This Area's goal is to produce cognitive psychologists who combine general scholarship with sophistication in research design, theory formulation, experimental and computational methods, and scientific communication. The cognitive program at UCLA is designed to ensure exposure to the content and methods deemed essential for all cognitive psychologists, and to provide the opportunity for exposure to additional knowledge and research tools required for specialized professional positions.
The scope of the study of cognition at UCLA is broad, encompassing perception, the control of attention and motor responses, the formation of mental representations, the dynamics of memory retrieval, learning, cognitive development and cognitive breakdown, the mechanisms of reasoning, language, and problem solving. The range of methodological approaches is broad as well. Efforts to formulate computational models of cognitive processes are combined with empirical research and with efforts to specify the neurophysiological underpinnings of cognition. There are applied research opportunities as well in areas such as human-factors engineering, medical technology, education, psychology and the law, and learning/language disabilities.
Modern cognitive psychology is increasingly merging with the broader fields of cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience, which draw together researchers from a variety of disciplines concerned with the study of mind, brain, and intelligence. UCLA has established programs in cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience that sponsor colloquia, seminars, and interdisciplinary research. UCLA is unique in the breadth and depth of its cognitive programs, which draw upon upwards of 40 faculty from such disciplines as cognitive, developmental, and physiological psychology, along with neuroscience, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and philosophy. Each of the major departments involved are among the most highly rated in the country.
The general facilities and resources at UCLA are outstanding. There are few universities with more extensive central libraries, computing facilities, and brain imaging equipment. Overall, the faculty and resources available in the Cognitive Psychology program at UCLA are among the best in the world.