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P3: Cognition

Human – Technology – Interaction


Prof. Dr. Kai-Uwe Kühnberger
Institute of Cognitive Science

Cognition and cognitive science methodologies will significantly influence the public discussion in the nearer future in both, the scientific research endeavors themselves and their application in economically important high tech areas. Not only fundamental questions of our very own, i.e. human self-understanding are raised, but cognitive technologies are also the tools that are connected with considerable economic potentials and opportunities. This can be adumbrated by the current paradigm shift from conventional IT to cognitive technologies, cognitive computing, and cognitive services.

The Institute of Cognitive Science together with parts of the Institute of Computer Science, the Institute of Psychology, Information management, biology, virtUOS, and the research unit “Cognition and Poetics” is optimally prepared in order to be sustainably nationally and internationally visible in basic research and numerous economically important applications. Examples of central research questions of the profile area and their closer disciplinary and social embedding are:

  • How does the brain work? Basic research in neuroscience and reference to medical applications
  • How can cognition be understood and explained? Classical approaches of cognitive psychology
  • How will we learn in the future? Next-generation e-learning systems for all education sectors
  • How will we interact with machines and computer programs in the future? New ways of communicating with machines
  • How will our life look in the future? Computer support for humans in all areas of life
  • What connects cognition and poetics? New impetus for cognitive and human sciences

In addition to these research questions, there are numerous practical and economically relevant applications in the field of the interplay and the integration of big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, interface design, and cognitive modeling. Due to the established international Bachelor, Master, and PhD study programs in Cognitive Science, Osnabrück is ideally positioned to continue to ensure a steady output of highly qualified graduates. The Institute of Cognitive Science (IKW) as the nucleus of the profile area has both, the disciplinary diversity and the excellent international reputation as well as the necessary methodological breadth to form a solid foundation for this profile area.

The scientific excellence of the profile area can be documented by impressive figures: more than 10 million Euros have been acquired between 2012 and 2014 by third-party sponsors of the three primarily involved institutes (IKW, Psychology, Computer Science), members of the profile area are involved in a whole series of collaborative projects, such as, for example, a SFB participation, two SPP participations, a research training network participation, six EU project participations, four BMBF project participations, and four MWK project participations. There are also a number of cooperation projects with companies such as Deutsche Telekom, Harting, IBM, Elster-Kromschröder, and Berghof.