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Cognitive Science: An Introduction to the Science of the Mind Paperback – August 12, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0521708371 ISBN-10: 0521708370 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 516 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (August 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521708370
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521708371
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #507,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The text is engaging, well-crafted for an undergraduate audience, and is sure to inspire a generation of students."
--Michael J. Spivey, University of California, Merced


"This book is the most carefully written, thorough, up-to-date, and accessible single-author textbook on the theoretical issues of cognitive science I have read."
--John Douard, Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University


"Bermudez presents here an approachable story of an integrated cognitive science that may well succeed where others have failed - defining the goals and ambitions of what an introductory course in cognitive science should try to do."
--Anthony Beavers, Philosophy and Cognitive Science, University of Evansville, Philosophical Psychology


"This book's breadth and depth of coverage is truly impressive. Bermudez explicates the science of the mind in a sophisticated yet understandable fashion, from its traditional roots in symbol processing to exciting new advances in dynamic, embodied, and situated cognition."
--Rob Goldstone, Professor of Psychology and Director, Cognitive Science Program, Indiana University


"The Bermudez text represents an accessible and thoughtful introduction to cognitive science."
--Karl Haberlandt, Professor of Psychology, Trinity College, Connecticut


"....The author does a good job reminding the reader why particular material is presented.... The author has a nice touch for providing just enough detail for the reader to understand examples.... The pedagogical aids are well designed in Cognitive Science.... Each chapter includes a brief summary and a checklist.... students will appreciate the brevity of the checklists, which are simply numbered lists of key points.... Bermúdez paints a coherent picture of the field and leaves us hopeful that we can actually understand something about the mind."
- David S. Kreiner, PsycCRITIQUES


"...The book does an admirable job of tackling its dual role as both text-book and monograph.... Bermúdez's book is an outstanding work; it will prove to be of benefit to both students and their teachers and it makes many important contributions to several ongoing debates.
-Dr. Joel Walmsely, University College Cork, Ireland, Teorema


"...The book presents the main historical milestones of cognitive science and their particular methods, always with the aim to elucidate the connections and links between the different procedures and the whole project of understanding the mind from an information-processing point of view.... the book is highly pedagogical in the sense of preparing the reader with an overview, conveying the main discussion clearly and finally summarizing the main points. Another virtue of the book is the fact that the author indicates many internet recourses that the reader can use to continue her studies.... demonstrates how a philosopher could organize and make sense of many different ideas coming from very different domains.... it succeeds in providing a truly interdisciplinary overview that a specialized cognitive scientist could hardly supply; it is remarkable how Bermúdez moves from psychology to neuroscience, and then to robotics, mathematics or philosophy, demonstrating his general expertise in all these areas and proving to be a real cognitive scientist. This is an enlightening book which can be read with profit by all people interested in the scientific study of the mind...."
-Santiago Arango Muñoz, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Metapsychology

Book Description

Cognitive science is at last treated as a unified subject in this exciting textbook. Students are introduced to the techniques and main theoretical models of the cognitive scientist's toolkit, and shown how this vibrant science is applied to unlock the mysteries of the human mind.

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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By whiteelephant on August 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
Cognitive Science is supposed to be an interdisciplinary field, drawing from developments in psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, and computer science. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, the people calling themselves cognitive scientists began to distance themselves from developments in these fields, seemingly only listening in for tidbits that they wanted to hear (e.g. Marr's three levels of analysis). To be sure, 'cognitive science' was still developing, just increasingly under the names 'cognitive neuroscience', 'systems neuroscience', and 'cognitive psychology'. Just as early cognitive science took inspiration from the nascent field of artificial intelligence, today's fields take inspiration from modern work in machine learning, a far more powerful and successful descendent of good-old fashioned AI.

The 'cognitive scientists' just haven't kept up. That is evident in this new book by Bermudez (2010). Frankly, with the exception of some basic coverage of dynamical systems in the final chapter (entitled 'Looking Ahead'), the book feels like it could have been written twenty years ago. The debate about symbolic processing vs. connectionism is straight out of 80s, and fails to take into consideration the major developments in machine learning architectures since then, especially the shift from training networks via backpropagation to deep generative architectures (e.g. the work of Hinton and colleagues). Similarly, while there is much discussion about Marr's view of vision (1982), it isn't mentioned that this view was more or less rejected by neuroscientists in the 1990s, and our current view of vision is founded on generative models and Bayesian inference.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Protopapas on December 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
Here is the conclusion of my review of this book for the journal MetaScience:

Overall, this is a superb introductory textbook. It would be possible, but hardly constructive, for anyone to criticize the selection of topics that were presented or left out. Bermúdez has cherry-picked theoretical topics, experimental findings, and methodological approaches, to put together a coherent and all-encompassing view of a unified science of the mind for the newcomer. In my opinion, there is nothing really crucial that isn't adequately presented. The prose is admirably fluid, the content is clear, and the stated intentions of the author seem well served. I am not entirely convinced that unsuspecting freshmen or sophomores will be able to get as much out of a course based on this book as it can offer, although this would depend largely on the general level of individual institutions. I am certain that this book can open up new worlds for juniors with previous exposure to empirical sciences and developed critical thinking skills, showing that the study of the mind lies along a continuum with the rest of the physical sciences, as a distinct level of analysis on top of neuroscience qua biology, rather than in some domain of unsubstantiated verbosity and conceptual confusion coming out of armchair theorizing, as certain approaches to psychology are sometimes perceived. In this respect, the book does inestimable service to the future of cognitive science by exposing future researchers to clear thinking in the application of multidisciplinary methods to intriguing questions about the structure and function of the mind.

The book is also well designed from a pedagogical point of view, providing many useful devices for study and integration.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kotoschov on April 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is, by far, the best introduction to cognitive science available. Assuming no prior knowledge, this book encompasses all sub-areas of this field, and discusses many of the major problems related to overall cognition, this book is clear, awesome in its designed, accessible and what not. Fantastic.
It has, though, some unignoreable drawbacks. First, its organization is problematic. I am still unsure as to the coherence of the chapters and the ways they relate to each other. Additionally it is lacks many important scientific and computational details. Of course, it's just an introduction, but still I think it should have included more references to brain imaging studies, linguistic theory and algorithmic for cognitive modelling. Last thing, the references to cognitive models in the symbolic systems approach are much less common than references to any other kind of cognitive models. I do not agree with this, because I believe that cognitive models in the sybolic systems approach are the most theoretically crucial models in cognitive science.

Why? Non-computational models lack operative aspects; they pay almost no attention to questions of "How cognitive processes are executed? What are the algorithmic steps taken by the brain?". Computationl models which are not in the symbolic systems approach are problematic for yet abother reason. Their focus is statistical and very mathematical, and therefore they tend to be so precise that they provide no insight into the cognitive procedure. More concretely, if you have a connectionist model of some brain region, it provides you with knowledge of the brain region's electronic signals, but not with knowledge about the higher-level abstract actions commited by this region. As cognitive scientists, we are interested in the regularity that's behind cognitive processes, but connectionist models don't explain why some regularity R is as it is; they only create a system that produces R.
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