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Beginner · Specialization · 3-6 Months
To understand Cognitive Science, it’s key to understand cognition: the act or process of knowing and perceiving, including memory, judgment, language, attention, and reasoning. Cognitive Science studies refer to the precise nature of these different mental tasks, and the operations of the brain that enable them to be performed. To carry out such studies, Cognitive Scientists leverage an interdisciplinary approach from Psychology, Computer Science, Philosophy, Linguistics, and related fields.
One example of Cognitive Science in action is an individual having a stroke in a part of the brain dedicated to language, thus producing an inability to speak sentences. Examples like this are why it’s critical to learn Cognitive Science, so that successful learners may gain the skills to explain and treat mental illnesses.
An education in Cognitive Science is considered highly versatile, with its interdisciplinary characteristics. Learners can find opportunities in various fields, such as Telecommunications, Medical Analysis, Research, Data Representation and Retrieval, Intelligence Analysis, Human Factors Engineering, Computer-Human Interaction, Human Performance Testing, Speech Synthesis, Linguistic Analysis, Education, Marketing, and Science Writing.
Learners interested in Cognitive Science courses offered through Coursera can enjoy a multidisciplinary approach to the subject. Cognitive Science courses are taught in tandem with Philosophy, Psychology, Neurobiology, Computational Neuroscience, and even Consumer Behavior, among others.
Learners can explore topics at the juncture between Philosophy and the Cognitive Science; how our brains process spatial information; different cognitive abilities such as memory, learning, attention, perception, and consciousness; basic brain mechanisms in consumer choice; and more.
The skills and experiences you may need to already have to learn cognitive science could include the broad ability to think critically and to problem-solve. In addition, it can help you better understand cognitive science if you have some experience studying or working in the fields of biology, psychology, computer science, neuroscience, linguistics, math, anthropology, and philosophy. Knowing about brain-imaging techniques, such as functional MRI or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), may give you some important skills needed for learning cognitive science. You may already have some of the experience necessary to learn cognitive science if you have worked in the fields of health care, business, law, psychology, or education because you likely need to understand how people think and make decisions. In addition, if you have a basic knowledge of computational neuroscience, artificial neural networks, and reinforcement learning, you may have some advanced experience that could be helpful when learning cognitive science.
The kind of people who are best suited for roles in cognitive science want to understand the evolution of the human mind, the nature of consciousness, and how the nervous system works to drive people to think, behave, make decisions, or communicate in specific ways. People well suited to work in roles in the cognitive science field want to understand the deeper intricacies of how the brain processes information. They want to understand how memory, language, reasoning, attention, and motor control affect the ability to communicate and learn from the world.
Learning cognitive science may be right for you if you wonder what motivates others to behave in certain ways or how artificial intelligence (AI) works to predict certain human behaviors. You may benefit from learning cognitive science if you're interested in jobs in education, health care and medical research, marketing, AI, or software development. If you are interested in the growing area of the scientific research of neurobiology, learning cognitive science may be right for you. Also, if you want to understand the growing importance of connections between the human mind and AI, then you may benefit from learning about cognitive science. In addition, someone who is interested in the field of neuroeconomics, or the study of how people make decisions or help others decide, may be the right type of person to learn cognitive science.