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Graduate Course Descriptions

Language and Cognition

BCS 501: LanguageAn interdisciplinary introduction to the field of natural language, emphasizing behavioral, linguistic, and computational perspectives. Topics include language structure, production, comprehension, and acquisition.

BCS 502: CognitionAn interdisciplinary introduction to cognition. Topics covered include learning, memory, attention, concepts and categories, cognitive development, and reasoning, each considered from the perspectives of behavioral study, computational processes, and neural mechanisms.

BCS 511: Behavioral Methods in Cognitive ScienceThis course reviews the leading methods used to investigate cognitive skills and/or their neural substrate in humans. The course is divided into several sections: accuracy and psychophysics; RT and processing states; interference, neighborhood effects and system dynamics; investigations of natural data; brain imaging methods as applied to the cognitive sciences; and issues when studying special populations such as infants, patients, animals or any non-compliant subject. Technical articles on each technique are discussed in combination with specific illustrations of how each has been used to investigate research questions.

BCS 550: Development of MindA survey of the major topics and issues in development. The course covers the development of sensation, perception, cognition, and language in humans, as well as the development of neural mechanisms and systems in other species. A major theme involves the nature/nurture issue, including the interacting roles of experience and maturation, the constraints on plasticity provided by maturation (for example, in critical period phenomena), and the differences and similarities between development and learning.

BCS 555: Language Acquisition—The course covers a broad range of topics on the child's acquisition of a native language, including literature on the acquisition of spoken and signed languages, as well as theories of the language learning process. Focus is on the acquisition of syntax and morphology.

BCS 558: Music and the MindIntroduction to the discipline of music cognition. Topics include empirical methods, psycho-acoustic