Cognitive Science Concentration (CGSC)
Cognitive Science 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, the use of information to draw inferences and make decisions, 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, intelligence, neuroscience, social cognition, anthropology, education and others. The concentration in Cognitive Science 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 or the methodologies of others.
The concentration is designed for students majoring in psychology, philosophy, computer science, or linguistics, although all students are welcome.
A special major is also available through a petition to the Academic Standing Committee. See our website for more information.
Requirements for the Concentration
To encourage breadth within the concentration, normally no more than four courses taken from a single department or program may be counted toward the minimum eight required.
Core Courses: (26 credits- four six-credit courses plus one two-credit lab course)
CGSC 130 Introduction to Cognitive Science
A second alternative entry point into the concentration is enrollment in the Biology-Philosphy or Biology-Cognitive Science DYAD--linked sections of Biology 125 and Philosophy 100/CGSC 100. DYAD students may count successful completion as the equivalent of Cognitive Science 130.
CGSC/PSYC 232/233 Cognitive Processes and laboratory in Cognitive Processes (8 credits)
Plus any two of the following courses:
CS 111 Introduction to Computer Science
LING 115 Introduction to Theory of Syntax
PHIL 210 Logic
Elective Courses: 24 credits from the following list. At least one must be a 300-level course.
To ensure sufficient interdisciplinarity, no more than four courses may be taken from any one department or program. (For the purposes of counting, the DYAD will count as part of the CGSC program.)
BIOL 365 Topics in Neuroscience
BIOL 368 Developmental Neurobiology (not offered in 2012-2013)
BIOL 379 Seminar: Behavioral Genetics (not offered in 2012-2013)
BIOL 386 Neurobiology
CGSC 100 Evolution and Mind
CGSC 236 Thinking, Reasoning, and Decision Making: Experimental Approaches
CGSC 380 Seminar in Developmental Psychology: Cognitive Development During the Preschool Years (not offered in 2012-2013)
CGSC 385 Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood (not offered in 2012-2013)
CGSC 386 Adolescent Cognitive Development: Developing an Identity and Life Plans (not offered in 2012-2013)
CS 254 Computability and Complexity
CS 321 Artificial Intelligence (not offered in 2012-2013)
CS 322 Natural Language Processing
CS 361 Evolutionary Computing and Artificial Life
ECON 266 Experimental Economics (not offered in 2012-2013)
ECON 267 Behavioral Economics
EDUC 234 Educational Psychology
LING 216 Generative Approaches to Syntax
LING 217 Phonetics and Phonology
LING 265 Language and Brain
LING 275 First Language Acquisition
LING 315 Topics in Syntax
LING 316 Topics in Morphology (not offered in 2012-2013)
LING 317 Topics in Phonology
LING 325 Syntax of an Unfamiliar Language (not offered in 2012-2013)
LING 340 Topics in Semantics
MUSC 227 Introduction to the Perception and Cognition of Music (not offered in 2012-2013)
PHIL 112 Mind, Matter, Consciousness
PHIL 212 Epistemology
PHIL 223 Philosophy of Language (not offered in 2012-2013)
PSYC 216 Behavioral Neuroscience
PSYC 220 Sensation and Perception
PSYC 221 Laboratory Research Methods in Sensation and Perception
PSYC 234 Psychology of Language
PSYC 238 Memory Processes (not offered in 2012-2013)
PSYC 250 Developmental Psychology
PSYC 258 Social Cognition (not offered in 2012-2013)
PSYC 362 Psychology of Spoken Words
PSYC 373 Face Recognition (not offered in 2012-2013)
PSYC 375 Language and Deception (not offered in 2012-2013)
SOAN 260 Myth, Ritual, and Symbolism
SOAN 274 Language, Culture and Society (not offered in 2012-2013)
Cognitive Science Courses
CGSC 100. Evolution and Mind An introduction to issues in cognitive science and philosophy of mind focusing upon the importance of evolution theory for understanding the nature of the human mind. Central questions to be discussed include: the nature of Darwinian theory; the structure and function of human language; the evolution of human culture; modularity theories of human cognition; the evolution of morality. 6 cr., AI, WR1, FallR. Elveton
