Cognitive Science is the modern science of the mind. Cognition derives from the Latin verb cognoscere, which means “get to know”. This means that cognition focuses on knowledge, albeit not as a static substance or “thing”, but as a process. More generally, when we speak about cognition we are focusing on the mind as an information processor, i.e. a system that acquires, uses and transforms information. As such, the science of cognition typically studies issues such as the following: Knowledge – What is knowledge? – How is knowledge organized or structured? – What are true (good) and false (bad) knowledge? Perception and learning – How do we acquire new knowledge? – How do we interpret incoming information? – What are perception, learning, and discovery? – What is the difference between knowledge and memory? Intelligence – How do we use knowledge? – How do we solve problems, make decisions, and plan actions? More generally, we can say that cognition investigates the functioning of the brain at the higher level. It is not so much interested in the details of neurophysiology or brain anatomy, although it may draw inspiration from them if they illuminate higher order mechanisms. It rather focuses on the function of the brain and its components: what, how and why does it do?
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