Founded at the University of Colorado Boulder in 1968, the Institute of Cognitive Science conducts research to identify and address key questions in cognitive science, building on our expertise in cognitive neuroscience and artificial intelligence. Recent research efforts have contributed both basic and applied knowledge in cognitive development, brain health and wellness, cognitive modeling, emotion detection and processing, education and training, educational technology, and speech and language processing. The Institute operates in partnership with nine academic departments: Psychology and Neuroscience, Computer Science, Linguistics, Education, Philosophy, Integrative Physiology, Architecture and Planning, Information Science, and Speech, Hearing and Language Science (SLHS). The Institute's community is broad and intellectually diverse, encompassing nearly 240 faculty, students, staff and other research personnel, many from our partner departments and other units. 

The Institute of Cognitive Science research has focused in (but not limited to) three main areas in the past several years:

  • Learning and Education: Theories, interventions, and innovative applications supportinghuman learning, sometimes augmented by artificial intelligence and machine learning, across a wide variety of learning and working environments
  • Brain Health and Wellness: Basic and applied research on the neural basis of emotions, pain, and addiction, combined with the development of innovative frameworks and applications supporting new wellness therapies and interventions
  • Cognition and Development: Basic and applied research into adolescent brain development, language processing, and decision-making

Increasingly, data-intensive research methods involving large quantities of data and/or multimodal data (brain, physiology, speech/text, performance) are used, which provides rich opportunities to build on and expand the research capacity in machine learning, natural language processing, and other computational methods.

ICS research is carried out by faculty and students in individual labs, interdisciplinary project teams, and through five interdisciplinary research centers hosted by the Institute.