Consciousness studies is a new, rapidly evolving, highly interdisciplinary field that includes psychology, philosophy, physics, sociology, religion, dynamic systems, mathematics, computer science, neuroscience, art, biology, cognitive science, anthropology, and linguistics. Consciousness is also a key issue in the ongoing dialogue between science and religion. A major part of the scientific literature on consciousness consists of studies that examine the relationship between the experiences reported by subjects and the activity that simultaneously takes place in their brains—that is, studies of the neural correlates of consciousness. The hope is to find that activity in a particular part of the brain, or a particular pattern of global brain activity, which will be strongly predictive of conscious awareness. Several brain imaging techniques, such as EEG and fMRI, have been used for physical measures of brain activity in these studies. The Centre is involved in research in Consciousness studies from perspective of Indian Philosophy, Western Philosophy and Cognitive Sciences.
Human Factors and Ergonomics
Ergonomics as, “the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data, and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.” This definition identifies the importance of human-centered design.Human factors’ is another phrase for the concept of ergonomics. Conventionally, the two are sometimes differentiated according to the physical and cognitive aspects of the human. Cognitive capabilities are more commonly associated with human factors, while physical aspects are more commonly associated with ergonomics.
Data science is an inter-disciplinary field that uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms and systems to extract knowledge and insights from structured and unstructured data and apply knowledge and actionable insights from data across a broad range of application domains. Data science is related to data mining, machine learning and big data. Data science is a “concept to unify statistics, data analysis, informatics, and their related methods” in order to “understand and analyze actual phenomena” with data.
Cognitive Artificial Intelligence
Cognitive AI include machine learning, deep learning, NLP, neural networks, etc. But it differs from traditional AI approaches, as it focuses on mimicking human behavior and reasoning to solve complex problems.
Meditation and Yoga Research
Meditation/Yoga is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being. The cognitive and physiological effects of meditation have been studied using the scientific method. In recent years, studies of meditation have increasingly involved the use of modern scientific techniques and instruments, such as fMRI and EEG, which are able to directly observe brain physiology and neural activity in living subjects, either during the act of meditation itself or before and after meditation. The Centre is involved in various approaches to study and understand a variety of Meditation and Yoga Practices.
Molecular neuroscience is a branch of neuroscience that examines the biology of the nervous system with molecular biology, molecular genetics, protein chemistry and related methodologies. The scope of this subject covers topics such as molecular neuroanatomy, mechanisms of molecular signaling in the nervous system, the effects of genetics and epigenetics on neuronal development, and the molecular basis for neuroplasticity and neurodegenerative diseases. As with molecular biology, molecular neuroscience is a relatively new field that is considerably dynamic.
Cognitive Clinical Disorders
Cognitive disorders are a category of mental health disorders that primarily affect learning, memory, perception, and problem solving, and include amnesia, dementia, and delirium. The four major categories of cognitive disorders are: delirium (a change in consciousness that develops over a short period of time in which people have a reduced awareness of their environment); dementia (a progressive deterioration of brain function that is marked by impairment of memory, confusion and inability to concentrate; amnesia (a significant loss of the memory, despite no loss of other cognitive functions like there is in dementia; and cognitive disorders not otherwise specified (cognitive impairment presumed to be due to a general medical condition or substance use and does not fit into the other categories). Cognitive disorders are defined as any disorder that significantly impairs the cognitive function of an individual to the point where normal functioning in society is impossible without treatment. Some common cognitive disorders include Dementia, Developmental disorders, Motor skill disorders, Amnesia, Substance-induced cognitive impairment.
Neuromarketing is the application of neuroscience to marketing. Neuromarketing includes the direct use of brain imaging, scanning, or other brain activity measurement technology to measure a subject’s response to specific products, packaging, advertising, or other marketing elements.
Cognitive Human Resource Management
Cognitive Science can act as a catalyzer in structuring human resource (HR) management practices. It provides valuable insights into the various areas of HR such as leadership, employee engagement, training and development, talent acquisition, and performance management.
Neuroesthetics (or neuroaesthetics) is a relatively recent sub-discipline of empirical aesthetics. Empirical aesthetics takes a scientific approach to the study of aesthetic perceptions of art, music, or any object that can give rise to aesthetic judgments. Neuroesthetics received its formal definition in 2002 as the scientific study of the neural bases for the contemplation and creation of a work of art.Neuroesthetics uses neuroscience to explain and understand the aesthetic experiences at the neurological level. The topic attracts scholars from many disciplines including neuroscientists, philosophers, art historians, artists, art therapists and cognitive scientists.
Phenomenology is the study of structures of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view. The central structure of an experience is its intentionality, its being directed toward something, as it is an experience of or about some object. An experience is directed toward an object by virtue of its content or meaning (which represents the object) together with appropriate enabling conditions. Phenomenology as a discipline is distinct from but related to other key disciplines in philosophy, such as ontology, epistemology, logic, and ethics. Phenomenology has been practiced in various guises for centuries, but it came into its own in the early 20th century in the works of Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty and others. Phenomenological issues of intentionality, consciousness, qualia, and first-person perspective have been prominent in recent philosophy of mind.
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the ontology and nature of the mind and its relationship with the body. The mind–body problem is a paradigmatic issue in philosophy of mind, although a number of other issues are addressed, such as the hard problem of consciousness and the nature of particular mental states. Aspects of the mind that are studied include mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness, the ontology of the mind, the nature of thought, and the relationship of the mind to the body.