Where Cognitive Science Originated

Where Cognitive Science Originated

Cognitive science, in the study of how organisms process information as well carry out life functions. The study of Cognitive science is said to have been originated in the 1940’s and 1950’s when researchers in various fields of science began to develop theories on the mind based on “complex representations and computational procedures” (Thagard, Cognitive Science). There are numerous branches of science whose theories contributed to the development of Coginitive Science. These subdivisions include cybernetics, theoretical computer science, linguistics, experimental pyschology, and neuroscience.

Cybernetics, a term used by Norbert Wiener is the study of control and communication in animals as well as machines (Lu, Definition of Cognitive Science). Some key events that took place in the 1940’s and 50’s within the branch of cybernetics that contributed to the advancement of Cognitive Science were two article’s, “Behavior, Purpose and Teleology” by Arturo Rosenblueth, Norbert Wiener, and Julian Bigelow and “A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity” by Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts both published in 1943. These articles discussed regulatory processes.

These articles stimulated conferences about Circular Causal and Feedback Mechanisms in Biological and Social Systems and took place between the years of 1944 and 1953. To many, one of the most important events in the development of Cognitive science took place in 1948. This was the year that Norbert Wiener published his book “Cybernetics” (Jogasurya, Origin of Cybernetics). Alan Turning was an english mathematician heavily involved in the development of theoretical Computer Science. In 1936, Turing invented what is known as the Turing machine.

A Turing machine is hypothetical device that represents how computation is done. All computational processes can be abstractly described using a Turing machine. Linguistics is the scientific study of language. Before the 1950’s, linguistics was broken down into two main catagories, historical linguistics and structural liguistics. Noam Chomsky, an American linguist played an important role in the development of linguistics. Chomsky founded transformational-generative grammer. Transformation-generative grammer is a highly influential system of linguistic analysis.

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