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Cognition is a broad area of study that encompasses observation, thought and action, as well as emotion, consciousness and movement. In short, all the mental faculties that allow humans to interact normally with their environment and learn how to improve themselves. The research priority area in Brain and Cognition studies the way in which our brain facilitates these skills.

This research priority area is based around collaboration between doctors, psychologists, linguists, neurologists, economists, behavioural scientists, biologists and logicians. Research focuses on themes such as memory and learning ability, appreciation of music, foreign language acquisition, neuropathology, consumer behaviour, consciousness, visual perception and mathematical models of cognitive processes. The research thus spans the entire spectrum from brain cell to social behaviour.

Brain and Cognition is an interdisciplinary research priority area in which the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences collaborates with the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Economics and Business.

The practical implementation of the research priority area is hosted by the Cognitive Science Center of the University of Amsterdam (CSCA), part of the University van Amsterdam.