Cognitive Science

Director: Kenneth Livingston (Psychology); Faculty Members: Janet K. Andrews (Psychology), Gwen Broude (Psychology), Herman Cappelen (Philosophy), Carol Christensen (Psychology), Jennifer Church (Philosophy), Stephen J. Clark (Psychology), Nancy Ide (Computer Science), John H. Long, Jr. (Biology), Christopher Welty (Computer Science); Participating Faculty: Randolph Cornelius (Psychology), Jeffrey Cynx (Psychology), John Feroe (Mathematics), Janet Gray (Psychology), Jannay Morrow (Psychology), Carolyn Palmer (Psychology), Kathleen M. Susman (Biology), Douglas Winblad (Philosophy), Debra Zeifman (Psychology).

The relationship between consciousness and brain activity, the nature of language and symbolism, the possibility of machine intelligence, and the explanation of perception, memory, thought, emotion, and metaphor are such rich and complex problems that their exploration demands a multidisciplinary approach. Studies in the field of cognitive science combine the conceptual analysis of philosophy and linguistics with the technology of computer science and the empirical research of psychology and neuroscience in an attempt to understand these phenomena.

The key elements of the major in cognitive science are (1) sustained exposure to an integrated multidisciplinary perspective through the Core Courses in cognitive science, (2) development of thematic expertise or breadth in Cognitive Science themes and methods, (3) completion during the senior year of an independent research project on a topic chosen by the student.

The first of these goals is met by completion of the following courses. All majors are required to complete all of these courses:

Cognitive Science 100 Introduction to Cognitive Science (1)

Cognitive Science 211 Perception and Action (1)

Cognitive Science 213 Language (1)

Cognitive Science 215 Knowledge and Cognition (1)

Psychology 270 Statistics and Experimental Design (1)

Cognitive Science 275 Methods in Cognitive Science (1)

Cognitive Science 375 Seminar in Cognitive Science (1)

The second goal of the major is met by choosing four courses from the possible electives listed below. The following stipulations apply to electives: (1) The choice of electives must be made in consultation with the adviser at the time of declaration of the major. (2) Elective courses should allow students either to (a) gain thematic expertise or (b) attainbreadth in Cognitive Science themes and methods. (3) At least one of the four electives must be a 300-level seminar. This can include a second Cognitive Science seminar. (4) No more than one of the electives can be a 100-level course. The exception is the Computer Science 101-102, sequence. A student who takes this sequence can have both courses count toward the major.



Approved Courses:

Anthropology 150 Linguistic Anthropology (1)

Anthropology 250 Topics in Language and Culture (1)

Anthropology 253 Language and Society (1)

Anthropology 351 Linguistic Seminar (1)

Biology 152 The Cellular Basis of Life (1)

Biology 226 Animal Structure and Diversity (1)

Biology 228 Animal Physiology (1)

Biology 238 Principles of Genetics (1)

Biology 316 Neurobiology (1)

Biology 340 Animal Behavior (1)

Biology 350 Evolutionary Biology (1)

Computer Science 101 Computer Science I (1)

Computer Science 102 Computer Science II (1)

Computer Science 240 Language Theory and Computation (1)

Computer Science 265 Artificial Intelligence (1)

Computer Science 340 Theory of Computation (1)

Computer Science 365 Topics in Artificial Intelligence (1)

Computer Science 366 Natural Language Processing (1)

Philosophy 125 Logic (1)

Philosophy 220 Metaphysics and Epistemology (1)

Philosophy 222 Philosophy of Language (1)

Philosophy 224 Philosophy of Mind (1)

Philosophy 310 Seminar in Analytic Philosophy* (1)

Psychology 202 Principles of Development (1)

Psychology 212 Principles of Learning and Behavior (1)

Psychology 214 Principles of Physiological Psychology (1)

Psychology 262 Abnormal Psychology (1)

Psychology 271 Methods and Issues in Developmental Psychology (1)

Psychology 273 Methods and Issues in the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (1)

Psychology 278 Laboratory in Physiological Psychology (1)

Psychology 325 Seminar in Advanced Developmental Psychology (1)

Psychology 342 Seminar in Physiological Psychology (1)

Psychology 355 Seminar in Comparative Psychology (1)

Psychology 378 Seminar on States of Consciousness (1)

Biopsychology 201 Models and Systems in Biopsychology (1)

Biopsychology 301 Seminar in Biopsychology (1)

*Students should consult with their advisers to decide which section of Philosophy 310 is relevant to their concentration.

