Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department revolutionizes psychology

CAMBRIDGE, MASS--Daniel Osherson works with equations on paper. He is interested in the abstract and arcane topic of "inductive inference”" in particular, the theory of how evidence can support a hypothesis. William Quinn toils over collections of fruit flies in a biology lab, trying to discern how small genetic differences can cause subtle changes in memory and learning among populations of Drosophila. As unlikely as it may sound, Osherson and Quinn are not only researchers at the same academic institution, they are colleagues in the same department.

The Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology represents a bold, two-year-old merger and expansion of the university’s psychology department and its college of neuroscience. Add to that MIT's renowned penchant for computational analysis and hands-on engineering, and the result is one of the broadest, and most fascinating, collections of investigators to...

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