Fundamentals of Cognition  book cover
1st Edition

Fundamentals of Cognition

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ISBN 9781841693743
Published November 30, 2006 by Psychology Press
518 Pages

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Book Description

How come some people always remember a face?

Is it really possible to do two things at once?

Fundamentals of Cognition is a clear and reader-friendly introduction that will help students understand and answer these kinds of questions. Taking his cue from modern cognitive psychology, and drawing from coverage in his previous book, Principles of Cognitive Psychology, 2nd Edition, which this book replaces, Mike Eysenck explores the key processes that allow us to make sense of the world around us. Whether we are aware of their workings or not, our abilities in attention, perception, learning, memory, language, problem solving, thinking and reasoning all help us to make decisions about how to cope with everyday life. This book takes a close look at all the relevant key findings and issues. It also offers accessible explanations of the more complex debates which spring up around them.

Fundamentals of Cognition guides students through all the classic topics in cognitive psychology. New research from approaches in cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience is integrated and evaluated in a lively (but systematic)  approach. The book provides a broad overview of current thinking and a thorough evaluation of the various theoretical approaches to basic cognitive processes. Written with introductory-level students in mind, it can be read easily by those with no previous knowledge of cognitive psychology. However, it  also includes directions for more detailed and advanced study.

Table of Contents

Approaches to Cognitive Psychology. Part 1. Visual Perception and Attention. Visual Illusions: Seeing and Acting. How Far Away is That Object? Perception Without Awareness? What is This I See Before Me? What's In a Face? Seeing With the Mind's Eye. In Sight But Out Of Mind. What Do We Attend to In Vision? Multitasking. Part 2. Learning and Memory. The Long and the Short of Human Memory. Short-Term or Working Memory. Learning Without Awareness? It's Slipped My Mind. The Story of My Life. Should We Believe Eyewitnesses? Part 3. Language. Read All About It! What Are You Saying? What Does This Mean? Talking the Talk. What's In a Concept? Part 4. Thinking and Reasoning. How Accurate Are Our Judgements? What Am I Going to Do? Finding the Solution. How Do You Become An Expert? Reasoning. Part 5. Broader Issues. Cognition and Emotion. What is Consciousness?

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Michael W. Eysenck is one of the best-known psychologists in Europe. He is Professor of Psychology at Royal Holloway University of London, one of the leading psychology  departments in the United Kingdom. He is a specialist in cognitive psychology and has published extensively in this field. Altogether he has written 35 books and over 150 articles and book chapters.


"The chapters provide an excellent coverage of the different areas within cognitive psychology: not only are the traditional areas dealt with (memory, perception, language) but also areas which are often overlooked by comparable textbooks (human judgement, decision-making). This text is an excellent source for students of cognitive psychology who are looking for an introduction to the field and a broad summary of research issues that exist within it. Eysenck has a reputation for accessible writing and this text does not disappoint. The chapters are well structured and clear, I enjoyed the writing style which was informative and readable; jargon was clearly explained." - John Parkinson, Lecturer in Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, University of Wales Bangor, UK

"Cognition - the study of the basic mental processes which underlie behaviour - has developed a powerful and elegant set of methods and models since its beginnings forty or so years ago. Eysenck's exceptionally readable book covers the core topics of perception, memory, language, reasoning, and so on, organised around everyday questions such as 'how do we perceive depth?', 'why do we forget?', and 'how do cognition and emotion interact?' This stimulating and comprehensive text will engage anyone interested in learning how the mind works." - David R. Shanks, University College London, UK

"Eysenck's state-of-the-art account of findings and theories in cognitive psychology does an excellent job of conveying the excitement of research, and of relating the ideas to everyday experience. Written in an engaging personal style, the book provides a clear and accessible introduction to current work in the area, with balanced examples drawn from experiments, clinical cases, computer simulations and cutting-edge brain imaging research." - Fergus Craik, Senior Scientist, Rotman Research Institute, Toronto, Canada