Cognitive Science

The field of Cognitive Science uses scientific methods of experimentation, computational modeling, and brain imaging to study mental abilities such as perception, action, memory, cognition, speech, and language, as well as the development and evolution of those processes. Students must become knowledgeable in four areas of emphasis: perception, cognition, language, and cognitive neuroscience, as well as a set of methods relevant to Cognitive Science research. Students then create their own focus area of study, potentially integrating coursework from the Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences department with a diverse subset of fields including Anthropology, Applied Math, Education, Neuroscience, and Philosophy. The A.B. program is primarily for students interested in studying human mental processes and acquiring a research orientation to the study of the mind. The Sc.B. program is designed for students who wish to develop a stronger background in Cognitive Science and requires students to engage in a specific research project in the focus area of their choosing. We recommend that prospective concentrators register for one of the gateway courses and at least one other core course in their first or second year. 


I. Standard program for the A.B. degree: 13 courses

Gateway
CLPS 0020Approaches to the Mind: Introduction to Cognitive Science (or alternative, with permission of Concentration Advisor)1
Required core courses
CORE IN COGNITION
CLPS 0200Human Cognition1
CORE IN LINGUISTICS
CLPS 0030Introduction to Linguistic Theory1
CORE IN PERCEPTION
CLPS 0500Perception and Mind1
Select one of the following:1
CORE IN COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE
The Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience
Mind and Brain: Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience
Required courses in skills and methodology
One Experimental Laboratory such as:1
Research Methods in Psychology
Techniques in Physiological Psychology
Laboratory in Cognitive Processes
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Theory and Practice
Visualizing Vision
Laboratory in Developmental Psychology
Laboratory in Psycholinguistics
One Basic Computation Course such as:1
Computational Cognitive Science
Neural Modeling Laboratory
Computational Cognitive Neuroscience
Introduction to Scientific Computing and Problem Solving
Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming and Computer Science
Computer Science: An Integrated Introduction
Computer Science: An Integrated Introduction
One course in Statistical Analysis such as: 11
Quantitative Methods in Psychology
Statistical Inference I
Required Capstone1
Senior Seminar in Cognitive Science
Electives 24
Choose four from the following:
Sociolinguistics, Discourse and Dialogue
Topics in Chaotic Dynamics
Statistical Inference I
Statistical Inference II
Statistical Analysis of Time Series
Nonparametric Statistics
Computational Probability and Statistics
Evolutionary Biology
Biology of Hearing
Neural Systems
Introduction to Neurogenetics
Neural Basis of Cognition
Computational Neuroscience
Animal Cognition
Psychology of Timing
Thinking
Human Memory and Learning
Human and Machine Learning
Concepts and Categories
Reasoning and Problem Solving
Causal Reasoning
The Neural Bases of Cognition
Mechanisms of Motivated Decision Making
Ecological Approach to Perception and Action
Psychology of Hearing
Computational Vision
3D Shape Perception
Human Factors
History and Theories of Child Development (EDUC 1710)
Cognitive Development
Psychology in Business and Economics
Language Processing
Syntactic Theory and Syntactic Processing
Language and the Brain
Neuroimaging and Language
Introduction to Discrete Structures and Probability
Models of Computation
Introduction to Computer Graphics
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Building Intelligent Robots
Emotion, Cognition, Education
Adolescent Psychology
Neuroengineering
Linear System Analysis
Communication Systems
Image Understanding
Consciousness
Decision Theory: Foundations and Applications
Philosophy of Science
Mathematical Logic
The Problem of Free Will
British Empiricists
Epistemology
Philosophy of Language
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Biology
Advanced Deductive Logic
Total Credits13
1

Note: Students cannot use an AP Statistics course in lieu of this requirement. APMA0650 and SOC 1100 will not fulfill this requirement.

2

In most cases, electives must be at the 1000-level and must show coherence and provide the concentrator with depth in one or more focus areas. Only one course below the 1000-level can be included in this list, and only with permission of the concentration advisor.  Students are strongly encouraged to work out their program of electives with the concentration advisor.

