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Cognitive Studies Concentration (CGST)

Coordinator: Professor Roy O. Elveton

Cognitive studies examines different approaches to questions concerning the nature of mind, the representation of knowledge, the acquisition, comprehension, and production of language, the development of learning and intelligence, and the assessment of "goodness of fit" between purportedly similar systems (e.g., the computer and the mind). Exploration of some or all of these questions has been and is being undertaken in such disciplines as cognitive psychology, linguistics, philosophy, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, animal cognition, social cognition and others. The concentration in cognitive studies therefore represents a formal means of bringing together students and faculty in different disciplines who share common interests. We seek to enrich the view provided by any one discipline through an exploration of the contributions of others.

The concentration is designed for students majoring in psychology, philosophy, computer science or linguistics (as a special major), although all students are welcome.

Requirements for the Concentration:

To encourage breadth within the concentration, no more than four courses taken from a single department (or four Cognitive Studies courses cross-listed in a single department) may be counted toward the minimum seven required.

Introductory Courses:(Students must take both of the following):

CGST 230: Introduction to Cognitive Science

LING 115: Introduction to Theory of Syntax

Core Courses: (Students must take four courses, at least one of which must include a course with an emphasis on methodology, indicated below by an asterisk)

CGST 110: How to Build a Mind

CGST 240: Logic and Minds *

CGST 232/233: Cognitive Processes and Lab *

CGST 236: Thinking, Reasoning and Decision-Making* (Not offered in 2000-2001.)

CGST 380: Seminar in Developmental Psychology (Not offered in 2000-2001.)

CS 327: Artificial Intelligence

LING 215: Syntax of an Unfamiliar Language* (Not offered in 2000-2001.)

LING 237: Language and Mind (Not offered in 2000-2001.)

PHIL 210: Logic

PHIL 212: Epistemology

PSYC 234: Psychology of Language * (Not offered in 2000-2001.)

PSYC 250: Developmental Psychology

PSYC 258/259: Social Cognition and Lab *

PSYC 332: Psychology of Music

PSYC 386: Adolescent Cognitive Development

Seminar:(Students must take at least one advanced seminar):

CGST 373: Categorizing Artifacts, People and Natural Kinds (Not offered in 2000-2001.)

CGST 386: Adolescent Cognitive Development (Not offered in 2000-2001.)

An advanced seminar in Computer Science, Linguistics, Philosophy, or Psychology, designated in a particular year by the coordinator.

Cognitive Studies Courses

PSYC 232. Cognitive Processes Cross-listed with CGST 232. An introduction to the study of mental activity. Topics include attention, pattern recognition and perception, memory, concept formation, categorization, and cognitive development. Some attention to gender and individual differences in cognition, as well as cultural settings for cognitive activities. Psychology 232 requires concurrent registration in Psychology 233. Prerequisite: Psychology 110 or permission of the instructor. 6 credits cr., SS, WinterStaff

PSYC 233. Laboratory Research Methods in Cognitive Processes Cross-listed with CGST 233. Students will participate in the replication and planning of empirical studies, collecting and analyzing data relevant to major cognitive phenomena. Prerequisite: Psychology 110 or permission of the instructor. Psychology 233 requires concurrent registration in Psychology 232. 2 credits cr., SS, WinterStaff

PSYC 234. The Psychology of Language Cross-listed with CGST 234. An introduction to the psychology of language. Topics will include the psychological status of linguistic theory, language acquisition and processing, aphasia, bilingualism, pidgins and Creoles, and the influence of language on thought. The course will emphasize the use of methods from experimental psychology in developing and testing theories of language phenomena. Prerequisite: Psychology 110 or 230, or Linguistics 110 or 115, or consent of the instructor. 6 credits cr., SS, Not offered in 2000-2001.

PSYC 236. Thinking, Reasoning, and Decision-Making Cross-listed with CGST 236. An examination of the way people think and reason, both when given formal laboratory tasks and when facing problems and decisions of everyday life. Students consider their own reasoning and decision-making through course exercises. Topics covered include: Models of formal reasoning, decision-making, heuristics and biases in thinking and problem-solving, the development of reasoning ability, moral reasoning, improving thinking, problem-solving and reasoning skills. Prerequisite: Psychology 110 or consent of the instructor. 6 credits cr., SS, Not offered in 2000-2001.

PSYC 373. Categorizing Artifacts, People, and Natural Kinds Cross-listed with CGST 373. What processes underlie our categorizing of people and things? How are our categories represented? How are they acquired and how do they change? How do they affect our reasoning and perception? We will discuss the implications recent work in psychology, linguistics, artificial intelligence, and philosophy have for these questions, and the more general problem of the categorization of experience. Prerequisites: Psychology 110 and 232, or Psychology 230, or consent of the instructor. 6 credits cr., SS, Not offered in 2000-2001.

PSYC 380. Seminar in Developmental Psychology: Cognitive Development During the Preschool Years Cross-listed with CGST 380. We will consider the development of memory, perception, and attention, as well as concepts and categorization, problem-solving and thinking, during the years from 2-6. We will focus particularly on how these developments are reflected in children's spontaneous behavior and play. Course requirements will include readings, class discussions, short papers, a final project, and regular observation of preschoolers or kindergarteners. Prerequisites: Psychology 250 or permission of the instructor. 6 credits cr., SS, Not offered in 2000-2001.

PSYC 386. Adolescent Cognitive Development: Developing an Identity and Life Plans Cross-listed with CGST 386. An examination of recent literature on how adolescents develop their value system, explore their goals, begin to make life-framing decision, establish new relationships, and discover answers to the question ""Who am I?""Course readings will involve primary literature, and the course is discussion-based. Prerequisite: Psychology 250 or consent of the instructor. 6 credits cr., SS, Not offered in 2000-2001.