New Bulgarian University > Center for Cognitive Science > Mission Statement

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Center is to become an important European research center for cognitive science and a stimulating and challenging educational and research environment which will prepare cognitive scientists primarily, but not exclusively, for the region of Central and Eastern Europe at a level that meets international standards. It is designed to promote interaction among cognitive scientists across the region, to develop close relations among the cognitive science groups in all countries in the region and to assist them in their development.

Our goal is nothing less than to characterize the mechanisms underlying human cognition in domains that range from perception to creativity and consciousness, and that include imagery, learning, memory, language processing, reasoning, problem solving, decision-making, and cognitive development and to understand the neural underpinnings of cognition. We would also like to learn how these cognitive mechanisms are involved in and influenced by emotions, social interactions, culture, education, and physical environment. Moreover, we are interested in applying these findings to education (developing new learning methods), industrial design and human-computer interaction (making them more human friendly), business (developing learning organisations which facilitate knowledge management), medicine (facilitating diagnoses and treatment of brain damaged patients) as well as to solve new problems in the developing global information society.

Cognitive research draws on a variety of empirical and theoretical methods and their integration. Empirical methods include controled lab experiments based on human response and response times, neuropsysiological measurments of brain activity, protocol and discourse analysis, longitudual studies and habituation techniques. The studies involve a variety of populations, including adults and children, experts and novices in particular content domains, monolinguals and bilinguals, and neuropsychological patients, such as those with visual agnosia, aphasia, or amnesia. The theoretical work involves computational, linguistic, and philosophical analysis and very often involves computer simulation, drawing on both symbolic and connectionist computational approaches.

Aims: