The mission of the Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS) at CU-Boulder is to understand and enhance human cognition, learning, and development through the creation of interdisciplinary partnerships. 

ICS fosters rich scientific interchange across researchers from a broad range of disciplines including Artificial Intelligence, Linguistics, Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Philosophy, and Education.

ICS houses three research centers, the Center for Research on Training (CRT), the Intermountain Neuroimaging Consortium (INC), and CU Center for Research and Education Addressing Cannabinoids and Health (CU REACH). The research centers are formally acknowledged units within the university administrative structure. In addition, ICS houses individual ICS faculty member laboratories and collaborative projects called inquiryHub and NSF National AI Institute for Student-AI Teaming.

ICS offers combined PhD programs and graduate and undergraduate certificate programs. The ICS graduate programs are designed to supplement existing graduate programs in nine participating departments, but not limited to students from those departments. Currently two combined Ph.D.s and two graduate certificate programs are available. An undergraduate certificate program is also offered to interested students. 

ICS is housed in two locations: the research offices and laboratories are located in the Center for Innovation and Creativity (CINC) on the East campus of CU Boulder, and the administrative offices are located on the main campus on the fourth floor in the Muenzinger building. ICS has over 16,000 square feet at the CINC facility that includes faculty and student offices and laboratories for experiments, meeting spaces, and equipment rooms, .

In addition, the ICS faculty holds appointments in academic departments beyond the Institute, for example, Psychology & Neuroscience, Philosophy, Computer Science, Education, Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Architecture and Planning, Linguistics and more, with access to the research and educational facilities of these departments as well as other resources within the Institute's administrative structure. More>>

The origins of the current Institute of Cognitive Science began at CU Boulder in 1968 with the founding of the Institute for the Study of Intellectual Behavior, ISIB. ISIB was formed by several psychology faculty who were following the new trend of cognitive psychology. Professor Bill Battig was its long time Director. Late in 1979, a group of internationally known cognitive psychologists met and the result of that gathering was the charge to form the Cognitive Science Society. Around 1982 ISIB evolved into the Institute of Cognitive Science with Professor Lyle Bourne as Director, immediately followed by the long tenure of Professor Walter Kintsch who remained the Director until 2005. In the ensuing years, ICS grew to embrace scholars from several different departments who were interested in interdisciplinary research in the cognitive sciences. The initial participating departments in addition to psychology were computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and the School of Education.

The Institute became the first institute or department in any higher education institution in Colorado to offer a combined Ph.D. in Cognitive Science and one of the participating departments. Other departments have been added to include Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Architectural Planning, Integrative Physiology, and Information Science. This program has served as a model for several other interdisciplinary combined Ph.D. programs in ensuing years. In 2005 under the leadership of Professor Marie Banich as Director, ICS expanded to include Cognitive Neuroscience and hosts the Rocky Mountain region’s premiere state of the art neuroimaging facility. Since 2016 Professor Tamara Sumner has served as the Director.

To contact the Institute of Cognitive Science: 

Call 303-492-5063
Fax 303-492-7177
Write The Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Colorado Boulder, 344 UCB, Boulder, CO  80309-0344