Cognitive Science

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, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, social cognition, anthropology, education and others.

The major and minor in Cognitive Science therefore represent 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 minor is designed for students majoring in psychology, philosophy, computer science, or linguistics, although all students are welcome.

Requirements for the Cognitive Science Major

Required courses: 46 credits

  • CGSC 130 Introduction to Cognitive Science (6 credits)
  • CGSC 232/CGSC 233/PSYC 232/PSYC 233 Cognitive Processes and Laboratory in Cognitive Processes (8 credits)
  • CS 111 Introduction to Computer Science or PHIL 210 Logic (6 credits)
  • LING 115 Introduction to Theory of Syntax (6 credits)
  • PSYC 200/201 Measurement and Data Analysis (8 credits)
  • CGSC 391/392 (6 credits)
  • CGSC 396  Directed Research in Cognitive Studies (3 credits)
  • CGSC 400 Integrative Exercise (3 credits)

Elective Courses: 24 credits from the following list. At least two must be a 300-level course. To ensure sufficient interdisciplinarity, no more than four courses may be taken from any one department or program.

  • BIOL 365 Seminar: Topics in Neuroscience
  • BIOL 368 Seminar: Developmental Neurobiology
  • BIOL 379 Seminar: Behavioral Genetics
  • BIOL 386 Neurobiology
  • CGSC 100 How We Make Important Decisions
  • CGSC 236 Thinking, Reasoning, and Decision Making (not offered in 2020-21)
  • CGSC 340 Phenomenology and Cognitive Science (not offered in 2020-21)
  • CGSC 386 Adolescent Cognitive Development: Developing an Identity and Life Plans (not offered in 2020-21)
  • CS 254 Computability and Complexity
  • CS 314 Data Visualization
  • CS 321 Making Decisions with Artificial Intelligence (not offered in 2020-21)
  • CS 322 Natural Language Processing
  • CS 328 Computational Models of Cognition (not offered in 2020-21)
  • CS 344 Human-Computer Interaction (not offered in 2020-21)
  • CS 361 Evolutionary Computing and Artificial Life
  • ECON 265 Game Theory and Economic Applications
  • ECON 267 Behavioral Economics
  • EDUC 234 Educational Psychology
  • IDSC 250 Color!
  • LING 117 Sociophonetics (not offered in 2020-21)
  • LING 150 From Esperanto to Dothraki: The Linguistics of Invented Languages
  • LING 216 Generative Approaches to Syntax
  • LING 217 Phonetics and Phonology
  • LING 240 Semantics and Pragmatics
  • LING 275 First Language Acquisition (not offered in 2020-21)
  • LING 280 Field Methods in Linguistics (not offered in 2020-21)
  • LING 285 Japanese Linguistics in Kyoto Seminar: The Linguistics of the Japanese Writing System
  • LING 288 The Structure of Dakota
  • LING 315 Topics in Syntax
  • LING 316 Topics in Morphology (not offered in 2020-21)
  • LING 317 Topics in Phonology
  • LING 325 Syntax of an Unfamiliar Language
  • LING 340 Topics in Semantics (not offered in 2020-21)
  • LING 375 Second Language Acquisition: Speech (not offered in 2020-21)
  • MUSC 227 Perception and Cognition of Music
  • PHIL 100 Science, Faith and Rationality
  • PHIL 112 Mind, Matter, Consciousness (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PHIL 116 Sensation, Induction, Abduction, Deduction, Seduction
  • PHIL 203 Bias, Belief, Community, Emotion
  • PHIL 212 Epistemology (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PHIL 217 Reason in Context: Limitations and Possibilities
  • PHIL 223 Philosophy of Language (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PHIL 225 Philosophy of Mind (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PHIL 246 Probability: The Very Guide of Life? (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PHIL 251 Evidence, Objectivity, and Realism in the Sciences (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PHIL 272 Early Modern Philosophy
  • PHIL 273 Kant's Metaphysics
  • PHIL 287 Conspiracy Theories and Dogmatism
  • PHIL 303 Bias, Belief, Community, Emotion
  • PHIL 372 Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PSYC 216 Behavioral Neuroscience
  • PSYC 220 Sensation and Perception
  • PSYC 234 Psychology of Language
  • PSYC 238 Memory Processes (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PSYC 250 Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC 258 Social Cognition (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PSYC 267 Clinical Neuroscience
  • PSYC 362 Psychology of Spoken Words (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PSYC 366 Cognitive Neuroscience
  • PSYC 367 Neuropsychology of Aging (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PSYC 371 Evolutionary and Developmental Trends in Cognition (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PSYC 374 Applying Cognitive Psychology to Education (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PSYC 375 Language and Deception (not offered in 2020-21)

Requirements for the Cognitive Science Minor

To encourage breadth within the minor, normally no more than four courses taken from a single department or program may be counted toward the minimum eight courses required.

