Course Descriptions

Undergraduate Course Listing

Description of Courses Offered by Cognitive Science

Note: For info on which courses are being taught this semester, please click here. 

 

185:201 Cognitive Science: A Multi-disciplinary Introduction (4 credits) is a lecture/recitation course taught by a single instructor. This course introduces students to the diverse set of concepts and formal and experimental techniques used in cognitive science. Taught in Fall semesters.
Sample Syllabus for course 185:201  
Pre- or co-requisites: course in computer science, linguistics, philosophy, or psychology or being assigned a permission number by the instructor.

185:253 Human Nature and Diversity: Sex, Love & Parenting; Morality, Religion & Race (3 credits) is a lecture course taught by Stephen Stich. The first goal of this course is to introduce students to some of the central ideas and theories in cognitive science that have been used to explain both human diversity and universal features of human nature. The second goal is to explore the implications of those ideas for a range of important philosophical questions. The course is organized around four areas where questions about human nature and human diversity are of great importance in contemporary society: i) Mating (sex, love and parenting); (ii) morality; (iii) religion; (iv) race. 
Sample Syllabus for course 185:253
Course satisfies the Core Curriculum: 21st Century Challenges [21C] and Arts and Humanities [AHo]

185:301 Cognition and Decision Making (4 credits) is a lecture/recitation course taught by a single instructor. This course introduces students to the subjects of reasoning and decision-making as a means of exploring a number of issues central to the field of cognitive science.
pdf Sample Syllabus for course 185:301 (54 KB)  
Pre-requisite: Introduction to Cognitive Science (185:201)
Course satisfies Core Curriculum: Quantitative and Formal Reasoning (QQ).

185:310 The Concept of "Concepts" in Cognitive Science (3 credits) is a lecture course taught by a single instructor. This course introduces students to the study of concepts from a broad interdisciplinary point of view, surveying how concepts are understood in Psychology, Philosophy, Computer Science and Neuroscience. Emphasis is on both differences in how these various disciplines view concepts as well as commonalities in the underlying ideas.
pdf Sample Syllabus for course 185:310 (54 KB)

185:320 Research Methods in Cognitive Science (3 credits) is a lecture course taught by a single instructor. This course introduces students to a foundation for thinking critically about research in cognitive science. Topics may include the scientific method and consideration of strengths and weaknesses of a range of approaches, statistical reasoning and principles for ethical conduct of research.
pdf Sample Syllabus for course 185:320 (56 KB)  
Pre-requisite: Introduction to Cognitive Science (185:201) OR Cognition and Decision Making (185:301) OR Undergraduate Seminar in Cognitive Science (185:411).

185:330 Meaning and Numbering (3 credits) is a lecture course taught by a single instructor. It will illustrate some central issues in cognitive science—and strategies for addressing questions about the contributions of innate endowment and individual experience (a.k.a., Nature and Nurture) to mature cognition—via discussion and comparison of two important case studies: the human capacity to understand linguistic expressions, and the apparently more widespread capacity to make numerical comparisons.
pdf Sample Syllabus for course 185:330 (156 KB)
Pre-requisite: Introduction to Cognitive Science (185:201)
Credit is not given for this course and 01:730:327

185:335 Neural Structure of Language (3 credits) Language is a deceptively complex computational system. In this course, we will explore how linguistic structure is represented and processed in the brain, and how the computational machinery that generates language intersects with different cognitive capacities and brain structures. We will focus on a few major themes: neural evidence of linguistic structures and structure-building; major brain regions associated with language and competing models of their functions; and the underlying cognitive resources necessary for producing and comprehending language.
Sample Syllabus for course 185:335
Pre-requisite: Introduction to Cognitive Science (185:201)

185:340 Language and Cognition (3 credits) is a lecture course taught by a single instructor. Topics may include speech perception, language acquisition, priming, disorders, speech errors, sentence processing, memory, color, and numerosity.
Pre-requisites: Introduction to Cognitive Science (185:201) and Introduction to Linguistic Theory (615:201)
Sample Syllabus for course 185:335

Credit is not given for this course and 01:615:445
Course satisfies Core Curriculum: Quantitative and Formal Reasoning (QQ).

185:345 Person Perception and Social Cognition (3 credits) This course will survey major topics in social cognition. Social cognition is the study of how we understand ourselves and others as social agents and draws from psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy. This course is broken down into three main units: (1) cognitive architecture, (2) social capacities, and (3) the social world. The goals of this course are to introduce students to contemporary debates in social cognition and help them develop as researchers in their abilities to read long-form academic articles and write clear, critically engaged papers.
Sample Syllabus for course 185:345
Pre-requisite: Introduction to Cognitive Science (185:201)

185:350 Fundamentals of Cognitive Neuroscience (3 credits)  How does our brain give rise to our abilities to perceive, act and think? This course explores the cognitive and neural processes that support attention, learning, memory, language, and guided behaviors with an emphasis on the neural mechanisms that form the substrates of human cognition. It introduces basic neuroanatomy, functional imaging techniques, and behavioral measures of cognition, and discusses methods by which inferences about the brain bases of cognition are made. This course also provides a survey of current research in cognitive neuroscience. Representative topics include perceptual and motor processes, decision making, learning and memory, attention, reward processing, reinforcement learning, sensory inference and cognitive control.
Sample Syllabus for course 185:350
Pre-requisite: Introduction to Cognitive Science (185:201)

185:395/396  Research in Cognitive Science (3 credits) is a supervised research internship in cognitive science. May include laboratory/library research. Final written report required. Pre-requisite: 01:185:201 and permission of instructor.
NOTE: This course also counts as the capstone course for the Cognitive Science major. Only faculty who are Executive Committee members or Affiliates in the Center for Cognitive Science can oversee research courses in Cognitive Science.

