INT 200B Foundations of Cognitive Science (Winter 2010)

Instructor: Drs. Martin Raubal
Office hours: Wednesday 3-4:30pm, Ellison Hall 5713
Phone: 893-4839 Time: F 3:30-5:00 pm
Place: Psychology 1314 (SAGE Center Conference Room) unless otherwise stated
Units: 2

Reading: The textbook for this class is Thagard, P. (2005). Mind: Introduction to Cognitive Science. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Grades: Grades will be determined by your session lead, your discussion questions, and your general class participation. Class participation is mandatory.

Weekly schedule and readings

Week 1, 8 January 2010
Introduction and Overview

Week 2, 15 January 2010
Center for Research in Electronic Art Technology (CREATE) and Media Arts and Technology (MAT) talk: Carol L. Krumhansl, Cornell University: Music and Cognition: Links at Many Levels Location: Elings Hall, Room 2003

Friday January 15, 5 p.m.

The talk presents research showing that music and cognition have strong links at many levels. Studies on music recognition suggest a great deal of surface information is encoded in memory. Very short excerpts of popular music can be identified with artist, title, and release date. Even when an excerpt is not identified, emotion and style judgments are consistent. At a somewhat deeper level, sensitivity to statistically frequent patterns in the sounded events enables listeners to abstract a tonal framework for encoding and remembering music and generating expectations. Violations of these expectations contribute to the emotional response to music and produce neural responses in fMRI studies. Thus, statistical learning, found for language and other perceptual domains, extends to music. An example of a link at a deep level is the empirical support found for the theory of musical tension proposed in Lerdahl's Tonal Pitch Space model. The confirmation demonstrates that the cognitive representation of musical structure includes hierarchical trees similar to those proposed for language and that deeply theorized properties of music link to cognitive processes.

Week 3, 22 January 2010
Thagard Chapter 9: Brains

Week 4, 29 January 2010
Thagard Chapter 10: Emotions

Week 5, 4 (Thursday) February 2010
Sage Center Talk Phillip Tetlock, U.C. Berkeley: The logic of social- functionalist research programs: People as intuitive politicians, prosecutors and theologians. 4:00 Mosher Alumni House, Alumni Hall, 2nd Floor Info: Phillip Tetlock is the Mitchell Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. He studies how people cope with accountability pressures and conflict resolution. He is the world's expert on experts, studying how experts think about possible pasts and forecast futures and how they respond to confirmation/disconfirmation of expectations. His book Expert political judgment: How good is it? How can we know? won the Woodrow Wilson Award for best book published on government, politics, or international affairs.

Week 6, 12 February 2010
Thagard Chapter 11: Consciousness

Week 7, 19 February 2010
Thagard Chapter 12: Bodies, the World, and Dynamic Systems

Week 8, 25 (Thursday) February 2010
Sage Center Talk David Krakauer, Santa Fe Institute 4:00 Mosher Alumni House, Alumni Hall, 2nd Floor Info: David Krakauer is a Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. His research elucidates the evolutionary history of information processing mechanisms in biology and culture. His work examines several levels of organization, finding similar processes in genetics, cell biology, microbiology and in organisms' behavior and society. His research projects include the molecular logic of signaling pathways, the evolution of genome organization, robust communication over networks, the evolution of distributed forms of biological information processing, dynamical memory systems, and the many ways in which organisms construct their environments, termed niche construction.

Week 9, 5 March 2010
Thagard Chapter 13: Societies

Week 10, 12 March 2010
Thagard Chapter 14: The Future of Cognitive Science