Department of Cognitive Science

617C Crawford Hall
Phone: 216.368.4753
Fey Parrill, Department Chair

Cognitive science is the scientific study of the mind in a transdisciplinary framework. The Department of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University is specifically dedicated to the study of human higher cognition, seeking to place cognitive science in an ecologically valid context. The department has programmatic interests in language and multimodal communication (including speech, gesture, second language learning, bilingualism, multimedia, and narrative), the use of data science to understand the human mind (including ethical considerations in the application of tools), the reciprocal shaping of cognition and institutions (e.g., money, law, religion), and how differences in experience (such as race, gender, culture, ideology) shape cognition. The department draws on methods of research in the biological sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Its educational mission is to provide students with the best possible opportunity to integrate a wide variety of approaches and apply them to the study of those cognitive capacities that mark human beings as distinctive. 

The department offers an undergraduate major and minor in cognitive science and a master’s degree in cognitive linguistics. By developing wide-ranging knowledge in multiple disciplines, our students can prepare for a variety of career options. Training in several disciplines will also provide increased choices for postgraduate study.

Department Faculty

Todd Oakley, PhD
(University of Maryland)
Cognitive linguistics; discourse analysis; attention

Fey Parrill, PhD
(University of Chicago)
Professor and Chair
Language and co-speech gesture

Yasuhiro Shirai, PhD
(University of California, Los Angeles)
First- and second-language acquisition

Vera Tobin, PhD
(University of Maryland)
Associate Professor
Cognitive linguistics, pragmatics, literature; evolution and development

Mark Turner, PhD
(University of California, Berkeley)
Institute Professor
Higher-order cognition and creativity; conceptual integration

Secondary Faculty

Daniela Calvetti, PhD
(University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
James Wood Williamson Professor, Department of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Statistics

Angela Ciccia, PhD
(Case Western Reserve University)
Associate Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences

Fred Collopy, PhD
(Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)
Professor (emeritus), Department of Design and Innovation, Weatherhead School of Management

Heath A. Demaree, PhD
(Virginia Institute of Technology)
Professor and Chair, Department of Psychological Sciences

Robert L. Greene, PhD
(Yale University)
Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences

Peter Thomas, PhD
(University of Chicago)
Professor, Department of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Statistics

Peter Whitehouse, MD, PhD
(Johns Hopkins University)
Professor, Department of Neurology, CWRU School of Medicine


J. Eliott Casal, PhD
(The Pennsylvania State University)
Postdoctoral Researcher
Second-language acquisition


William E. Deal, PhD
(Harvard University)
Severance Professor Emeritus in the History of Religion
Cognitive science of religion and ethics; Buddhist theory of mind