Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Saturday, September 22, 2018, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.

2016-2017 Course Catalog

Period: 2018-20192017-20182016-20172015-20162014-2015

This catalog was created on Saturday, September 22, 2018.


Cognitive Science

Professors:T. Gottfried (Psychology), K. Krebsbach (Mathematics), T. Ryckman (Philosophy), B. Williams (Education, chair)
Associate professor:M. Phelan (Philosophy)

Cognitive science is an area of interdisciplinary study that investigates the nature and representation of knowledge, the structure and function of intelligence (natural and artificial), and the relation of mind to brain and machine. In studying cognitive science, students are encouraged to acquaint themselves with insights and methods from a variety of disciplines, including psychology, computer science, linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, and neuroscience.

The interdisciplinary minor in cognitive science is particularly relevant for students interested in experimental psychology, computer science, linguistics, or philosophy. Students interested in other disciplines, such as anthropology, economics, political science, neuroscience, or music theory, may also find cognitive science an important perspective from which to consider their work.

Requirements for the minor in cognitive science

  1. PHIL 105: Introduction to Cognitive Science
  2. Six additional courses, five of which must be in departments other than the student's major.
    Courses must be from at least three of the following groups:
    1. Philosophical Foundations
      • PHIL 150: Symbolic Logic
      • PHIL 300: Epistemology
      • PHIL 305: Experimental Philosophy
      • PHIL 310: Philosophy of Science
      • PHIL 347: Valuing Art: The Philosophy and Psychology of Aesthetic Appreciation
      • PHIL 410: Philosophy of Mind
      • PHIL 420/LING 420: Topics in Logic
    2. Computation
      • CMSC 100: Exploring Computer Science
      • CMSC 105: WWII Codebreaking
      • CMSC 205: Data-Scientific Programming
      • CMSC 210: Introduction to Scientific Programming
      • CMSC 470: Artificial Intelligence
      • CMSC 515: Theory of Computation
    3. Neuroscience
      • PSYC 350: Psychopharmacology and Behavior
      • PSYC 360: Brain and Behavior I
      • PSYC 420: Clinical and Affective Neuroscience
      • PSYC 525 or 530: Brain and Behavior II
      • BIOL 340/PSYC 580: Topics in Neuroscience
    4. Cognitive Processes
      • ECON 225: Decision Theory
      • ECON 410: Advanced Game Theory and Applications
      • EDST 180/PSYC 180: Psychology of Learning
      • EDST 345/ANTH 345/PSYC 345: Distributed Cognition
      • PSYC 260 or 265: Developmental Psychology
      • PSYC 290: Developmental Psychopathology
      • PSYC 340: Cognitive Psychology
      • PSYC 370: Perception
    5. Language
      • ANTH 330/LING 330: Language and Culture
      • ANTH 531/LING 531: Semiotics
      • LING 150: Introduction to Linguistics
      • LING 335: Words, Words, Words: Introduction to Lexical Semantics
      • LING 340: Introduction to Syntax
      • LING 350: Introduction to Phonology
      • LING 355: Child Language Acquisition
      • LING 370/PSYC 375: Phonetics
      • LING 450: Topics in the Psychology of Language
      • LING 470: Cognitive Linguistics
      • LING 545/EDST 545/PSYC 545: Gesture Studies
      • PHIL 400/LING 400: Philosophy of Language
      • PHIL 405/LING 405: How to Do Things With Words

Courses - Cognitive Science

CMSC 105: WWII Codebreaking

An introduction to general principles of computer science alongside specific encryption algorithms developed throughout history, culminating in a fascinating analysis of the remarkable accomplishments of Alan Turing and the Allied codebreakers of World War II. Students will break classical ciphers and will also experiment with modern techniques that facilitate secure internet transactions.
Units: 6.

PHIL 105: Introduction to Cognitive Science

An introduction to the interdisciplinary study of how the mind works. Topics include: the nature of perception; what human language reveals about the mind; the basis of morality and altruism; how sexual selection has shaped human psychology; and the cognitive science of religious and spiritual belief. We will discuss tools, theories, and assumptions from philosophy, psychology, computer science, linguistics, anthropology, behavioral economics, and neuroscience.
Units: 6.

