CogniFit's Science blog: Research Methods Connected With Cognitive Science

Research Methods Connected With Cognitive Science

In the simplest terms, cognitive science consists of the interdisciplinary study of the mind and its processes. It evaluates just what cognition is, what it does and how it essentially works. What you will find is a plethora of different methodologies that are used to study this form of science.

Overall, research tends to cut across multiple areas of study including psychology, neuroscience and computer science.

The first field to look at with cognitive science is the vast amount of behavioral experiments that are continuously conducted. The only way to understand what constitutes intelligent behavior is to study it. Cognitive psychology and psychophysics is ideally where research lies within this area.

Measuring and identifying behavioral responses to different stimuli can help us understand something behind stimuli and how they are processed. For example scientists are looking at various behavioral traces, observations and choices to see how we select between options. This included everything from reaction time to psychophysical responses to eye tracking.

The next area of research for cognitive science rests within brain imaging. This involves analyzing activity within the brain as it performs various cognitive tasks. It can ultimately help us link behavior and brain function to narrow in on how information is processed.

There are a vast number of imaging techniques that can be used within cognitive neuroscience. Some include single photon emission computed tomography, electroencephalography, optical imaging and functional magnetic resonance imaging. Each paves the way toward what we now know about the brain and what it is capable of processing.

Another research method worth discussing with cognitive science is computational modeling. This requires a great deal of mathematically and logically formal representation of a problem. Computer models are used to the fullest in order to simulate and experiment the verification of different properties of intelligence.

The basis behind this is to help us understand the functional organization of a specific cognitive phenomenon. The two approaches to cognitive modeling include an abstract mental function of an intelligent mind and one that follows the neural and associative properties of the brain.

It is obvious how in-depth and complex the human brain is. Every minute portion is responsible for something that greatly affects and impacts our daily lives. Cognitive science takes in what we already know about the brain and what we are continuing to identify. And with each of the research methods available to date, more and more information is continuously evolving and letting us improve our brain training programs.