Core Courses: (26 credits of four six-credit courses plus one two-credit lab course)

  • CGSC 130 Introduction to Cognitive Science
  • CGSC 232/CGSC 233/PSYC 232/PSYC 233 Cognitive Processes and Laboratory in Cognitive Processes (8 credits)

           Plus any two of the following courses:

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.

  • BIOL 365 Seminar: Topics in Neuroscience
  • BIOL 368 Seminar: Developmental Neurobiology
  • BIOL 379 Seminar: Behavioral Genetics
  • BIOL 386 Neurobiology
  • CGSC 100 How We Make Important Decisions
  • CGSC 236 Thinking, Reasoning, and Decision Making (not offered in 2020-21)
  • CGSC 340 Phenomenology and Cognitive Science (not offered in 2020-21)
  • CGSC 386 Adolescent Cognitive Development: Developing an Identity and Life Plans (not offered in 2020-21)
  • CS 254 Computability and Complexity
  • CS 314 Data Visualization
  • CS 321 Making Decisions with Artificial Intelligence (not offered in 2020-21)
  • CS 322 Natural Language Processing
  • CS 328 Computational Models of Cognition (not offered in 2020-21)
  • CS 344 Human-Computer Interaction (not offered in 2020-21)
  • CS 361 Evolutionary Computing and Artificial Life
  • ECON 265 Game Theory and Economic Applications
  • ECON 267 Behavioral Economics
  • EDUC 234 Educational Psychology
  • IDSC 250 Color!
  • LING 117 Sociophonetics (not offered in 2020-21)
  • LING 150 From Esperanto to Dothraki: The Linguistics of Invented Languages
  • LING 216 Generative Approaches to Syntax
  • LING 217 Phonetics and Phonology
  • LING 240 Semantics and Pragmatics
  • LING 275 First Language Acquisition (not offered in 2020-21)
  • LING 280 Field Methods in Linguistics (not offered in 2020-21)
  • LING 285 Japanese Linguistics in Kyoto Seminar: The Linguistics of the Japanese Writing System
  • LING 288 The Structure of Dakota
  • LING 315 Topics in Syntax
  • LING 316 Topics in Morphology (not offered in 2020-21)
  • LING 317 Topics in Phonology
  • LING 325 Syntax of an Unfamiliar Language
  • LING 340 Topics in Semantics (not offered in 2020-21)
  • LING 375 Second Language Acquisition: Speech (not offered in 2020-21)
  • MUSC 227 Perception and Cognition of Music
  • PHIL 100 Science, Faith and Rationality
  • PHIL 112 Mind, Matter, Consciousness (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PHIL 116 Sensation, Induction, Abduction, Deduction, Seduction
  • PHIL 203 Bias, Belief, Community, Emotion
  • PHIL 212 Epistemology (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PHIL 217 Reason in Context: Limitations and Possibilities
  • PHIL 223 Philosophy of Language (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PHIL 225 Philosophy of Mind (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PHIL 246 Probability: The Very Guide of Life? (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PHIL 251 Evidence, Objectivity, and Realism in the Sciences (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PHIL 272 Early Modern Philosophy
  • PHIL 273 Kant's Metaphysics
  • PHIL 287 Conspiracy Theories and Dogmatism
  • PHIL 303 Bias, Belief, Community, Emotion
  • PHIL 372 Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PSYC 216 Behavioral Neuroscience
  • PSYC 220 Sensation and Perception
  • PSYC 234 Psychology of Language
  • PSYC 238 Memory Processes (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PSYC 250 Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC 258 Social Cognition (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PSYC 267 Clinical Neuroscience
  • PSYC 362 Psychology of Spoken Words (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PSYC 366 Cognitive Neuroscience
  • PSYC 367 Neuropsychology of Aging (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PSYC 371 Evolutionary and Developmental Trends in Cognition (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PSYC 374 Applying Cognitive Psychology to Education (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PSYC 375 Language and Deception (not offered in 2020-21)

