Cognitive science refers to the interdisciplinary study of the acquisition
and use of knowledge. It includes as contributing disciplines: artificial
intelligence, psychology, linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, neuroscience,
and education. The cognitive science movement is far reaching and diverse,
containing within it several viewpoints.
Cognitive science grew out of three developments: the invention of computers
and the attempts to design programs that could do the kinds of tasks that humans
do; the development of information processing psychology where the goal was to
specify the internal processing involved in perception, language, memory, and
thought; and the development of the theory of generative grammar and related
offshoots in linguistics. Cognitive science was a synthesis concerned with the
kinds of knowledge that underlie human cognition, the details of human cognitive
processing, and the computational modeling of those processes.
(Eysenck, M.W. The Blackwell Dictionary of Cognitive Psychology.)