185:401 Visual Intelligence (3 credits) is a lecture course taught by several instructors. This course aims to introduce students to the study of visual intelligence from a computational and behavioral point of view. The emphasis is on understanding the representations that our visual systems generate, and the computations that are used to generate them.
pdf Sample Syllabus for course 185:401 (67 KB)
Pre- or co-requisites: 1. Sensation & Perception (830:301). May be taken concurrently. 2. Statistics I (960:211) or Quantitative Methods in Psychology (830:200) [NOTE: must have earned a B or higher in 2.]

185:411 Undergraduate Seminar in Cognitive Science (4 credits) is a seminar course team-taught by faculty affiliated with the Center for Cognitive Science. Faculty from psychology, computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and cognitive science will give single seminars in which they show how these diverse set of concepts and formal and experimental techniques are used to address a particular problem within cognitive science. Taught in Spring semesters. 
Sample Syllabus for course 185:411 
Pre-requisite: Introduction to Cognitive Science (185:201) 
NOTE: This course satisfies the capstone requirement of the Cognitive Science major.

185:412 Advanced Topics II in Cognitive Science (3 credits) is a multi-sectioned course with each section investigating advanced problems and issues in cognitive science.
Sample Syllabus for course 185:412
Pre-requisite: Introduction to Cognitive Science (185:201)
NOTE: This course satisfies the upper-division electives for any track of the Cognitive Science major.
Check the Center’s Upcoming Courses Webpage for titles, descriptions, and requirements of any sections being offered.  

185:413 Advanced Topics in Cognitive Science: Cog Neuro (3 credits) is a topical course with each section investigating advanced problems and issues in cognitive neuroscience. Check the Center’s Upcoming Courses webpage for titles, descriptions, and requirements of any sections being offered.
Sample Syllabus for course 185:413
Pre-requisite: Introduction to Cognitive Science (185:201)
NOTE: This course satisfies the upper-division electives for the Cognitive Neuroscience track of the Cognitive Science major.

185:414 Advanced Topics in Cognitive Science: Decision Making (3 credits) is a topical course with each section investigating advanced problems and issues in the decision sciences. Check the Center’s Upcoming Courses webpage for titles, descriptions, and requirements of any sections being offered.
Sample Syllabus for course 185:414
Pre-requisite: Introduction to Cognitive Science (185:201)
NOTE: This course satisfies the upper-division electives for the Decision Making track of the Cognitive Science major.

185:415 Advanced Topics in Cognitive Science: Language (3 credits) is a topical course with each section investigating advanced problems and issues in cognitive science and language. Check the Center’s Upcoming Courses webpage for titles, descriptions, and requirements of any sections being offered.
Sample Syllabus for course 185:415
Pre-requisite: Introduction to Cognitive Science (185:201)
NOTE: This course satisfies the upper-division electives for the Language track of the Cognitive Science major.

185:416 Advanced Topics in Cognitive Science: Minds, Machines & Computation (3 credits) is a topical course with each section investigating advanced problems and issues in cognitive science, including topics such as the computational theory of mind. Check the Center’s Upcoming Courses webpage for titles, descriptions, and requirements of any sections being offered.
Sample Syllabus for course 185:416
Pre-requisite: Introduction to Cognitive Science (185:201)
NOTE: This course satisfies the upper-division electives for the Minds, Machines & Computation track of the Cognitive Science major.

185:417 Advanced Topics in Cognitive Science: Perception (3 credits) is a topical course with each section investigating advanced problems and issues in cognitive science and visual intelligence. Check the Center’s Upcoming Courses webpage for titles, descriptions, and requirements of any sections being offered.
Sample Syllabus for course 185:417
Pre-requisite: Introduction to Cognitive Science (185:201)
NOTE: This course satisfies the upper-division electives for the Perception track of the Cognitive Science major.

185:430 Cognitive Neuroscience Through Case Studies (4 credits) is a lecture course taught by a single instructor. Students will become knowledgeable about the structure and function of the human brain in people who do and do not have acquired or developmental brain disorders. Topics will include methods, vision, attention, movement and sensation, memory, neurodevelopment, and language, among others.
pdf Sample Syllabus for course 185:430 (120 KB)
Pre-requisites: Introduction to Cog Sci (185:201) or General Psychology (830:101)

185:495 Senior Honors Thesis (3 credits) Thesis research under the direction of a faculty advisor.
Pre-requisite: 01:185:201 and eligibility for departmental honors and approval of thesis topic by faculty advisor and director of undergraduate studies.

185:496 Senior Honors Thesis (3 credits) Thesis research under the direction of a faculty advisor.
Pre-requisite: 01:185:201, 01:185:495, and eligibility for departmental honors and approval of thesis topic by faculty adviser and director of undergraduate studies.
NOTE: Only faculty who are Executive Committee members or Affiliates in the Center for Cognitive Science can oversee research courses in Cognitive Science.
Once you have a faculty advisor, please apply to complete a Senior Honors Thesis by completing the Honors Research in Cognitive Science application form.