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Department of Cognitive Science records

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-04-280

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The records of the Department of Cognitive Science, ranging in date from 1975 to 1990, consist of materials assembled by Alfonso Caramazza, Director. Most of these records date from before 1983 and document attempts by faculty to promote studies in cognitive science. The record group is divided into two series: (1) Departmental Records, 1983-1989, and (2) Reports, 1975-1990. Because the Cognitive Science Center only became the Department of Cognitive Science, and thus began offering classes, in 1990, there are no records relating to instructional aspects of cognitive science.


  • Creation: 1975-1990


Use Restrictions

Administrative Records in series 1 are restricted for twenty-five years from their date of creation. For details, see Regulations Governing Access to Restricted Records, at the front of each binder.


The Department of Cognitive Science began as the Cognitive Science Center in July 1987. Studies in cognitive science were already being done in other departments, including psychology, philosophy, biophysics, and computer science. In March 1985, Alfonso Caramazza, Professor of Psychology, and Shin Lin, Professor of Biophysics, recommended to the president that an institute be created for the study of the brain and cognition. They proposed to build two centers, one for neuroscience and one for cognitive science, which would be integrated at a later time.

The center for neuroscience became the Mind/Brain Institute, for which the Homewood Committee made a proposal in December 1985. The committee wrote that the Mind/Brain Institute would "facilitate the synthesis and integration" of studies of mind and brain which were already being done in other disciplines, and foster more interdisciplinary research and training programs. The Mind/Brain Institute would employ neuroscientists, who study the physical parts of the body, the nervous system, its cellular and molecular properties, and electrical and chemical mechanisms of neurons.

In contrast with neuroscience, cognitive scientists study the structure and content of intelligent processes independent of the physical parts of the body in which they take place. The Cognitive Science Center was formed to study how organisms (especially humans) represent, use, manipulate, and acquire information. In their January 1987 proposal for the Cognitive Science Center, Alfonso Caramazza, David Olton, Joseph O'Rourke, Terrence Sejnowski, and George Wilson recommended that the Center's faculty be drawn from among members of current departments at Homewood and at the School of Medicine: Psychology, Neurology, Philosophy, Biophysics, and Neuroscience. The Center would also promote a new discipline, Artificial Intelligence. The Center began offering courses leading to the BA and PhD in 1990, and in the same year became the Department of Cognitive Science. The faculty of the department are currently:

Alfonso Caramazza, Professor and Director
Stephen R. Anderson, Professor
Michael E. McCloskey, Professor
Luigi Burzio, Visiting Associate Professor
William Badecker, Associate Research Scientist and Assistant Professor
Howard Egeth, Professor (joint appt. with Psychology)
Simon Kasif, Assistant Professor (joint appt. with Computer Science)
Guy McKhann (joint appt. with Neurology, Neuroscience, and Director of Mind/Brain Institute)
Steven Salzberg, Assistant Professor (joint appt. with Computer Science)
George Wilson, Professor (joint appt. with Philosophy)
Steven Yantis, Assistant Professor (joint appt. with Psychology)


1.9 Cubic Feet (5 letter size document boxes)

Language of Materials



These records were transferred by Kathy Yantis, Administrative Assistant, Department of Cognitive Science.

Accession Number


Processing Information

Findign aid prepared by Aravinda Pillalamarri.

Department of Cognitive Science records
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA