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Cognitive Science Concentration (CGSC)

Director: Professor Kathleen M. Galotti

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

Common Experience: (6 credits)

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 How to Build a Mind: Introduction to Cognitive Science

A second alternative entry point into the concentration is enrollment in the Biology-Philosphy DYAD--linked sections of Biology 125 and Philosophy 100. DYAD students may count successful completion as the equivalent of Cognitive Science 130 (not offered in 2011-2012).

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 2011-2012)

BIOL 379 Seminar: Behavioral Genetics (not offered in 2011-2012)

BIOL 386 Neurobiology

CGSC 100 How We Make Important Decisions

CGSC 130 How to Build A Mind: An Introduction to Cognitive Science

CGSC 380 Seminar in Developmental Psychology: Cognitive Development During the Preschool Years (not offered in 2011-2012)

CGSC 385 Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood

CGSC 386 Adolescent Cognitive Development: Developing an Identity and Life Plans (not offered in 2011-2012)

CGSC 396 Directed Research in Cognitive Studies

CS 254 Computability and Complexity

CS 321 Artificial Intelligence

CS 322 Natural Language Processing (not offered in 2011-2012)

ECON 266 Experimental Economics

ECON 267 Behavioral Economics

EDUC 234 Educational Psychology

LING 216 Generative Approaches to Syntax

LING 217 Phonetics and Phonology

LING 265 Language and Brain (not offered in 2011-2012)

LING 275 First Language Acquisition (not offered in 2011-2012)

LING 315 Topics in Syntax

LING 316 Topics in Morphology

LING 317 Topics in Phonology (not offered in 2011-2012)

LING 325 Syntax of an Unfamiliar Language

LING 340 Topics in Semantics (not offered in 2011-2012)

MUSC 227 Introduction to the Perception and Cognition of Music

PHIL 212 Epistemology

PHIL 223 Philosophy of Language

PHIL 225 Philosophy of Mind (not offered in 2011-2012)

PHIL 395 Wittgenstein on Language, Mind and Meaning

PSYC 100 Psychology, Technology and Design

PSYC 216 Behavioral Neuroscience

PSYC 220 Sensation and Perception

PSYC 234 Psychology of Language (not offered in 2011-2012)

PSYC 238 Memory Processes

PSYC 250 Developmental Psychology

PSYC 258 Social Cognition

PSYC 362 Psychology of Spoken Words

PSYC 373 Face Recognition (not offered in 2011-2012)

PSYC 375 Language and Deception

SOAN 260 Myth, Ritual, and Symbolism (not offered in 2011-2012)

SOAN 274 Language, Culture and Society


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 cr., AI, WR1, FallK. Galotti

CGSC 130. How to Build A Mind: 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 current models of human cognition, including artificial intelligence, connectionism, modularity theory, dynamical systems, robotics and embodied cognition. Specific topics to be explored from these perspectives include the nature of mental representation. consciousness, reasoning, language and vision. 6 cr., HU; HI, WinterR. Elveton

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, SpringK. 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, SpringK. Galotti

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 2011-2012.

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, FallK. Galotti

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 2011-2012.

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, K. Galotti