The Society


The Cognitive Science Society brings together researchers from around the world who hold a common goal: understanding the nature of the human mind. The mission of the Society is to promote Cognitive Science as a discipline, and to foster scientific interchange among researchers in various areas of study, including Artificial Intelligence, Linguistics, Anthropology, Psychology, Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Education. The Society is a non-profit professional organization and its activities include sponsoring an annual conference and publishing the journals Cognitive Science and TopiCS.


The Society was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit professional organization in Massachusetts in 1979. The organizing committee included Roger Schank, Allan Collins, Donald Norman, and a number of other scholars from psychology, linguistics, computer science, and philosophy.

The first conference on cognitive science was held at LaJolla, California in August, 1979, and has occurred annually since then. The proceedings of each conference are published, and those from most years are available through Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. The annual proceedings of the Cognitive Science Conference represent a major source of information on new work and new ideas in the scientific study of thinking. In 1990, the Society, with help from an anonymous donor, established the David Marr Prize for the best student paper at each annual meeting.

The Journal, Cognitive Science, began publication in 1976, and is now published by Wiley-Blackwell. The Executive Editor is currently Richard P. Cooper of Birkbeck, University of London, and there are 18 Associate Editors and a 30-member editorial board. It serves as the premier outlet for research reports that intersect two or more disciplines. Copyrights for articles published in the journal are held by the Society. The Governing Board of the Cognitive Science Society voted in late 2006 to found a new journal, Topics in Cognitive Science (topiCS). The Editor in Chief is Wayne Gray, Cognitive Science Department, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The journal seeks to fill a niche not occupied by Cognitive Science Journal or other cognitive science journals. Membership in the Society includes a subscription to Cognitive Science and TopiCS. Copyrights for articles published in the journal are held by the Society.

Historical information may  be found via a search in the Massachusetts registry.


The Society has a 12-member Board of Governors elected by the membership, and the board annually elects a Chair. The Society is also a member of the Federation of Associations in Brain & Behavioral Sciences. This group of professional scientific organizations promotes research and funding in cognitive science. Further information is available at their web site: Federation of Associations in Brain & Behavioral Sciences


The society currently has over 1,500 members, including a significant number from other countries. To be eligible for membership, one must be qualified to conduct research in Cognitive Science beyond the dissertation (or have equivalent experience). First-time applicants should provide a short curriculum vitae including publications and experience. Current graduate students are eligible for a special student membership rate. Applicants for student membership must include proof of current enrollment in a graduate or undergraduate program, or a letter from a faculty member.

In the United States, membership dues or other donations to the society may be allowable tax deductions as contributions to non-profit organizations. In the United Kingdom, the society has been approved by the Board of Inland Revenue under Section 201 Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988, with effect from 6 April 1998, for income tax relief in respect of annual membership subscriptions.


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