The Cognitive Sciences: An Interdisciplinary Approach

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SAGE, Jan 17, 2013 - Psychology - 440 pages
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The Cognitive Sciences: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Second Edition offers an engaging, thorough introduction to the cognitive sciences. Authors Carolyn Sobel and Paul Li examine the historical and contemporary issues and research findings of the core cognitive science disciplines: cognitive psychology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, linguistics, evolutionary psychology, and philosophy. For each of these core disciplines, the historical development and classic research studies are presented in one chapter and current research development and issues follow in a second chapter, offering students a broad understanding of the development of each concentration in the cognitive sciences. The text presents a student-friendly approach to understanding how each discipline has contributed to the growth of cognitive science and the implications for future research.


  • Includes a new chapter on evolutionary psychology, an important emerging field in the cognitive sciences.
  • Offers fully updated research, including subjects such as embodied cognition and extended cognition (philosophy), bilingualism indicating its wide-ranging effects on brain capabilities (linguistics), and current work in neuroplasticity (neuroscience).
  • A new image program helps illustrate new and key concepts in the text.
  • The companion website contains helpful pedagogical features to aid faculty and students.

Praise for The Cognitive Sciences, Second Edition

“I am impressed with the completeness of the text. I have suffered from some tunnel vision thinking that all cognitive science intros needed to be more thematic. The field approach of this one is a refreshing change.”

- Kenneth M. Moorman, Transylvania University

“You have a winner. It is well organized, cutting edge, theoretical, and substantive, and easy to read. The stories and contextualization of the material for the reader was the biggest strength of this text.”

- Thelon Byrd Jr., Bowie State University

“The text is clear, organized, and, overall, very well-written. In fact, it has been a pleasure to read. It should be very accessible to undergrads in an introductory cognitive science course, whether majors or not."

- Michael R. Scheessele, Indiana University South Bend


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Chapter 1 Early Approaches to the Study of Human Cognition
Chapter 2 The Approach of Cognitive Science
Chapter 3 Exploring the Brain
Chapter 4 Modern Technology and Research
Chapter 5 Setting the Stage for Artificial Intelligence
Chapter 6 The Machine Performs
Chapter 7 What Linguistics Is About
Chapter 8 The Role of Linguistics in Cognitive Science
Chapter 9 Evolutionary Psychology
Chapter 10 Philosophical Issues in Cognitive Science
Chapter 11 Who Are We?
Author Index
Subject Index

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About the author (2013)

Carolyn Sobel is Professor Emerita of Linguistics, Hofstra University, New York where she is a past Area Coordinator (equivalent of a Department Chair) in both the Social Sciences and Creative Studies areas at the University’s New College. Dr. Sobel received her BA from Swarthmore College, and her PhD in linguistics from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Given her interest in language and the brain, she ultimately found it a short step from linguistics to cognitive science, a subject she introduced to New College. She has taught courses that range from linguistics to the structure of English words and sentences and from cognitive science to poetry.

Paul Li is Lecturer in Cognitive Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Paul earned his BA in cognitive neuroscience at UC Berkeley and completed his graduate studies in neuroscience at Columbia University, New York. He has written several excerpts for Scientific American Mind and is currently conducting research in neurodegenerative diseases at the Gladstone Institute in San Francisco. He has been invited to teach at several universities, including Seoul National University and Stanford University.

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