LING 150: Introduction to Linguistics

Introduction to theory and methods of linguistics: universal properties of human language; phonetic, phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic structures and analysis; nature and form of grammar.
Units: 6.

PHIL 150: Symbolic Logic

Formal study of the notions of validity, consistency, and equivalence in the languages of sentential logic and predicate logic, plus an introduction to semantics for these languages.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: Recommended for freshmen and sophomores

EDST 180: Psychology of Learning

An investigation of how people learn. This course examines learning theories (e.g., behavioral, humanistic, cognitive, constructivist) and their implications for the educational process in schools. Other topics include learning and the brain, the nature of expertise, the design of learning environments, and approaches to instruction that promote meaningful learning. Practicum of 20 hours required.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Psychology 180

PSYC 180: Psychology of Learning

An investigation of how people learn. This course examines learning theories (e.g., behavioral, humanistic, cognitive, constructivist) and their implications for the educational process in schools. Other topics include learning and the brain, the nature of expertise, the design of learning environments, and approaches to instruction that promote meaningful learning. Practicum of 20 hours required.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Education Studies 180

CMSC 205: Data-Scientific Programming

An introduction to programming with emphasis on learning from data in order to gain useful insights. Topics focus on elementary programming concepts in the R language and the necessary tools to handle, analyze and interpret data. This course will be taught in a workshop format, and students will complete regular assignments and a final project that provide hands-on programming/analysis experiences.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: One course in mathematics or computer science, or consent of instructor

CMSC 210: Introduction to Scientific Programming

An introduction to computer programming with an emphasis on numerical applications in mathematics and the sciences. Topics include elementary programming concepts in the C language, design and implementation of numerical algorithms, and an introduction to symbolic computation.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: One term of calculus (either MATH 140 or MATH 120), or consent of instructor

ECON 225: Decision Theory

This course will present a thorough introduction to decision theory, the study of how people should or do make decisions. Building on that foundation, game theory, the science of strategy, will be introduced, with economic applications.
Units: 6.

PSYC 260: Developmental Psychology

A study of the development of behavior and mental processes from conception through middle childhood. Topics include prenatal development, attachment, children’s language skills, social and cognitive development. A variety of theoretical perspectives are covered.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or sophomore standing

PSYC 265: Developmental Psychology (with laboratory)

Identical in content to Psychology 260, but requiring a weekly three-hour laboratory that involves systematic work with infants and children to learn assessment techniques and experimental methodologies for the study of development.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or sophomore standing

PHIL 300: Epistemology

An examination of some basic questions concerning the nature and extent of human knowledge, focusing on the topics of skepticism, justification, certainty, the a priori and the a posteriori, and analyses of knowledge.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 310: Metaphysics

An examination of some central philosophical questions about reality, such as: What basic kinds of things are there? Is truth always and only relative to a conceptual scheme? What is the nature of necessity and possibility? What is the nature of change over time?
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor

ANTH 330: Language and Culture

An introduction to the core concepts of linguistic anthropology, definitions of language, basic methods of linguistic anthropology (observation, transcription, analysis, ethnography), power and language, language discrimination, and language ideology theory. Lectures, discussions, and labs.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Linguistics 330
Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or LING 150

LING 330: Language and Culture

An introduction to the core concepts of linguistic anthropology, definitions of language, basic methods of linguistic anthropology (observation, transcription, analysis, ethnography), power and language, language discrimination, and language ideology theory. Lectures, discussions, and labs.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Anthropology 330
Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or LING 150

LING 335: Words, Words, Words: Introduction to Lexical Semantics

This course introduces fundamental concepts and research issues in the linguistic study of word meaning. Topics include: representation of word meaning; relation between lexical, truth-conditional and context-dependent meanings; semantic relations; meaning variation; semantic properties of nouns and verbs (e.g. mass-count distinction, verb classes, aspect, semantic roles); interaction between content and function words.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: LING 150

BIOL 340: Topics in Neuroscience

A study of the nervous system from the perspectives of psychology and biology. Topics vary year to year and may include glial cells, neural development, and the evolution of nervous systems and neurotransmitter systems. Lecture only. May be repeated when topic is different.

