What is Cognitive Science

Accidental Cognitive Science, or: "How I learned to stop worrying and love cognition"

Dr. Alan Daniel

Thursday, October 22, 2009, 12:00pm - 07:00pm

Rutgers University, Center for Cognitive Science Department

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This is the story of a researcher setting out to investigate emotional phenomena, and ending up exploring a purely cognitive aspect of it. The opioid system, notorious for its involvement in physical pain, is also involved in surprising reward loss situations (referred to by some as "psychological pain"). Theories designed to explain the affective reaction to reward loss differentiate between purely cognitive inputs, (i.e., comparisons of incentive values), and the affective output (i.e., frustrative response). A series of pharmacological experiments were designed to test whether the opioid involvement in reward loss situations is specific to the comparison between expected and received rewards (cognition), the hedonic output of this comparison (emotion), or the acquisition of an expectation of the emotional reaction (memory).

Key words: affect, incentive value, cognition, hedonic values, opioids, pharmacology, pain, memory

Dr. Alan Daniel

"What is Cognitive Science?"

This lunchtime talks series is designed to introduce the University community to issues in Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science is one the the few fields where modern developments in computer science and artificial intelligence promise to shed light on classical problems in psychology and the philosophy of the mind. Ancient questions of how we see the world, understand language, and reason, and questions such as 'how a material system can know about the outside world', are being explored with the powerful new conceptual prosthetics of computer modeling.

The talks in this lunchtime lecture series are every Thursday during the Fall semester from ** 12:00-1:00 ** in the Psychology Building, Room 101 on  Busch Campus.

Note: Talks are also announced by email (with reminders sent the day of the talk) to people who have requested to be placed on our announce list. If you would like to be added to our announce list, please email the Business Office (business_manager@ruccs.rutgers.edu).