Cognitive Science is an interdisciplinary area of study that seeks to understand the workings of the human mind. Bringing together scientific methods, techniques and perspectives from a range of disciplines – including psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, computer science and philosophy – cognitive science examines how knowledge is acquired, systematically structured and computationally processed within the brain.
As part of the Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences (MaKS) the role of our department is to examine how human experience gives rise to knowledge structures that are able to support complex behaviours such as speaking, thinking, perceiving and remembering. Understanding the nature of these knowledge structures - cracking the cognitive code - is the ultimate goal of the research we conduct.
At the University of Malta, our work focuses on a number of key areas that reflect the research interests and expertise of the resident academics. These include, human memory, philosophy of mind, decision making, use of language, and visual cognition. In addition, links to other departments in MaKS and across the University, as well as several international collaborative projects, allow us to explore the nature of knowledge structures from a wide range of other perspectives. An active programme of visiting academics also helps enhance the interdisciplinary nature of our work.
Cognitive science attracts students from many academic backgrounds, for example, computer science, communications, mathematics, statistics, economics, philosophy, linguistics, psychology and neuroscience. The key requirements are a keen interest in the mind and a willingness to develop the technical skills which are the basis of our scientific/computational approach to knowledge.
The Department offers a research-based post-graduate programme in areas of Cognitive Science including memory systems, visual perception, psycholinguistics, intuitive judgment and decision making.
A degree in cognitive science provides a broad educational base from which to pursue further academic study as well as leading to a variety of career paths in diverse areas including: communications, marketing, information processing, medical analysis, data retrieval, human-computer interaction, web design, game development, and education.
International Collaborative Projects
Scalable Measures for Automated Recognition Technologies
|The Department of Cognitive Science plays a leading role in SMART, a project being carried out by a consortium of nineteen partners supported by the European Union within the Seventh Frame Work Programme (June 2011 to May 2014; EU funding of 3.4 million Euro). Automated recognition of individuals and/or pre-determined traits or risk factors lies at the basis of smart surveillance systems. SMART examines legal and social implications of the use of smart surveillance. The department leads the part of the research programme (SMART work package 10) that is investigating people’s attitudes to surveillance and privacy, the underlying belief structures that underpin the extent to which people engage in a privacy vs security trade-off, and the factors that influence decision making processes relating to acceptance or rejection of automated surveillance systems.|
Rules, Expectations & Security through Privacy-Enhanced Convenient Technologies
|As part of the RESPECT project the Department of Cognitive Science is participating in research on the knowledge structures that motivate perceptions of usefulness, convenience, efficiency, security, economic and social cost of surveillance using CCTV, social-networks, financial transcations, and RFID. RESPECT is a project supported by the European Union within the Seventh Frame Work Programme and is conducted by a consortium of nineteen partners (February 2012 to May 2015; EU funding of 3.5 million Euro). RESPECT is investigating if the current and foreseeable implementation of Information Communication Technologies in surveillance are implemented in a way which balances a respect of individual privacy with maximising convenience, profitability, public safety and security. Where a lack of balance may exist or is perceived by citizens to exist, the project explores options for redressing the balance through a combination of privacy-enhancing technologies and operational approaches.|