Topic for Spring 2019: Viral Vectors in the Central Nervous System
Viral vectors are exciting tools currently used in the field of gene therapy and in basic neuroscience research to further understand neurobiological processes. Using primary research and review articles as a basis, this course will explore the history of viral vectors, advancements in their design, the therapeutic potential of vectors for CNS disorders and the adverse effects, including biological, environmental and ethical issues, associated with them. Course format includes discussions, presentations, group work and writing assignments.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Psychology 580
Prerequisite: CHEM 116, BIOL 150, and one course in psychology; or PSYC 360 and one course in biology; or consent of instructor

LING 340: Introduction to Syntax

An introduction to descriptive analysis of morphological and syntactic structures in natural languages with an emphasis on gaining insight into the nature of such structures, rather than on linguistic formalization. Topics include levels of representation, X-bar theory, case theory, thematic roles, the lexicon, grammatical function-changing rules, and head-complement relations.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: LING 150 or consent of instructor

PSYC 340: Cognitive Psychology (with laboratory)

An investigation of the mental processes involved in the acquisition, organization, and use of knowledge. Information-processing and other approaches are used to study pattern recognition, attention, memory, imagery, problem-solving, and related topics. One laboratory per week involving class demonstrations and experiments.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or sophomore standing

ANTH 345: Distributed Cognition and the Extended Mind

The new science of the mind treats cognition as a distributed process involving the brain, body, and world. This seminar explores the role of material settings and tools, bodily engagement, social interaction, and cultural processes in human reasoning, problem solving, and learning. Students will write short papers examining aspects of cognitive activity in real-world settings.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Education Studies 345, Psychology 345
Prerequisite: PHIL 105 recommended

EDST 345: Distributed Cognition and the Extended Mind

The new science of the mind treats cognition as a distributed process involving the brain, body, and world. This seminar explores the role of material settings and tools, bodily engagement, social interaction, and cultural processes in human reasoning, problem solving, and learning. Students will write short papers examining aspects of cognitive activity in real-world settings.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Anthropology 345, Psychology 345
Prerequisite: PHIL 105 recommended

PSYC 345: Distributed Cognition and the Extended Mind

The new science of the mind treats cognition as a distributed process involving the brain, body, and world. This seminar explores the role of material settings and tools, bodily engagement, social interaction, and cultural processes in human reasoning, problem solving, and learning. Students will write short papers examining aspects of cognitive activity in real-world settings.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Education Studies 345, Anthropology 345
Prerequisite: PHIL 105 recommended

PHIL 347: Valuing Art: The Philosophy and Psychology of Aesthetic Appreciation

How and why do we value art? Is there an objective standard of taste or is taste relative? How does and aesthetic property--such as beauty--differ from other properties of art--such as being made of stone? What are the roles of emotion and evolution in aesthetic response? These and other questions will be considered in this discussion-oriented class. Appropriate for those interested in philosophy, art history or cognitive science.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or sophomore standing, or consent of instructor

LING 350: Introduction to Phonology

An introduction to the formal study of phonetics, phonemics, and phonological analysis and theory. Topics include stress, syllable structure, tones, metrics, phonotactics, and links between phonology and morphology/syntax; exercises on familiar and unfamiliar languages.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: LING 150 or consent of instructor

PSYC 350: Psychopharmacology and Behavior

An interdisciplinary examination of the ways in which behaviorally active drugs exert their effects, drawing on research in pharmacology, psychology, biochemistry, anatomy, and neurophysiology. Provides an understanding and appreciation of the role of behaviorally active drugs in people’s lives, today and in the past.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing; at least one prior biology course recommended

LING 355: Child Language Acquisition

Every normally developing human acquires language in early childhood. This course explores how this feat is accomplished. We will examine data on children’s linguistic knowledge at difference developmental stages and what types of theories might explain these data. Students will also have the opportunity to analyze real child language data.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: LING 150, or PSYC 260 or PSYC 265

