Cognitive Science Program
at the University of Virginia

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Cognitive Science Previously Approved Courses
for Fall 2006

 

Cognitive Psychology | Philosophy | Linguistics | Neuroscience

 

Cognitive Psychology

PSYC 210: Introduction to Learning and Behavior

The course will examine historical and current theories that explain how different types of learning provide the foundation for most, if not all forms of an organism's behavior. We will cover these theories by carefully examining the most important research experiments that contributed to our current understanding of the principles and concepts that shape our behavior. The lecture content will focus heavily on experimental findings derived from research of learning processes in human and non-human species. The concept of Learning will be explored from the perspective of theories of Classical Conditioning,Operant Conditioning and more recent theories of the organization of behavior derived from human studies.

Instructor:Cedric Williams

PSYC 221: Animal Learning and Behavior

This is a lecture/discussion course on animal behavior from an evolutionary and ecological perspectives. We will consider behavior ranging in complexity from simple reflexes to cognition and language as well as developmental and social behavior with learning and evolutionary and genetic principles, and an understanding of why there is no such category as "lower" animal.

Instructor: E. Simmel

PSYC 230: Introduction to Perception

Study of selected topics in perception, particularly visual perception; the role of stimulus variables, learning and motivation of perception.
*If course is full through ISIS: A waiting list will be maintained through the psychology website. Do not contact the professor.

Instructor: Dennis Proffitt

Important Note about PSYC 305 and 306

It is important for you to attend the first PSYC 305 or 306 lecture. You will sign an attendance sheet and be given instructions for completing an online form to confirm your lab registration. If you do not attend class you will be dropped from lecture and the lab. Coming to class late is not an excuse for missing this information. If you are unable to attend, you must contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies before the lecture. The purpose of the online form is to change your lab section if you are not happy in your current lab. The Director of Undergraduate Studies is the only person who can add or change your lab assignment. There are no Course Action forms for lab changes. The order of priority for lab changes are based on the number of alternate labs you select. If your lab is not changed you will be responsible for making the required adjustments to your schedule to accommodate a lab that still has space. Lab changes should be final by the afternoon of the first Friday (if not sooner) of the semester. After that time, you may change to any lab that is open via ISIS, but at the end of the first full week of classes the lab assignments will be locked. Please do not make a special appeal to the instructor, lab T.A., or the Director of Undergraduate Studies if you do not get the lab section you want. You are responsible for checking ISIS to confirm your lab section. All labs begin the first full week of classes. Failure to attend the lab in which you are registered may result in a penalty in your lab grade.

PSYC 305-1: Research Methods & Data Analysis I
* Prerequisites: Psyc 101 or any 200-level Psyc course

Introduction to research methods in psychology, integrating statistical analysis. Emphasis on descriptive statistics and non-experimental research methods. Use of computers for data analysis, experimentation, and report writing. This course is required for majors and is the first part of a two-part series (305-306).
*If course is full through ISIS: A waiting list will be maintained through the psychology website. Do not contact the professor.

Instructor: Nancy Weinfield

PSYC 306: Research Methods & Data Analysis II
* Prerequisites: Psyc 305 ( with C- or better)

Second part of a two-part series required for psychology majors. Emphasis on inferential statistics (t-tests and ANOVA) and issues in experimentation.
*If course is full through ISIS: A waiting list will be maintained through the psychology website. Do not contact the professor.
**Course May Meet Second Writing Requirement**

Instructor: James Freeman

PSYC 404: Cognitive Psychology and American Education
*Prerequisites: PSYC 215 and PSYC 306, or permission of the instructor

Psychologists have studied the processes of learning and thinking for over 100 years, and theoreticians have attempted to apply that knowledge to K-12 education for almost that long. This course will use information from cognitive psychology to examine: major steams of thought in pedagogy; data patterns in student achievement and in teacher effectiveness; subject-specific teaching strategies, and proposed reforms for American education.
*If course is full through ISIS: A waiting list will be maintained through the psychology website. Do not contact the professor.
Instructor: Daniel Willingham

PSYC 405: Portraits of Amnesia in Popular Cinema
*Prerequisites: PSYC 305 and PSYC 306, Cognition (PSYC 215) (preferred, but not required), or permission of the instructor.

The purpose of this course is to investigate how amnesia is portrayed in popular film and to analyze the extent to which these representations are consistent with current empirical research on amnesia. We will spend the first few weeks establishing a framework of memory, studying such topics as whether there is more than one memory system, how memory is assessed, and how memory is improved. Subsequent weeks will focus on discussing different types of amnesia, different causes of amnesia, and how damage to specific parts of the brain can affect memory. Each week, a movie will be assigned to be watched outside of class. During class, we will discuss how amnesia is depicted using the knowledge we have gained from readings and previous discussions
*If course is full through ISIS: A waiting list will be maintained through the psychology website. Do not contact the professor.

Instructor: Amanda Hege

PSYC 555: Developmental Psycholinguistics

We will examine the development of language from a number of perspectives. In addition to studying the acquisition of speech in children with normal hearing, we will review the acquisition of spoken and signed language in deaf, autistic, mentally retarded, and aphasic individuals. We will also examine the acquisition of language-like systems of communication in nonhuman primates.

Instructor: John Bonvillian

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Philosophy

PHIL 242: Introduction to Symbolic Logic

A basic introduction to the concepts and techniques of modern formal logic. The aim of this course is to give the student a working knowledge of both sentential and quantifier logic. The emphasis is on developing an ability to carry out proofs within these systems and on developing an ability to translate sentences of natural language into symbolic notation. The course will acquaint the student with the concepts of formula, proof, interpretation and validity. Students will use logic software that will allow them to develop greater expertise with the material.

