A Brief Introduction:
The Institute for Cognitive Science Studies (ICSS) is one of few academic institutions in Iran devoted to teaching and conducting research in the field. The institute was founded in 1997, initially as a study group, but later expanded its scope to include educational programs of MS and PhD in different subfields of cognitive science. Currently ICSS offer MS programs in Cognitive Psychology and Mind, Brain and Education, and PhD programs in Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Linguistics, Cognitive Modeling, and Philosophy of Mind.
ICSS facilities include animal and human laboratories, specialized library, and its flagship quarterly publication Advances in Cognitive Science. In short, the institute has become a magnet for the brightest Iranian minds interested in the field of cognitive science.
Some of frequently asked questions about ICSS are as follows:
What are the main objectives of ICSS?
ICSS pursues the following major objectives:
· Discovery of important unknown facts about key issues in cognitive science through quality experiments,
· Try to understand unresolved issues in cognitive science through provision of new, effective, analytical theories,
· Working on translational cognitive science to improve the quality of individual and social wellbeing.
In a midterm outlook, ICSS aims at significantly increasing its share of producing new knowledge, findings, and models by 2020.
What are the major activities of ICSS?
The prime interest of ICSS is to conduct research studies that enhance our knowledge and understanding of cognitive science. That objective requires the kind of theoretical, experimental, and applied studies, which would be beneficial not only in terms of employing these achievements in various aspects of life, but also in terms of advancing our scientific knowledge. The institute also adheres to the principle that research findings should be shared with other scientific communities through their publication in respectable peer-reviewed journals and books. To these ends, ICSS engages in other activities such as:
· Offering graduate studies programs,
· Providing short-term training programs and workshops,
· Organizing and supporting scientific conferences and discussion meetings,
· Participating in international collaborations,
· Publishing (or supporting the publication of) specialized books and journals,
· Providing an effective research environment by means of modernizing and equipping its laboratories, and maintaining a resourceful library.
Is cognitive science taught at other Iranian universities?
Cognitive science is a relatively new field of study in Iran, but besides ICSS, which now offers both doctoral degrees in cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, cognitive linguistics, cognitive modeling and philosophy of mind, and Master's degree in cognitive psychology, and mind, brain and education; the Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM), and School of Psychology at the University of Tabriz are offering PhD programs in cognitive neuroscience, Shahid Beheshti University offers PhD programs in cognitive psychology and cognitive modeling, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, and University of Semnan offer MS programs in Cognitive Psychology.
However, a number of graduate schools at Iranian universities are involved in researches that can be related to various branches of cognitive sciences.
What scientific and research institutes does ICSS cooperate with?
PhD programs of ICSS are offered in cooperation with Medical University of Tehran, Shahid Beheshti Univesity, Bagher-Al-Oloom University of Ghom. The institute is also collaborates with other Iranian universities and institutes in organizing national and international seminars and conferences. It is also a member of national associations such as Iranian Neuroscience Research Network, and Cognitive Science and Technologies Association.
Internationally, ICSS has signed MOUs with many universities including: the University of Florida, the University of Zurich, University of Moscow, University of Allah Abad, University of Hayder Abad, and several universities in China and Korea. These MOUs provide opportunities for exchange of experiences, scientific findings, faculty and students, and for performing joint research and educational projects.
In addition, the institute has conducted many individual joint research projects with a number of domestic and international universities and organizations, including those affiliated with the United Nations.
In 2005, ICSS received Consultative Status of the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Additionally, in 2002, the institute was admitted by the Institutional Review Board of the United States and became eligible for the Federal-wide Assurance (FWA), which paved the way for the collaboration of ICSS with American scientific and research centers in researches involving human subject.