PSYC 360: Brain and Behavior I

An introduction to the structure and function of the nervous system and its relationship to behavior. Topics include cellular physiology, neuroanatomy, sensory processes, motor control, and neuropharmacology. No laboratory.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing; at least one biology course recommended

LING 370: Phonetics

An introduction to the science of speech sounds, focusing on descriptive and experimental studies of articulation and speech acoustics. Laboratory demonstrations of speech production, acoustical analysis, and speech synthesis are combined with lecture/demonstrations to relate phonetics research to theories of phonology and language acquisition.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Psychology 375
Prerequisite: LING 150, PSYC 340, or consent of instructor

PSYC 370: Perception

An introduction to the physiological and psychological processes by which we receive, transform, and use the information from the world acquired through our senses. Special emphasis on visual and auditory perception to allow a more in-depth study of two perceptual systems and to provide information useful to those interested in the visual arts and music.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or sophomore standing

PSYC 375: Introduction to Phonetics

An introduction to the science of speech sounds, focusing on descriptive and experimental studies of articulation and speech acoustics. Laboratory demonstrations of speech production, acoustical analysis, and speech synthesis are combined with lecture/demonstrations to relate phonetics research to theories of phonology and language acquisition.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Linguistics 370
Prerequisite: LING 150, PSYC 340, or consent of instructor

LING 400: Philosophy of Language

An examination of major theories of meaning, reference, and cognitive content and an attempt to understand how language functions to relate “internal” psychological states to things in the “external” world. Contemporary philosophers are emphasized.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Philosophy 400
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor; PHIL 150 recommended

PHIL 400: Philosophy of Language

An examination of major theories of meaning, reference, and cognitive content and an attempt to understand how language functions to relate “internal” psychological states to things in the “external” world. Contemporary philosophers are emphasized.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Linguistics 400
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor; PHIL 150 recommended

LING 405: How to Do Things With Words

An examination of major and cutting edge topics in the philosophy of language and linguistics. Where do word meanings come from? How can one word mean different things in different contexts? How do we promise or make commitments? Why do slurs hurt and jokes amuse? What is the nature of metaphor? Where does the border between what words mean and what speakers mean with words lie? These and other questions will be considered. Appropriate for students with an interest in philosophy, linguistics, or cognitive science.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Philosophy 405
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of the instructor

PHIL 405: How to Do Things With Words

An examination of major and cutting edge topics in the philosophy of language and linguistics. Where do word meanings come from? How can one word mean different things in different contexts? How do we promise or make commitments? Why do slurs hurt and jokes amuse? What is the nature of metaphor? Where does the border between what words mean and what speakers mean with words lie? These and other questions will be considered. Appropriate for students with an interest in philosophy, linguistics, or cognitive science.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Linguistics 405
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of the instructor

ECON 410: Advanced Game Theory and Applications

This course develops game theory, the science of strategic interaction, i.e., interdependent individuals seeking to promote their self interest, with applications in economics, biology, and philosophy. The mathematical nature of game theoretic models will be reflected in a focus on problem solving. Sufficient mathematical maturity required.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: MATH 130 or MATH 140; MATH 300 recommended

PHIL 410: Philosophy of Mind

What is the relationship between the mind and the body? What is the nature of conscious experience? How do mental states represent states of the world? Is our common sense conception of mental states and processes compatible with the methods and assumptions of cognitive science? These and other questions in the philosophy of mind will be considered.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, PSYC 340, junior standing, or consent of instructor

LING 420: Topics in Logic

An investigation of topics selected from among the following: consistency and completeness theorems for both sentential and predicate logic, Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem, logical paradoxes (Russell’s Paradox, the Liar Paradox, and Newcomb’s Paradox), and modal-tense logic and its formal semantics.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Philosophy 420
Prerequisite: PHIL 150 or consent of instructor

PHIL 420: Topics in Logic

An investigation of topics selected from among the following: consistency and completeness theorems for both sentential and predicate logic, Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem, logical paradoxes (Russell’s Paradox, the Liar Paradox, and Newcomb’s Paradox), and modal-tense logic and its formal semantics.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Linguistics 420
Prerequisite: PHIL 150 or consent of instructor

