About the Cognitive Atlas
The Cognitive Atlas is a collaborative knowledge building project that aims to develop a knowledge base (or ontology) that characterizes the state of current thought in cognitive science. Cognitive neuroscience aims to map mental processes onto brain function, which begs the question of what "mental processes" exist and how they relate to the tasks that are used to manipulate and measure them. We propose that cumulative progress in cognitive neuroscience requires a more systematic approach to representing the mental entities that are being mapped to brain function and the tasks used to manipulate and measure mental processes. The Cognitive Atlas aims to capture knowledge from users with expertise in psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience. There are two basic kinds of knowledge in the knowledge base. Concepts and Tasks provide definitions and properties for individual concepts and tasks. Assertions describe relations between terms in the same way that a sentence describes relations between parts of speech.Take for example, this assertion: logical reasoning is a kind of reasoning
Here, a meaningful statement is made by providing a relation (italicized) between two terms. The icon to the right of the assertion will take you to the assertion page which may contain bibliographic support and other related information.A fundamental feature of the knowledge base is the desire and ability to capture not just agreement but also disagreement regarding definitions and assertions. Thus, if you see a definition or assertion that you disagree with, then you can assert and describe your disagreement. To participate, you will need to request an account.
The project is led by Russell Poldrack, Professor of Psychology and Neurobiology at the University of Texas at Austin in collaboration with the UCLA Center for Computational Biology (A. Toga, PI) and UCLA Consortium for Neuropsychiatric Phonemics (R. Bilder, PI). It is supported by grant RO1MH082795 from the National Institute of Mental Health.
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