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Cognitive Science
PO Box 9
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

Cognitive Science at the University of Helsinki - a Brief History

What has since become the Cognitive science Unit was originally established as a study program in the late 1980s. It was a joint effort by the departments of psychology, philosophy and linguistics. The timeline on this page provides a brief history of cognitive science at the University of Helsinki. (Cf. the history of the department of psychology).

1988 The Cognitive science study program is initiated. The first students to major in Cognitive Science (n = 5) begin their studies in the Faculty of Arts. Teaching is arranged by the departments of linguistics, philosophy and psychology. Supervised by Docent Göte Nyman, the study program is placed under the Department of Psychology.

1991 First Master of Arts Degree in Cognitive Science is awarded to Patrick May.

1997 The chair of Professor of Cognitive Science is established at the deparment of psychology, the first of its kind in Finland. Doctor of Social Sciences Pertti Saariluoma is appointed professor of cognitive science for a term of five years.

1997 The Usability School is established (a joint master's level study program of Helsinki University of Technology, University of Helsinki and University of Art and Design Helsinki). The goal of is to give the students expertise in usability and a firm basis for post-graduate studies.

1998 Yearly admission is doubled to 10 students per year.

2002 Doctor of Philosophy Christina M. Krause is appointed Professor of Cognitive Science for a term of five years.

2002 The Department of Psychology moves to its current location in Siltavuori.

2003 The post of amanuensis in cognitive science is established (Master of Arts Otto Lappi is appointed).

2003 The first doctoral degree in cognitive science is awarded to Pauli Salo (now Pauli Brattico) for his dissertation, Causatives and the Empty Lexicon: A Minimalist Perspective (opponent: Prof. Ernest Lepore, Rutgers University).

2004 The Faculty of Behavioural Science is established; the department of psychology (including cognitive science) is transferred to the new faculty.

2005 The study program undergoes a major update and core analysis, as part of the Bologna process.

2007 Prof. Christina M. Krause gets tenure.

2007 Yearly admission is raised to 12.

2008 The post of amanuensis is discontinued, and a new post of University Instructor established (Otto Lappi is appointed).

2009 Cognitive science gets a 50% tenured University Lecturer, as the lecturer in Cognitive and Perceptual Psychology (Jussi Saarinen) is now shared between Cognitive Science and Psychology.

2010 The Institute of Behavioural Sciences is established (combining the former departments of Psychology, Education and Speech Sciences).

2011 Yearly admission is raised to 15.


Department of Modern Languages

Faculty of Arts

University of Helsinki