Historical Map of (The) Cognitive Science(s): Update


  • This map is a macroscopic, historical, trans-disciplinary introduction to (the) cognitive science(s).
  • Moving from left to right, the map is read in a roughly historical fashion, but not literally, as we are compressing a n-dimensional  intellectual space into a two dimensional map grid.
  • Unfortunately there is no way to generate an educational map that has everyone and everything on it. As such, there is always someone who should be on the map who is not. 
  • The attempt of abstracting from reality always asks the question of (the most) relevance, in this case primarily to an beginner audience and especially students of the MEi:CogSci programme.
  • A big thank you, goes to Prof. Igor Farkas, who let me spend big parts of my project time reading up and creating this map. This project took place during my Erasmus stay at the Department of Applied Informatics  (at the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics) of Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia) 
  • Next to educating others, one goal was to sort out my own understanding of (the) cognitive science(s). Externally representing my current understanding enables fruitful discussions about where I am wrong, what parts I misrepresented and what my blindspots are, what I left out. I am eager to change my mind and adapt the visualisation in the process. Contact me via annariedl dot office at gmail or the feedback form below.


Brian Castellani’s Map of the Complexity Sciences (2018)

Main Sources


More about Paradigms in Cognitive Science

Meta Studies about Cognitive Science

Maps of Cognitive Science and Related Fields
Summaries of and Introductions to Cognitive Science


Reasoning and summary of the changes in version 3

  • The lack of sources in the last three decades was apparent. While it is, again, impossible to mention all the amazing achievements, I made clear efforts, to show at least some of them. I also choose e.g. the “decade of the brain” to symbolise that so much research was going on, that even politicians could no longer ignore it (on the wikipedia page of the “decade of the brain” is a good summary of some of the research that was done in that time and with the funding provided).  I also made more use of (now mentioned) lists of prize laureates, e.g. the Rumelhart Prize. This means I finally could include more of the incredible women out there.
  • Still no hyperlinks. Sorry, haven’t had the time yet! But you all have google 🙂
  • I massively changed the form of the paradigms. While they were round blobs with a clear start and end beforehand, they now are more diffused. The current design focuses more on showing that there were and are times, when certain paradigms were and are “trending”. Instead of giving the wrong sense, that at a certain time all research is in one paradigm and then another paradigm superseding the other. Even though this adds to the messiness of the design, I prefer to give a correct sense of the value of different paradigms and the diversity in research. Ideas of how to “clean the design up” artistically are welcome, of course.
  • The general poster comes now in a more standardised format, primarily, because I got it printed in A3 for all the participants at the MEi:CogSci Ljubljana conference 2019 and didn’t want to waste paper by leaving it empty. This makes it easier to print for everyone.

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