With this issue, we complete the first volume of topiCS. Although it may be premature to declare the topiCS innovation a success for cognitive science, it is clear that the first volume has presented a first look at fresh topics, and a fresh look at old topics.

This fourth issue of topiCS is devoted to two topics in cognitive science: Collective Behavior and Cognition in Science and Technology. The three Collective Behavior papers complete the topic begun in Volume 1, Issue 3 with the Editorial Introduction by Associate Editors Rob Goldstone and Todd Gureckis.

The topic on Cognition in Science and Technology has been shepherded through the submission and review process by Associate Editor Michael Gorman. The papers of this topic reflect the range in which the scientific discovery process has been investigated by modern cognitive science. Clearly such a topic is too big to be contained in one issue and, indeed, what is contained here is only the first installment. The remaining papers of this topic will appear in Volume 2, Issue 1.

Volume 2, Issue 1 will also contain our second issue of Best Of papers. The Best Of papers have been triply reviewed. They were first reviewed when they were submitted to the 2009 Cognitive Science conference. They were next reviewed when they were nominated and then awarded one of the several prizes available to Cognitive Science conference authors. They were last reviewed when considered for journal publication in topiCS.

We hope you enjoy the interesting and important papers contained in this issue of topiCS and that, like us, you are looking forward to the next issue.

The easiest way to propose a new topic is to send an e-mail note directly to the Executive Editor, Wayne Gray, at Keep this first note short (about 300–650 words or fewer). Be sure to consult the topiCS FAQ page,, for Preparing a Proposal for topiCS.