CGSC 130. Intuition, Reflection, and the Nature of Mind: An Introduction to Cognitive Science Cognitive Science is a multidisciplinary field involving biology, computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology whose aim is to understand the nature of the human mind. This course will provide an overview of the field, focusing on the claim that there are two kinds of mental processes: relatively fast, automatic, intuitive processes, and relatively slow, controlled, reflective processes. We will examine this model of the mind within several domains, including numerical cognition, moral cognition, and person perception. We will then ask how such processes are likely to be implemented in the human mind, taking into account biological and computational constraints. 6 cr., SS; SI, FallJ. Paxton
CGSC 130. Learning Science: An Introduction to Cognitive Science Cognitive science is a multidisciplinary field of inquiry involving biology, computer science, linguistics, philosophy and psychology whose aim is to understand the nature of the human mind. This course will explore ways cognitive science informs our understanding of how people learn science. Specific topics will include problem solving, conceptual change, expert-novice differences, metacognition, motivation, and visualization in the context of learning and teaching science 6 cr., SS; SI, SpringS. Singer
CGSC 232. Cognitive Processes Cross-listed with PSYC.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. Prerequisite: Psychology 110 or permission of the instructor. Corequisite: Cognitive Sciences 233. A grade of C- or better must be earned in both Cognitive Science 232 and 233 to satisfy the LS requirement. 6 cr., SS, WR; LS, WR2, FallK. Galotti
CGSC 233. Laboratory Research Methods in Cognitive Science Cross-listed with PSYC.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. Corequisite: Psychology 232. A grade of C- or better must be earned in both Psychology/Cognitive Science 232 and 233 to satisfy the LS requirement. 2 cr., ND; LS, FallK. Galotti
CGSC 236. Thinking, Reasoning, and Decision Making: Experimental Approaches In this course, we will learn about the cognitive science of high-level mental processes, viz., thinking, reasoning, and decision making, with a special focus on reasoning within the context of moral decision making. In addition to learning about what is already known concerning the operation of high-level mental processes, students will have the opportunity to take part in the design and implementation of one or more experimental studies that may add to our knowledge of such processes. Prerequisite: Any Cognitive Science 100-level course or permission of the instructor. 6 cr., SS; SI, QRE, WinterJ. Paxton
CGSC 336. The Moral Brain and How to Use It In this course, we will take a critical look at a forthcoming book in Cognitive Science by the cognitive neuroscientist / philosopher Joshua Greene, currently titled "The Moral Brain and How to Use It." Course meetings will be conducted largely as seminars rather than lectures, with a focus on intensive discussion of the book. The course will have a significant writing component, involving weekly response papers (1-2 pages) and a longer final paper (10-15 pages). Prerequisite: 200-level Cognitive Science course or permission of the instructor. 6 cr., SS, WR; SI, WR2, WinterJ. Paxton
CGSC 380. Seminar in Developmental Psychology: Cognitive Development During the Preschool Years We will consider the development of memory, perception, and attention, as well as concepts and categorization, problem-solving and thinking, during the years from two to six. 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 Educational Studies 234 or permission of the instructor. 6 cr., SS; SI, Not offered in 2012-2013.
CGSC 385. Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood We will consider the development of memory, perception, and attention, as well as concepts and categorization, problem-solving and thinking, during the years from six to 11. We will focus particularly on how these developments are reflected in children's academic learning and social relationships. Course requirements will include readings, class discussions, short papers, a final project, and regular observation of school-aged children. Prerequisite: Psychology 250 or Educational Studies 234 or permission of instructor. 6 cr., SS; SI, Not offered in 2012-2013.
CGSC 386. Adolescent Cognitive Development: Developing an Identity and Life Plans 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, Educational Studies 234 or consent of the instructor. 6 cr., SS; SI, Not offered in 2012-2013.
CGSC 396. Directed Research in Cognitive Studies Senior majors in cognitive studies will work with the director to develop a thesis proposal for their comps project. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. 3 cr., ND; NE, FallR. Elveton