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Cognitive Science Previously Approved Courses
for Spring 2007

 

 

Previously Approved Courses by Semester
| Spring 2007|
Fall 2006 | Spring 2006 | Fall 2005 | Spring 2005 | Fall 2004 |
| Spring 2004 | Fall 2003 | Spring 2003 | Fall 2002

 

 

Cognitive Psychology

PSYC 215: Introduction to Cognition
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Restrictions: None
Description of course contents: Cognition is the activity of knowing: the acquisition, organization, and use of knowledge. Emphasizing fundamental issues, this course introduces such basic content areas in cognitive psychology as perception, attention, memory, and language.   
Instructor:   Daniel Willingham

 

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
Description of course contents: 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)
Description of course contents: 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 401: Psychology of Language Comprehension
Prerequisites: PSYC 101, PSYC 305
Enrollment Restrictions:  4th year Psychology majors/minors
Description of course contents:  Psychology of Language Comprehension - PSYC 401 is designed to expose students, who may or may not have background in linguistics or cognitive psychology, to the study of language and language comprehension. Students will be challenged to read and review the basic topics and issues in the sub discipline. We will survey psycholinguistic functions such as speech perception, lexical processing, sentence processing, spoken and written discourse processing, speech production in- and out-of-context, and first language and second language acquisition.  We will examine each area from a historical perspective, review the major question(s) in the area, and examine the research methodology. You will be expected to lead and participate actively in class discussions.
Instructor: Beverly Adams
                                                                                             

PSYC 402: Language Development and Disabilities
Credits: 3
Enrollment Restrictions: 4th year psychology, linguistics or cog-sci majors/minors or by permission of instructor.
Description of course contents: This course will focus on language and cognitive development in persons with disabilities.  Among the populations examined will be children with autistic disorder, children with Williams syndrome, deaf children, developmentally dysphasic children, adults with aphasia, and children with severe mental retardation.  In addition to spoken language development, the course will examine the acquisition of sign communication skills.
Instructor: John Bonvillian

PSYC 406: Memory Distortions
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: PSYC 215
Enrollment Restrictions: 4th year Psychology major/minors, Cog-sci
Description of course contents: Although memory is generally accurate, some illusions and distortions in remembering are unavoidable. The consequences of these memory problems range from relatively benign tip-of-the-tongue experiences to untrustworthy eye-witness testimony. This class will review a variety of different memory distortions with the goal of advancing our understanding of memory.
Instructor: Chad Dodson

PSYC 407: Portraits of Amnesia in Popular Cinema
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: PSYC 305 and PSYC 306, PSYC 215
Enrollment Restrictions: 4th year Psychology majors/minors.
Description of course contents: 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.
Instructor: Amanda Hege

PSYC 411: Psycholinguistics
(Note: PSYC 411 may be used to fulfill the Cog. Psychology area requirement or the Linguistics area requirement but not both).
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Restrictions: 4th Psychology majors/minors and Linguistics
Description of course contents: This course will discuss how linguistic models help us to understand the psychology of language. We will focus on the emergence of language in children, acquisition and development of language, language disorders and neurolinguistics, sociolinguistics, and bilingualism.
Instructor:  Filip Loncke

PSYC 468: Psychology and Law: Cognitive and Social Issues
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Psyc 215 or 260; PSYC 305/306 or other course in
empirical research methods
Enrollment Restrictions: 4th year Psychology Majors/Minors, Cog-Sci.
Description of course contents: Examines Issues for which cognitive and social psychology may be able to inform the legal system. Topics include eyewitness testimony, recovered memories, line-ups, expert testimony, jury selection, trial tactics, jury instructions and the use of statistics in the courtroom.
Instructor: Barbara Spellman

PSYC 581: Emotion and Cognition
Credits: 3
Prerequisites:
Enrollment Restrictions: 4th year Psychology Major/Minors, Cog-Sci GSAS
Description of course contents: The cognition-emotion seminar covers the connection between thinking and feeling in two ways. The first part asks about the causes of emotion, and the second asks about the consequences of emotion.  Part 1 concerns the nature and definition of emotion and the role of cognitive appraisals in their elicitation and intensity. Distinctions will be made among concepts such as affect, emotion, mood, and temperament.  Part 2 concerns the consequences of emotion for cognition, experience, and behavior.  Of interest will be such topics as the effects on judgment and decision-making, processing and performance, and memory and attention, and the role of culture.
Instructor: Gerald Clore

