Friday, September 23, 2011

Cognitive Science and Graphic Design

Here's a response to some of your comments.

Some people might hear my double majors and think they're like oil and water (usually that comes after asking what cog sci is). What can I hope to accomplish with both of these, and do they connect or even overlap?

Yes, they can! For my cog sci classes I have taken a liking to creating artwork that complements my research papers, with topics such as prosopagnosia and mirror neurons. Prosopagnosia is a favorite topic of mine, as it deals with the mental as well as the aesthetic. When I took Cog166 we mentioned the gestalt principles, where the whole is more than the sum of its parts, while I also heard of them in the aesthetic sense in my art class. In art as well I have begun to think of it more cerebrally, more of how it can be interpreted by others and the world.

As to how these two fields can combine, there are actually a few answers. With the classes I take for cog sci, I can be a developer (or designer) of applications to help mentally impaired learn. I can create websites that people can understand. I can help in the visual realm, by learning what humans see when they see an image and the symbols that can be used to speak to my audience.

What I have found to bring the two together is another line of work, human-computer interaction. Our graduate HCI program is designed to teach us not only why our technology works for us, but how we can design it better. To me, nothing seems to bring my fields together better than studying usability and design, since the two ought to go hand in hand, and in this program they do.

So see what's out there. You may think that whatever your major is, cognitive science can't possibly benefit you. Cognitive science is all that we are; how can that not help?

1 comment:

  1. I really admire that you were able to connect two very different majors and find possible careers that you could pursue. Were you ever worried that you would be unable to find a career that involved both majors?