II. Standard program for the Sc.B. degree: 18 Courses

Gateway:
CLPS 0020Approaches to the Mind: Introduction to Cognitive Science (or alternative, with permission of the Concentration Advisor)1
Require Core Courses:
CORE IN COGNITION
CLPS 0200Human Cognition1
CORE IN LINGUISTICS
CLPS 0030Introduction to Linguistic Theory1
CORE IN PERCEPTION
CLPS 0500Perception and Mind1
Select one of the following:1
CORE IN COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE
The Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience
Mind and Brain: Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience
Required courses in skills and methodology:
One Experimental Laboratory course such as:1
Research Methods in Psychology
Techniques in Physiological Psychology
Laboratory in Cognitive Processes
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Theory and Practice
Visualizing Vision
Laboratory in Developmental Psychology
Laboratory in Psycholinguistics
One Basic Computation Course such as:1
Computational Cognitive Science
Neural Modeling Laboratory
Computational Cognitive Neuroscience
Introduction to Scientific Computing and Problem Solving
Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming and Computer Science
Computer Science: An Integrated Introduction
Computer Science: An Integrated Introduction
One course in Statistical Analysis, such as: 11
Quantitative Methods in Psychology
Statistical Inference I
Required Capstone:1
Senior Seminar in Cognitive Science
Electives 24
Choose four from the following:
Sociolinguistics, Discourse and Dialogue
Topics in Chaotic Dynamics
Statistical Inference I
Statistical Inference II
Statistical Analysis of Time Series
Nonparametric Statistics
Computational Probability and Statistics
Evolutionary Biology
Biology of Hearing
Neural Systems
Introduction to Neurogenetics
Neural Basis of Cognition
Computational Neuroscience
Animal Cognition
Psychology of Timing
Thinking
Human Memory and Learning
Human and Machine Learning
Concepts and Categories
Reasoning and Problem Solving
Causal Reasoning
The Neural Bases of Cognition
Mechanisms of Motivated Decision Making
Ecological Approach to Perception and Action
Psychology of Hearing
Computational Vision
3D Shape Perception
Human Factors
History and Theories of Child Development (EDUC 1710)
Cognitive Development
Cognitive Development in Infancy
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
The Developing Brain
Perceptual Development
Child Language Acquisition
Psychology in Business and Economics
Language Processing
Syntactic Theory and Syntactic Processing
Language and the Brain
Neuroimaging and Language
Directed Reading in Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences
MOST TOPICS IN COURSES IN CLPS (See Concentration Advisor for details)
Introduction to Discrete Structures and Probability
Models of Computation
Introduction to Computer Graphics
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Building Intelligent Robots
Emotion, Cognition, Education
Adolescent Psychology
Neuroengineering
Linear System Analysis
Communication Systems
Image Understanding
Consciousness
Decision Theory: Foundations and Applications
Philosophy of Science
Mathematical Logic
The Problem of Free Will
British Empiricists
Epistemology
Philosophy of Language
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Biology
Advanced Deductive Logic
At least one semester of Independent Study CLPS 1970, OR participation in a directed reading related to Cognitive Sciences (CLPS 1980) OR participation in an ISP or GISP related to Cognitive Science (subject to approval from the concentration advisor). See Section IV for more details.1
A coherent program of at least four (4) additional courses in the life sciences (e.g., cognitive science, psychology, or biology), physical sciences, mathematics, and/or applied mathematics that supports the student's area(s) of study. 4
Total Credits18

III. Degrees with Honors

Students interested in honors under either the A.B. or ScB. programs should identify a faculty honors sponsor and sign up with the concentration advisor during Semester 6. Although there is no minimum grade point average to enter the program, admission to the program is limited to students who have accumulated a strong academic record and is at the discretion of the department. It is expected that honors candidates will conduct a year-long research project under the direction of a faculty sponsor in the CLPS department culminating in a written thesis and oral examination at the end of Semester 8. Students doing honors work must enroll for CLPS 1980 or for two terms, typically in semesters 7 and 8.

IV. Independent Study

Independent Study is encouraged for the A.B. degree and required for the Sc.B. degree. Students should sign up for CLPS 1970 or CLPS 1980 with a faculty advisor who is a member of the CLPS Department. Arrangements should be made in Semester 6 for students expecting to do independent study during Semesters 7 and/or 8. CLPS1970 or CLPS1980 can count as electives for the concentration requirements.

Cognitive Science concentrators may use at most two credits of CLPS 1970 or CLPS 1980 towards their degree. Students in the A.B. program can use these two credits to satisfy electives. Students in the Sc.B. program must use one of these credits to satisfy the Independent Study requirement (Requirement B in Section II above), and may use the second to satisfy an elective or one of the four additional courses (Requirement C in Section II).

V. Comments

Both the A.B. and the Sc.B. programs in Cognitive Science reflect recent national trends in the field and the breadth of the course offerings and faculty research interests at Brown. A broadly trained cognitive scientist must possess certain methodological skills, including knowledge of computational methods and research methods (statistics and laboratory techniques), which are incorporated in our skills and methodology requirement. In addition, a cognitive scientist must be conversant in the four major focus areas studied in the field: perception, cognition, languages and cognitive neuroscience. Electives ensure that concentrators have the opportunity to investigate at least one particular area in depth. Finally, the concentration provides an integrative experience to all of its concentrators through the capstone senior seminar. The program is designed to provide the flexibility for each student to design a program that will meet her/his needs and interests.

The Sc.B. program is designed for students who wish to bring a stronger background in general science and a research orientation to their study of cognitive science. Sc.B. candidates must also acquire first-hand experience in doing cognitive science research through an independent study project.