 

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Philosophy

PHIL 233  COMPUTERS, MINDS, AND BRAINS
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Description of course contents:  Can computers think or have experiences roughly like ours?  Over the last three decades different approaches to answering this question have been developed, including classical Al, neural nets, varieties of non-reductive physicalism, and neurophysiological eliminativism.  All have something to say about what does and does not make humans special.  The possibility also arises of transcending human nature and abilities using artificial intelligence and artificial life, rendering humans obsolete.  These and other issues will be addressed through readings in philosophy, cognitive science, and computer science. No previous knowledge of philosophy is required. For course requirement see the course syllabus.
Instructor: Paul Humphreys

 

*PHIL 334  PHILOSOPHY OF MIND
Credits:  3
Prerequisites:  None
Description of course contents:  This course will address philosophical issues about the mind, including those surrounding the following questions.  How is the mind related to the body?  Does the phenomenon of consciousness pose a problem for a larger naturalistic theory of the world?  How can our mental states causally interact with the physical world?  How do thoughts succeed in representing the world?  Are thoughts constituted by states of the brain, or do they depend on external factors as well?  Is the self a unified, persisting entity? 
*NOTE: This course satisfies the College Second Writing requirement
Instructor:  Brie Gertler

 

PHIL 550 PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE
Credits:  3
Prerequisites: (i) At least one course in Philosophy at the undergraduate level or above.  A knowledge of first order predicate logic and basic metatheory is a plus but not essential.
Description of course contents:  Philosophical problems can often be either solved or dissolved by scrutiny of the language in which they are couched.  What is more, language and linguistic interaction themselves raise questions of the deepest conceptual kind, answers to which illuminate cognition and social interaction.  For these reasons language has been the premier area of inquiry among philosophers in the last century.  This course will examine, from a non-technical point of view, topics that have been given the most intense treatment, all of which flow from the question, In virtue of what is language meaningful?  Topics to be covered include the relation between thought and language; the possibility of an essentially private discursive realm; the view that one’s linguistic framework somehow “structures” reality; the method of solving or dissolving traditional philosophical problems by scrutiny of the language in which they are couched; the nature of linguistic meaning and the relation thereof to truth and to “language games”, the relation between what is said in a given utterance and what is conveyed; the nature of interpretation and the role that it plays in organizing our understanding of the world.

The course should be of interest not only to philosophy students, but also to those in linguistics, psychology, cognitive science, literature, anthropology, and computer science.  Expected enrollment: 15
Instructor:
  Mitch Green

 

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Linguistics

ANTH 541: Phonology
Instructor: 
Lise Dobrin

ANTH 542: Theories of Language [tentative]
Prerequisite:
A course in linguistics or linguistic anthropology, or permission of instructor.
Description of course contents:  Will survey a number of modern schools of linguistics, both American and European, paying attention both to theory and analytical practice, and trying to understand each approach in terms of its historical context, the questions it asks about "language", and the fit between theory and analysis.
Instructor:  Ellen Contini-Morava

PSYC 411: Psycholinguistics
(Note: PSYC 411 may be used to fulfill the Linguistics area requirement or the Cog. Psychology area requirement but not both).
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Restrictions: 4th Psychology majors/minors and Linguistics
Description of course contents: This course will discuss how linguistic models help us to understand the psychology of language. We will focus on the emergence of language in children, acquisition and development of language, language disorders and neurolinguistics, sociolinguistics, and bilingualism.
Instructor:  Filip Loncke

SPAN 309: Intro to Spanish Linguistics
Prerequisite:
SPAN 311 or equivalent.
Description of course contents:  This course offers a rigorous introduction to the formal study of the Spanish language. Topics include: articulatory phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, historical linguistics and dialectology. Taught in Spanish.

 

 

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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

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Neuroscience


* Students may count PSYC 220 OR BIOL 317 towards the major, but NOT both.
** Students may count PSYC 420 OR BIOL 408 towards the major, but NOT both.
*** Students may count PSYC 420 OR BIOL 417 towards the major, but NOT both.

BIOL 325: Introduction to Animal Behavior
Credits:  3
Description of course contents: Studies the comparative aspects of animal behavior from a neuro-ethological approach; and the mechanisms employed in generating and guiding behavior.