Instructor: Paul Humphreys

PHIL 332: Epistemology

Studies problems concerned with the foundations of knowledge, perception, and rational belief.

Instructor: Harold Langsam

PHIL 542: Advanced Logic
*Prerequisite: PHIL 242 or equivalent

Examines various results in metalogic, including completeness, compactness, and undecidability. Effective computability, theories of truth, and identity may also be covered.

Instructor: James Cargile

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Linguistics

ANTH 348: Language and Prehistory

This course covers the basic principles of diachronic linguistics and discusses the uses of linguistic data in the reconstruction of prehistory.

Instructor: Eve Danziger

LNGS 325: Introduction to Linguistic Theory and Methodology

Introduces sign systems, language as a sign system, and approaches to linguistics. Emphasizes the application of descriptive techniques to data.

Instructor: Mark Elson

PSYC 555: Developmental Psycholinguistics

We will examine the development of language from a number of perspectives. In addition to studying the acquisition of speech in children with normal hearing, we will review the acquisition of spoken and signed language in deaf, autistic, mentally retarded, and aphasic individuals. We will also examine the acquisition of language-like systems of communication in nonhuman primates.

Instructor: John Bonvillian

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Computer Science

All CS courses are acceptable except CS 110, CS 120, and CS 182.
ECE 200 will count for credit, but does not fill CS area requirement.

The most common intro-level CS courses for Cognitive Science majors are:

CS 101: Introduction to Computer Science
CS150: From Ada and Euclid to Quantum Computing and the World Wide Web
(Previously CS 200: Foundations of Computer Science, http://www.cs.virginia.edu/cs150/ )
CS 202: Discrete Mathematics

 

Neuroscience

BIOL 317 : Introduction to Neurobiology**

Analyzes the concepts of general neurobiology, including basic electrophysiology and electrochemistry, origin of bioelectric potentials, sensory, motor, integrative and developmental neurobiology, and conceptual models of simple learning.

Instructors: Kawasaki, Friesen

** Students may take PSYC 220 OR BIOL 317. BOTH WILL NOT COUNT TOWARD THE MAJOR **

PSYC 220: A Survey of the Neural Basis of Behavior

After an overview of brain structure and organization, the course examines what we know about the biological bases of perception, learning and memory, emotion and psychopathology, as well as the regulatory behaviors: sleep, thirst, eating, sex, and those associated with psychoneuroimmunology.
*Includes Optional Review Session

Instructor: Peter Brunjes

PSYC 420/720: Neural Mechanisms of Behavior
*Prerequisites: PSYC 220 or PSYC 222 or permission of instructor; prior or concurrent enrollment in PSYC 321 is recommended

Lectures and discussion on molecular and cellular aspects of neural mechanisms as they relate to behavior. Topics will include neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurotransmitters and receptors, neuropharmacology, cortical organization and function, plasticity and neurodegenerative diseases.

Instructor: Alev Erisir

PSYC 425/725: Brain Systems Involved in memory
*Prerequisites: PSYC 220, 222 or PSYC 420

The seminar will explore the contribution and role of several brain structures in regulating learning and the storage of new information into long term memory. An extensive review of the literature will be covered to understand how separate brain regions interact to modify our capacity to learn and remember new information. The literature reviews will also assist in identifying how specific neurotransmitter systems modulate activity in these brain regions during the process of memory formation. The course is also designed to expose and teach students a number of scholarly techniques that will be more than useful upon entering graduate, professional or medical school. Participants will learn how to conduct comprehensive literature searchers, organize large volumes of information, improve public speaking skills, be introduced to a broad spectrum of neuroscience techniques and gain a better understanding of the interactions that occur between brain structures and neurotransmitter systems to enable new memories to be formed. Topics include but will not be limited to: The amygdala, emotions & memory; higher level processing & the prefrontal cortex; The hippocampus in representing space, time, context and short term storage; Memory dysfunction in pathology-Alzheimer's disease and posttraumatic stress disorder; current memory topics: Genetic approaches to understanding memory; memory & drug addiction: parallel neural pathways; sleep research and memory encoding. Students who enjoy learning from non-traditional sources such as journal articles, archives, annual reviews etc. and are enthusiastic about discussing this information in a public forum are well suited for this type of seminar.

Instructor: Cedric Williams

PSYC 581: Mind-body Interactions
*Prerequisites: PSYC 220, and 305

Psychological states, such as stress, profoundly influence bodily functions. Similarly, signals from the body modulate psychological states including anxiety and depression as well as cognitive functions such as learning and memory. In this seminar we will explore the pathways and neural mechanisms by which these bi-directional interactions occur.

Instructor: Lisa Goehler

PSYC 584: Structure and Function of Sensory Cortex
*Prerequisites:Psyc 220 or Instructor Permission

To understand how behavior is guided by cues in the environment, we must understand how information about the world is represented by the senses, and how that information is processed in the brain. In this seminar-style course, we will examine the neural organization of the sensory systems, particularly the organization of cortical areas. We will investigate how different organizational strategies are used to sub serve different brain functions, and we will explore how information from different sensory modalities is integrated in higher-order cortical areas, ultimately guiding behavior.

Instructor: Kurt Illig

BIOL 433: Wiring the Brain
*Prerequisites: Biol 317 or Psych 220 or instructors permission

This course will cover the current state of knowledge for how neurons form connections in the brain. The course will initially focus on how relatively simple model systems have provided the critical clues as to how specific synaptic connections form. This will be followed by a discussion of how this knowledge can be applied to the understanding and treatment of human neural disorders. About a quarter of the course will be standard lectures and the remainder student-led discussion of primary literature.

Instructor: Barry Condron

 

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