PSYC 420: Clinical and Affective Neuroscience

This course focuses on advanced topics in neuroscience involving emotion. We will explore emerging knowledge of the brain's involvement in emotional behaviors, including physiological and psychological states. Course topics include: neural plasticity, human neuroscience methods, emotions, and pathophysiology of affective disorders.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: PSYC 350 or PSYC 360

LING 450: Topics in the Psychology of Language

An examination of the nature and structure of language, integrating knowledge from linguistics, psychology, neurophysiology, and sociology. Focus on the psychological theories and experimental evidence about language production and perception.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Psychology 540
Prerequisite: PSYC 340, LING 150, or consent of instructor

CMSC 470: Artificial Intelligence

A detailed investigation into foundational concepts of artificial intelligence: search, knowledge representation, and automated planning. Specific topics include uninformed and heuristic search techniques, logic-based knowledge representations, automated theorem-proving, logic programming (Prolog), action representations, means-ends analysis, regression and partial-order planning, and reachability analysis using graphs.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: CMSC 250 and CMSC 270

LING 470: Cognitive Linguistics

Cognitive linguistics is a subfield of linguistics and cognitive science that studies conceptual structure, language, and meaning in relation to general cognitive mechanisms. Topics include cognitive and construction grammars, categorization, construal, image schemas, mental spaces, conceptual metaphors, and conceptual blending.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: LING 150 or consent of instructor

CMSC 515: Theory of Computation

A study of programming in the abstract, leading to an understanding of the precise nature and limitations of computing machines. Topics include universal computing machines such as Turing machines, decidable and undecidable predicates, regular and pushdown automata, and regular and context-free grammars.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: CMSC 150 and either MATH 220 or MATH 300

PSYC 525: Brain and Behavior II (no lab)

This course is identical in content to PSYC 530, but it has no laboratory. An examination of the interrelationships between the brain and behavior. Topics include sleep, language, motivation, emotions, learning, and mental disorders.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: PSYC 360

ANTH 531: Semiotics

Semiotics is the study of signs, symbols, and signification in social life. This course will cover semiotic theory, including theorists such as Saussure, Peirce, Jakobson, Lévi-Strauss, Barthes, and Bakhtin, and the application of semiotics to the study of language and social life, conducted through lectures and seminar-style discussions.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Linguistics 531
Prerequisite: ANTH 330/LING 330 or ANTH 331

LING 531: Semiotics

Semiotics is the study of signs, symbols, and signification in social life. This course will cover semiotic theory, including theorists such as Saussure, Peirce, Jakobson, Lévi-Strauss, Barthes, and Bakhtin, and the application of semiotics to the study of language and social life, conducted through lectures and seminar-style discussions.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Anthropology 531
Prerequisite: ANTH 330/LING 330

PSYC 540: Topics in the Psychology of Language

An examination of the nature and structure of language, integrating knowledge from linguistics, psychology, neurophysiology, and sociology. Focus on the psychological theories and experimental evidence about language production and perception.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Linguistics 450
Prerequisite: PSYC 340, LING 150, or consent of instructor

PSYC 580: Topics in Neuroscience

A study of the nervous system from the perspectives of psychology and biology. Topics vary year to year and may include glial cells, neural development, and the evolution of nervous systems and neurotransmitter systems. Lecture only. May be repeated when topic is different.

Topic for Spring 2019: Viral Vectors in the Central Nervous System
Viral vectors are exciting tools currently used in the field of gene therapy and in basic neuroscience research to further understand neurobiological processes. Using primary research and review articles as a basis, this course will explore the history of viral vectors, advancements in their design, the therapeutic potential of vectors for CNS disorders and the adverse effects, including biological, environmental and ethical issues, associated with them. Course format includes discussions, presentations, group work and writing assignments.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Biology 340
Prerequisite: CHEM 116, BIOL 150 and one course in psychology; or PSYC 360 and one course in biology; or consent of instructor

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