child development at Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena and have studied perceptual and cognitive experiences with photography at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles. All cognitive science majors complete individual research for their senior comprehensives, on such topics as the use of meditation techniques to control pain, the role of emotion in how the brain processes music, and the development of racial bias in children.

Students will be prepared for a variety of careers in and out of the sciences. Cognitive science majors have gone on to graduate programs including neuroscience, psychology, computer science, medicine, nursing, education, speech language pathology, and archeology. You might pursue a career in user experience/user interface, software engineering, child development, audio engineering, teaching, law, counseling, business, marketing or research.

Meet Our Faculty

What Our Graduates Are Doing

Medical Student, Stanford University

Besher Ashouri
2018

CMO at Illumination

Sam Bergen
2004

MBA, Indiana University's Kelley School of Business

Carolyn Goldberger
2013

Senior Analytics Engineer at SoundCloud

Natalie Zyfers
2016

UX Researcher, Chompers Club

Camilla Folger
2016

Operations, Nielsen (consumer neuroscience division)

Jessica Ingle
2016

User Experience Research Moderator, Google

Evan Thomas
2014

Vice President, GloComms at Phaidon International

Giancarlo Hirsch
2013

Ph.D. program in neuroscience, McGill University

Lani Cupo
2017
Contact Cognitive Science
Swan Hall 103

Please send questions for the department
chair tooxycogsci_chair@oxy.edu