Cognitive Science is the application of scientific methods to answer two kinds of questions. First, what are the regularities that characterise the exercise of our mental capacities? Second, what are the mechanisms that are causally necessary for us to possess our mental capacities? These mental capacities range from the perceptual to the cogitative, from our capacity to see to our capacity to reason.
The Cognitive Science Laboratory at Syracuse University is interested in answering both these kinds of questions for specific capacities, with a special emphasis on categorization.
Categorization is a complicated cognitive capacity. We learn to tell all manner of categories apart from each other, and we learn to put all manner of things together into categories. Different people learn different kinds of categorical distinctions in different ways at different times. The modest goal of our interest in categorization is to develop a methodology to determine who learns what, when and how.