The final goal of the major is met by completing a thesis in the senior year. The topic of the thesis is chosen by the student in consultation with one or more members of the program faculty. All majors must sign up for the thesis in the senior year. Students are strongly encouraged to sign up for Cognitive Science 300-301 for 1/2 credit in the a-semester and 1/2 credit in the b-semester, for a total of 1 unit of credit. In cases where this is not possible it is acceptable to sign up for Cognitive Science 302 for a full unit in either the a- or the b-term. Consult your adviser before electing the latter option.

After declaration of the major, all courses within the major must be taken for letter grades. Students may elect a graded or ungraded option for theses, but may not change the election once made.

100a and b. Introduction to Cognitive Science (1)

This course serves as an introduction to the multidisciplinary field of cognitive science. The course provides the historical context of the emergence of cognitive science, tracing developments in modern philosophy and linguistics, and the rise of cognitivism and neuroscience in psychology and of artificial intelligence in computer science. The basic substantive issues of cognitive science discussed in-clude the mind-body problem, thought as computation and the computer model of mind, the role of representation in mental activity, and the explanation of mental activity via categories such as language, memory, perception, reasoning, and consciousness. The discussions of these issues illustrate the distinctive methodology of cognitive science, which integrates elements of the methodological approaches of several disciplines. The program faculty.

211a. Perception and Action (1)

(Same as Psychology 211) This course is designed to examine the interactive link between perceptual processes and action. This link is often quite direct, requiring less mediation by higher level knowledge and cognition than is generally assumed. One of the major goals of the course is to explore under what circumstances and to what degree such mediation is required to produce successful action. We study the transduction of physical energy into sensory experience, the dimensions of perceptual experience, and the integration of sensory events into complex percepts, as well as the structure of action and the mutually supporting nature of perceptual and motor processes. Major theoretical and conceptual issues, including philosophical ones, are discussed, and relevant evidence is drawn from psychophysical, neuroscientific, and behavioral studies of other species and from human infants and children, as well as from human adults. Computer models of these processes and the problem of replicating them in robots are considered. Regular laboratory work will be required in addition to scheduled classes. The program faculty.

Prerequisite: Cognitive Science 100.

213a. Language (1)

(Same as Psychology 213) This course considers the rich and complex phenomenon of human language from a multidisciplinary perspective. The emphasis is on the cognitive representations and processes that enable individual language users to acquire, perceive, comprehend, produce, read, and write language. Consideration is given to the relation of language to thought and consciousness; to neural substrates of language and the effects of brain damage on language ability; to computational models of language; and to language development. Throughout, language is examined at different levels of analysis, including sound, structure, and meaning.

Prerequisite: Cognitive Science 100.

215b. Knowledge and Cognition (1)

(Same as Psychology 215) This course focuses on higher-order cognitive processes and abilities. The phenomena to be studied include memory, organization of knowledge, concepts, imagery, problem-solving, and reasoning. Relevant philosophical issues will be examined along with research on the brain, experimental evidence from cognitive psychology, and some computer models. A major goal of the course is to show how these elements are integrated in the developing framework of cognitive science. The program faculty.

Prerequisite: Cognitive Science 100.

275b. Methods in Cognitive Science (1)

(Same as Psychology 275) In this course, students will learn to apply the principal methodologies of cognitive science to a specific problem in the field, such as sentence processing or visual form perception. The methods will be drawn from human neurophysiology, experimental cognitive psychology, computer modelling, linguistic and logical analysis, and other appropriate investigative tools, depending on the specific issue chosen for study. A major goal of the course is to give students hands-on experience with the use and coordination of research techniques and strategies characteristic of contemporary cognitive science. The program faculty.

Prerequisites: Psychology 270, and either Cognitive Science 211, 213, or 215.

290a and b. Field Work (1/2 or 1)

298a and b. Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

300-301. Senior Thesis (1)

A thesis written in two semesters for 1 unit.

302a. and b. Senior Thesis (1)

A thesis written in one semester for 1 unit.

375b. Seminar in Cognitive Science: Language (1)

The topic of the seminar varies regularly, but is always focused on some aspect of thought, language, perception, or action considered from the unique, synthetic perspective of cognitive science. The seminar is team-taught by faculty members in the program. May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.)

Topic for 1999/00: Language. An overview of recent research and theoretical controversy in the study of language, with a special emphasis on problems in semantics. Ms. Andrews and Mr. Cappelen.

Prerequisite: An intermediate-level course in cognitive science or permission of the instructors. Prior coursework in a related area (linguistics, philosophy of language) desirable but not required.

One 3-hour period.

399a and b. Senior Independent Work (1/2 or 1)