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COGSCI Welcome file

Welcome to COGSCI, an open, unmoderated discussion list about Cognitive Science. This list is divided into several sublists by the use of topics. Within the scope of Cognitive Science we discuss, among others: artificial intelligence, linguistics, philosophy, connectionism, psychology. This list can also be used to announce conferences, jobs, publications etc.

About this list

The address of this list is
Let me stress this is a list about Cognitive Science. I am convinced every field on its own is interesting enough for specific discussions, but please make sure discussions here about eg. Psychology are within the scope of Cognitive Science. If I could tell you where Cognitive Science stops and each of the specific fields start their own life I would, but I hope we all can rely on each others estimations.

Archives of mail items are kept in a monthly notebook. You can retrieve a list of available files by sending a mail message to, in the BODY you write:


You can also read the archives in a hypertext format here:


If you are new to LISTSERV you are encouraged to read the on-line files LISTSERV REFCARD and LISTSERV GENINTRO, which can be obtained by sending the following commands in the BODY of a mail message to or a local LISTSERV near you:


More information is also available at the World Wide Web site, including LWGate, a WWW-interface to LISTSERV, and below.

Addresses you need to know

Some people get confused by all the addresses used for one list. I'll sum them up and try to explain them clearly. is the machine this list is running on. It keeps track of your subscription options, so whenever you want to change them send commands to this address. Command are sent in the BODY of an email, LISTSERV ignores the Subject: field concerning that matter. This is also the place where the archives are. is the actual list. If you send mail to this address you reach the people subscribed to it (about 450 subscribers). How many people you reach of course also depends on what topic(s) you use and how many people are subscribed to that/those topic(s). For a further explanation of topics see below. is the address to reach the list owner. It works that way for every list running on a LISTSERV: [listname]-request is always the address to reach listowner(s). Do not hesitate to send mail there whenever you are at a loss - have a question, or when you have any suggestions or criticism.
This address should also be used if you have a mail you think concerns all subscribers of COGSCI. Normally one can use the ALL: topic to do so, but since there has been some sort of `abuse' of that topic I have restricted it to list owners' use only. See below for more details. is my email address. Basically the same as, I'll leave the choice to you.

How to use the topics/sublists

This is about the most important part in this file. Understanding and using this information properly is vital to posting to the list.

Since Cognitive Science covers several fields, and not every cognitive scientist is interested in every field, you can subscribe to specific topics as well. We have made a distinction between:

Artificial Intelligence
Human Computer Interface
Other (automatically reserved by LISTSERV)

Subscribing to topics

By default you are subscribed to all topics. You can change that in various ways.
If, for example, you are interested in all topics but AI, you can send a mail to, in the BODY of the mail you write:


Or, if you are only interested in AI, you write:


if you are subscribed to AI only and you wish to add Linguistics, you write:


Mind the + in front of Lingu, if you forget that, your subscription to AI would be REPLACED by a subscription to Linguistics only. To add more topics than just one:


To check your subscription you can always send a mail to, and in the BODY of the mail you write:


Apart from other subscription options it will also list the topics you are subscribed to.

Posting to topics

In order for this system to work, the sender of a mail to the list has to put the abbreviation(s) of the topic(s) at the beginning of the subject line, followed by a colon. For example, mail with

Subject: AI,Ann: Call for papers

will be send to people who are subscribed to AI and/or Announcement or ALL. If your subject line doesn't start with any of the abbreviations mentioned above, it is classified in a special topic, "Other". Which means that if you are only subscribed to AI, you will miss all other mail, that includes mails with an `invalid' subject line. If some of the topics are valid but others are undefined, the invalid ones are ignored.
It is also possible to send a mail to `ALL:', but use of that topic is restricted to list owners' use only. So if you have a posting you think concerns every list member you will send it to the list owner directly, NOT to the list (posting directly to the list using the ALL: - topic will result in not being able to post to this list again...). My default answer will be `no I won't forward it to ALL, sorry', so you might want to add a few arguments to convince me.

For general mails about Cognitive Science or mails who just don't seem to fit in any specific topic you can use the Misc-topic.

If you subscribe to this list you are strongly invited to introduce yourself in a few sentences. You don't have to be a big shot in Cognitive Science to justify your intro, we are just interested in what brought you here and from what background you are looking at Cognitive Science.

Please make sure you start the subject line of that mail message with INTRO:. Eg.:
Subject: Intro: Hello

Next to that I have created an additional page on the WWW site where home pages of COGSCI members are listed, or pages of the university/company they are affiliated with. For the same reason as new subscribers are invited to introduce themselves: it might be handy to know from what angle someone is viewing Cognitive Science. Next to that it's an easy way to find other people who share your interests.
You can use a fill-in form to put yourself on that page, it can be found here.

The request will be mailed to me, so it might take some time (days, at the most) before you are actually added.

Topics themselves are subject of discussion as well. As you can see the `Top' keyword is used for that. In case you want a topic added or changed, or any other suggestions or questions about them.

You can use the `Ann' keyword for announcements, say of conferences, lectures, books, call for papers, jobs, etc.

From experience I know most people leave this list either because they get too many email or the list isn't what they expected.
This might also have to do with a misunderstanding of the use of topics. If you're interested in Linguistics you can subscribe to the Lingu topic only, thus avoiding all other mail that is sent to the list (except maybe an occasional message by me, sent to all members).
If the list isn't what you expected, you might as well do something else than unsubscribe. Post to the list for instance. Cognitive Science is a broad science, about 600 subscribers come from a variety of backgrounds. I didn't create this list for myself. I am here to protect and serve, and to learn.
Within Cognitive Science limits you decide what becomes of this list.


A few things to make this list pleasant for everyone.
Be careful with the Reply button/command. This list is set in a way that by default replies are send to the list, NOT to the original sender of the mail you received.
Another reason to be careful with the reply button is because of the use of topics. For instance if someone uses the ALL-topic without consulting me, don't hit reply and tell him/her not to do that, because you too will be bothering all list members. Besides it's my job to take care of that, and one of the pleasant parts of it... ;)
Send me a mail if you have to relieve your feelings.

Please refrain from using HTML (or any other 'enrichments') in your mail messages. Some of us actually like using Un*x without X-Windows and hence have a lot of trouble reading such posts.

Next to that, extract what you really have to. If someone sends a mail of 11 screens length, don't send the complete mail back to the list and add `I second that'.
There is also a Reminder appended to every posting, reminding people of what the current topics are. There's no need to include that in your reply. People get it every single mail and still they make mistakes.

Sometimes lists get spammed. Someone subscribes to a lot of lists, sends an advertisement through it and unsubscribes. If he/she doesn't unsubscribe I do it for him/her, so don't reply to something like `Can we keep advertisements of this list' to the list, the offender isn't there anymore to read it anyways. A mail to the postmaster of the domain of the offender is probably the best thing to do if you need to act upon it.
It's not too hard to fake an email address, so someone could hack into the account of someone else and spam, unknown to the real owner of that account.

Additional World Wide Web site

As mentioned before, there is an additional web site to this list. The address is
Although the discussion list is purely for scientific means only, on the web-site you might expect a few commercial items.

Content of the web site:

If you have any questions, suggestions or comments about this file, the web site or the COGSCI list in general please send them to or directly to me:

I hope you will enjoy your stay here, like I hope we all will enjoy your stay here!

Your list owner,
Michel Weenink