What is human cognition?
As cognitive science students all know or will soon find out, said science has applications in an aptitude of domains ranging from age-old philosophy to ultra-sophisticated computer science. It is a science that is slowly revealing the interconnectedness between previously thought un-intersected disciplines. Metaphorically put, cognitive science debunks the notion that the mind, typically associated with processing the tangible, functions independently from the heart, often associated with the intangible. The study of human cognition narrows the scope to these two primary human functions and investigates their implications with psychology, learning, memory, attention, communication, and behavior. The focus, however, is identifying the physical neurobiological process that orchestrates and governs each of these arguably para-physical cognitive phenomenon. Human cognition is the neurological equivalent of relativity and quantum mechanics in physics. Mass and energy, seemingly independent, are quantized the same way at the subatomic level.
At UCSD, the undergraduate Department of Cognitive Science offers a bachelors-of-arts degree in cognitive science; with 5 areas of specialization available for the bachelors-of-science degree. These specializations are clinical aspects of cognition, computation, human-computer interaction, neuroscience, and of course, human cognition.
The curriculum for each of these specialization vary only slightly to put emphasis on the area of focus, though the fundamental aspects of cognition is regardlessly well-incorporated. The department offers the 107 core sequence for study of the brain, the 101, 102 core sequence for the study of behavior, and the 109, 118A, and 118B core sequences for the study of computation.
Aside from the curriculum, UCSD has featured researches that investigate topics from language impairment to HIV drug-resistance. The study of cognitive science has potentials beyond, nonetheless including understanding the brain in respect to humans. When one problem is understood, it enlightens a motivation for a solution, and the solution can come from a spectrum of domains due to nature of the brain. The progress is exponential. Now, wouldn’t you agree that most implications originate from the brain? I challenge you to present a real life problem that does not. It takes a while to think of one doesn’t it? And even if it is not immediately caused by your brain, solving the problem can be done with a little shift in brain chemistry (cheers). Can it not?