Cognitive Science Courses

CGSC 100 How We Make Important Decisions This Argument and Inquiry seminar will focus on how individuals and groups of people make important decisions, both personal and professional, and how teams of people make policy decisions. We'll look at reasoning and decision-making from a variety of frameworks, including those of formal logic, cognitive psychology, social psychology, scientific hypothesis testing, business management. Case studies of major political, economic, or technology policy decisions will be examined and discussed. Students will also analyze and reflect on their own academic and career decisions, learning to describe and explore different decision-making styles and approaches. 6 credits; AI, WR1; Fall; Kathleen M Galotti
CGSC 130 Revolutions in Mind: An Introduction to Cognitive Science An interdisciplinary study of the history and current practice of the cognitive sciences. The course will draw on relevant work from diverse fields such as artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, philosophy, biology, and neuroscience. Topics to be discussed include: scientific revolutions, the mind-body problem, embodied cognition, perception, representation, and the extended mind. 6 credits; SI; Fall; Jason A Decker
CGSC 130 The Musical Mind: An Introduction to Cognitive Science An interdisciplinary examination of issues concerning the mind and mental phenomena involved in the uniquely human activity of making and understanding music. The course will draw on psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, computer science, biology, and philosophy. Topics to be discussed include: the embodied cognition of rhythm; linguistic syntax and musical structure; mental representations of musical sound and action; musical learning and development; tone and beat deafness; and perfect pitch and neural plasticity. 6 credits; SI, WR2; Fall; Justin M London
CGSC 130 What Minds Are What They Do: An Introduction to Cognitive Science An interdisciplinary examination of issues concerning the mind and mental phenomena. The course will draw on work from diverse fields such as artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, philosophy, linguistics, anthropology, and neuroscience. Topics to be discussed include: the mind-body problem, embodied cognition, perception, representation, reasoning, and learning. 6 credits; SI, WR2; Winter; Jason A Decker
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. A grade of C- or
better must be earned in both Psychology/Cognitive Science 232 and 233 to satisfy the LS requirement. Prerequisite: Psychology 110, Cognitive Science 100, Cognitive Science 130 or instructor permission; concurrent registration in Cognitive Science 233.
6 credits; WR2, LS; Winter; Kathleen M Galotti
CGSC 233 Laboratory Research Methods in Cognitive Processes 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. A grade of C- or better must be earned in both Psychology/Cognitive Science 232 and 233 to satisfy the LS requirement. Prerequisite: Concurrent registration in Cognitive Science 232; Psychology 110, Cognitive Science 100, Cognitive Science 130 or permission of the instructor. 2 credits; LS, QRE; Winter; Kathleen M Galotti
CGSC 236 Thinking, Reasoning, and Decision Making An examination of the way people think and reason, both when given formal laboratory tasks and when facing problems and decisions in everyday life. Students consider their own reasoning and decision making through course exercises. Topics include models of formal reasoning, decision making, heuristics and biases in thinking and problem-solving, moral reasoning, improving skills of higher order cognition. Prerequisite: Psychology 110 or Cognitive Science 100 or 130. 6 credits; FSR, WR2; Not offered 2020-21
CGSC 340 Phenomenology and Cognitive Science This course will provide an in-depth study of phenomenology, covering both its history and contemporary debates, and phenomenology-inspired research in cognitive science, psychology and neuroscience. Roughly half the course will be devoted to the history of phenomenology, setting the main views within their historical context and explaining how these views respond to the difficulties of their predecessors. The other half will discuss contemporary philosophical debates and scientific research involving phenomenological approaches. Prerequisite: Cognitive Science 130 required, 200 level Cognitive Science, Psychology or Philosophy course recommended. 6 credits; HI; Not offered 2020-21
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 decisions, 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 credits; SI; Not offered 2020-21
CGSC 394 Collaborative Research in Cognitive Science This course will be centered around a collaborative research project in cognitive science. Students enrolled will meet with the instructor to complete background readings and discussions, then will create recruiting materials, consent forms, IRB applications, debriefing statements, stimuli, and task instructions. They will then gather data from research participants and participate in data entry, analysis, and writing up the results. This course may be repeated multiple terms. Prerequisite: Cognitive Science 233 or Psychology 233. 2 credits; S/CR/NC; NE; Fall, Spring; Kathleen M Galotti
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: Cognitive Science 130, Cognitive Science/Psychology 232/233 and Psychology 200/201 or Instructor Consent. 3 credits; NE; Fall, Winter, Spring; Jason A Decker, Justin M London
CGSC 400 Integrative Exercise 3 credits; S/NC; Fall, Winter, Spring; Kathleen M Galotti