Cognitive scientists study thinking in humans, animals, and machines. Carleton’s Ph.D. program in cognitive science is an integrated degree that is unique in Canada, and one of only a few in the world that trains researchers to consider the tools and approaches of related disciplines such as: psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, linguistics, and cognitive neuroscience. With more than twenty participating faculty from many fields, the B.Cog.Sc., M.Cog.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in cognitive science produce scholars with broad perspectives on cognition, with skills from experimental testing to computer programming. Our graduates are prepared for research jobs in academia, the government, and industry that require multiple tools and broad skill sets to understand the most complex of entities: minds.
Carleton University offers the first dedicated, fully structured Ph.D. program in Cognitive Science in Canada. We have an innovative program that is keeping pace with the rapid changes and exciting developments in the cognitive science community.
The Master of Cognitive Science program admitted the first cohort of students in September 2010. Students from a broad range of disciplines learn about cognition and methods for studying cognition in an intensive and collaborative interdisciplinary environment.
We also offer one of the few undergraduate Cognitive Science degrees available in Canada. The B.Cog.Sc. (Hons) degree in Cognitive Science is an interdisciplinary program that is centred in the Institute of Cognitive Science. The degree program is intended for students who are interested in cognitive processing – of humans, animals, and machines.
- For information on this program, consult our brochure.
- For a detailed overview and answer to the question, check out: “What is cognitive science?”.
The PBD in Cognitive Science is a brand new program for 2016-2017. It was designed for students who already have an undergraduate degree but want to learn about cognitive science and gain research experience in the field. The program consists of the equivalent of 4.0 credits (8 one-term courses). Students take advanced courses (third- and fourth-year courses) that are required in the B.Cog.Sc. degree.
The Institute of Cognitive Science currently occupies the top floor of the 22-storey Dunton Tower.
In January 2007, the V-Sim building, house of the new Centre for Applied Cognitive Research, was opened. Fifth floor of this new building will accommodate the Cognitive Science computer lab, the Cognitive Modeling Lab, and a wealth of interdisciplinary research facilities.
Laboratory facilities are available for three kinds of activities:
- Experimental investigations into the psychological aspects of linguistic, cognitive, perceptual, memory, and attentional processes.
- Empirical research on linguistic phenomena.
- Computational research exploring artificial cognitive systems.
For experimental investigations into cognitive processes, students in the programme will have available the laboratories of the members of the Cognitive Science core faculty whose disciplinary appointment is in Psychology. This includes the Aviation and Cognitive Engineering lab, the Math Cognition Lab, the Speech Lab, the Cognitive Modelling Lab, and the Cognitive Development Lab, and the Language and Brain Lab.
For research into language, students will have available both the facilities of the Department of Linguistics at Carleton, including sound booths, facilities for videotaping, and experiment rooms, and the excellent facilities in Linguistics at the University of Ottawa, including equipment for acoustic analysis, articulatory analysis, and psycholinguistic research.
Research requiring significant computational power is done in the School of Computing Science’s Intelligent Systems Lab, or in Dr. West’s Cognitive Modeling Lab. This provides easy access to a number of high-speed machines for running computational simulations as well as a video editing suite for creating stimuli for experiments.
Students also have access to Carleton’s central academic computer facilities. In total, there are 30 computer labs in 10 different buildings across campus. CCS Managed Services has an extensive array of software, including word processing, statistical, and web development packages. Printing, laptop loans, and wireless services are also available on-campus.
A Brief History
Cognitive Science became a self-identified research programme with its own Society and Journal in the late 1970s. By the late 1980s, teaching and research programmes were becoming fairly common in the United States and England. The very well-known UCSD programme began, for example, in 1987. Interest in this interdisciplinary study of the mind and the brain was increasing dramatically.