BIOL 408:  Neuronal Organization of Behavior
Credits: 3
Prerequisite: BIOL 317 or equivalent.
Description of course contents: Lectures and discussions addressing behavior and sensory processing from the perspective of the neural elements involved. Topics include neuronal substrates (anatomical and physiological) of startle reflexes, locomotory behaviors, visual and auditory processing, echolocation mechanisms, calling song recognition, and the neuronal organization underlying some types of functional plasticity.

BIOL 417:  Cellular Neurobiology
Credits: 3
Prerequisite: BIOL 317 or equivalent; BIOL 300.
Description of course contents: Explores a cellular approach to the study of the nervous system. Topics include the structure and function of ionic channels in cell membranes; the electrochemical basis of the cell resting potential; the generation and conduction of nerve impulses; and synaptic transmissions. Three lecture and demonstration/discussion hours. Class meetings include lectures, discussion, student presentations, and computer simulations of neurophysiology with NeuroDynamix.

BIOL 427:  Animal Behavior Laboratory
Credits: 3
Prerequisite: BIOL 325 recommended.
Description of course contents: Provides direct experience in approaches used to study animal behavior. Each lab concentrates on a particular aspect of behavior. Student experiments relate to central nervous systems; sensory perception; sign stimuli, feeding behavior; social behavior; reproductive behavior; biological timing; and animal observation in the laboratory and field.

BIOL 431:  Sensory Neurobiology
Credits:  3
Prerequisite: BIOL 317
Description of course contents: Examines the anatomy, physiology, and molecular biology of many sensory modalities such as vision, audition, such chemosensation. General features of sensory systems are described.

PSYC 220: A Survey of the Neural Basis of Behavior
Description of course contents: 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 404:  Affective Neuroscience
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Undergraduates, PSYC 305 and 306 (PSYC 220 recommended), preference given to 4th year students;
Enrollment Restrictions: 4th year Psychology major/minors
Description of course contents:  Affective neuroscience is the study of the neural bases of emotion.  The main goals of this course are: a) to provide an introduction to the major contemporary theories of emotion; b) to provide an introduction to theory and research into the neuroanatomical and neurochemical correlates and substrates of emotion and affective psychopathology; and c) to provide an introduction to the practical, methodological and inferential challenges facing affective neuroscience as a discipline. The course will involve a combination of lecture, discussion, and, where possible, demonstrations.  Graduate and advanced undergraduate students are welcome.
Instructor: James Coan

PSYC 420: Neural Mechanisms of Behavior
Credits: 4 required lab Section
Prerequisites: PSYC 220 or PSYC 222 or permission of instructor; prior or concurrent enrollment in PSYC 321 is recommended.
Enrollment Restrictions:4th year Psychology, Cognitive Science, Biology and Neuroscience majors/minors, or Instructor Permission.
Description of course contents:  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
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: PSYC 220, 222 or PSYC 420
Enrollment Restrictions: GSAS or 4th year PSYC or Cognitive Science majors
Description of course contents: 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 525: Critical Period Plasticity
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: PSYC 420/720 or permission of instructor
Enrollment Restrictions: 4th year Psychology and Neuroscience Major/Minors or graduate standing.
Description of course contents: A survey of recent literature examining cellular and molecular mechanisms of plasticity that is observed during development of many brain structures.
Instructor: Erisir

PSYC 582: Stress, Emotion and the Brain
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: PSYC 220 recommended
Enrollment Restrictions:  4th PSYC majors/minors, Cog-Sci, GSAS
Description of course contents: Stress can influence brain functions and mental health. The course will cover the biological mechanisms and current thinking about how early life and adulthood stress can influence later health, and contribute to affective disorders and other psychopathology.
Instructor: Lisa Goehler

NESC 533: Neural Network Models
Credits:  3
Description of course contents: This is an introductory course to neural networks research, specifically biologically-based networks that reproduce cognitive phenomena. The goal of this course is to teach the basic thinking and methodologies used in constructing and understanding neural-like networks. We will study networks with elements that explicitly correspond to neurons and synapses, and we will study, at the simplest possible level, the network computations that arise from such explicit, plausible biology. In essence, any insight into how groups of neurons sub serve, thought rests on such computations and the mathematical relationships that define the computations
Instructor: William Levy

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