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Graduate Program

Courses in BCS

Courses currently being offered:

Fall >
Spring >

Check the course schedules/descriptions available via the Registrar's Office for the official schedules for the widest range of terms for which such information is available.


Below you will find a list of all graduate courses that have been offered.
NOTE: Not all of these courses are offered in any given year.

BCS 501 LANGUAGE

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

Last Offered: Fall 2017

BCS 502 COGNITION

An 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.

Last Offered: Fall 2016

BCS 504 SENSORY SYSTEMS

An introduction to the functioning of the senses and the physiological mechanisms underlying them. Topics include vision, audition, somatosensation, the vestibular system, guestation and olfaction, with an emphasis on the general principles that govern mammalian sensory systems.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

BCS 505 PERCEPTION & MOTOR SYSTEMS

An interdisciplinary introduction to perception and action. Topics covered include the perception of motion, depth, surfaces, pattern and object perception, eye movements, motor planning and organization, and attention.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 508 COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE

General introduction to neuroscientific studies of various aspects of human cognition and perception, e.g. object-recognition, development, attention, language, vision, etc. The class will consist both of lectures and also seminar-type discussions led by the students.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 510 DATA ANALYSIS I

Issues of data analysis in experimental research. The course focuses on parametric techniques, specifically analysis of variance. Topics covered include simple and complex designs for between and within subjects factors, including mixed designs; analysis of covariance and trend and contrasts. The course includes a lab in which students are taught to use a popular statistical package for data analysis

Last Offered: Fall 2017

BCS 511 BEHAVIORAL METHODS IN COGNITIVE SCIENCE

This 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.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

BCS 512 COMPUTATIONAL METHODS IN COGNITIVE SCIENCE

This course focuses on: (a) statistical tools that are useful for revealing structure in experimental data; and (b) representation and learning in statistical systems and the implications of these systems for the study of cognitive processes. Examples of the applications of computational methods from the cognitive neuroscience literature are examined throughout the course. Topics covered include: principal component analysis, multi-dimensional scaling, hierarchical and non-hierarchical clustering, regression, classification, time series modeling via hidden Markov models and Kalman filters, Hebbian learning, competitive learning, maximum likelihood estimation, and Bayesian estimation.

Prerequisites: Includes knowledge of calculus. Knowledge of linear algebra and probability theory will also be helpful (though prior knowledge of these areas is not strictly required). Homeworks require students to write computer programs (preferably in MatLab)
Last Offered: Fall 2015

BCS 513 INTRO TO fMRI: IMAGING, COMPUTATIONAL ANALYSIS, & NEURAL REPRESENTATIONS

The core focus of the course will be on how fMRI can be used to ask questions about neural representations and cognitive and perceptual information processing. Some of the questions that the course will address include: 1) The basic fMRI signal just shows activation in different parts of the brain. How can we get from that to addressing questions about neural representations and neural information processing? 2) Ways of relating neural activation to behavioural performance. Can fMRI provide information over and above what can be obtained from behaviour alone? 3) Standard fMRI analysis using the General Linear Model, including preprocessing steps. 4) Multivariate fMRI analysis using machine learning approaches. There will also be a component, about 20% of the class, on the big-picture aspects of MRI physics and physiology which make fMRI possible.

Prerequisites: Prior programming experience (esp. Matlab) recommended.
Last Offered: Fall 2017

BCS 514 LAB IN NEUROBIOLOGY

The first part of the course entails structured laboratory experiments to provide experience with neuroanatomical, neurophysiological and molecular biological approaches to studying neural organization and function. The course concludes with one of two 5-week long research projects that culminate in the production of a final research paper. In one project,students explore laterality in the basal ganglia and its influence on motor behavior. In the other project, students explore the molecular genetics of touch sensation in nematodes.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 521 AUDITORY PERCEPTION

This course considers how we comprehend the auditory environment. Topics include the physical stimulus for hearing, the physiology of the auditory system (both at the periphery and in the central nervous system), the psychophysics of basic auditory perception (e.g., hearing thresholds), higher level auditory perception (including auditory scene analysis and the perception of complex auditory events such as speech and music), and hearing disorders. Considers research from a diverse range of perspectives including behavioral research, cognitive neuroscience, studies of individual differences, and research that adopts a comparative perspective.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 524 MULTISENSORY PROCESSING

This is a reading seminar that will look at modern research on statistical learning in a number of areas in perception, action and cognition. The course will focus on studies of how the brain adapts to the statistics of both sensory inputs and motor outputs with the goal of finding common conceptual links between diverse behavioral domains, including, sensory adaptation, motor adaptation and learning, visual perception, language processing and various cognitive functions (e.g. causal learning).

Last Offered: Spring 2014

BCS 528 SPECIAL TOPICS IN VISION

Advanced graduate seminar on a chose problem in vision sciences. In previous years, topics have included motion perception, stereopsis, color vision and visuo-motor control. Readings for the course are drawn from the scientific literature in the topic being covered. Students are typically required to lead discussions on papers.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 530 DATA-ENABLED RESEARCH

This course provides a hand-on introduction to experimental and analytical methods in cognitive science and artificial intelligence. Each year, it offers three modules from a rotating list, including topics such as brain imaging, computational linguistics, and computer vision. The course is open to graduate students in any discipline. The course is recommended for who intend to pursue research in the the intersection of cognitive science and computer science, but prior experience in those fields is not required.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

BCS 531 PRACTICUM DATA-ENABLED

In this interdisciplinary project course, graduate students will work in mixed teams to develop an artifact that addresses a research question and/or infrastructure need in the intersection of cognitive science and artificial intelligence. Students will learn principles of design by participating in the stages of brainstorming, specification, initial design, prototyping, refinement, and evaluation. The artifacts created by this course could include online showcases, demonstrations, tutorials, blogs, scientific papers, and software components to support further research.

Prerequisites: BCS 530
Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 532 PROBABILISTIC THEORIES OF COGNITIVE PROCESSING

This course is a graduate-level seminar intended to teach students about state-of-the-art probabilistic theories of human cognitive processing. Topics covered include theories of language, perception, categorization, numerical cognition, and decision making.

Prerequisites: BCS 512/CSC 512 (or permission of the instructor)
Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 533 STATISTICAL SPEECH & LANGUAGE PROCESSING

An introduction to statistical natural language processing and automatic speech recognition techniques. This course presents the theory and practice behind the recently developed language processing technologies that enable applications such as speech-driven dictation systems, document search engines (e.g., finding web pages) and automatic machine translation.

Prerequisites: CSC 440
Last Offered: Fall 2017

BCS 535 NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING

An introduction to natural language processing: constructing computer programs that understand natural language. Topics include parsing, semantic analysis, and knowledge representation.

Last Offered: Spring 2015

BCS 536 MACHINE VISION

Introduction to computer vision, including camera models, basic image processing, pattern and object recognition, and elements of human vision. Specific topics include geometric issues, statistical models, Hough transforms, color theory, texture, and optic flow

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 537 INFORMATION THEORY & COMPLEXITY IN COGNITION & NEUROSCIENCE

This seminar will present the fundamentals of information theory with applications to cognitive and neural systems. The course will closely follow textbooks by Cover & Thomas and Li & Vitanyi, aiming to combine mathematical foundations with applications to research. Covered topics will include probability, surprisal, entropy, mutual information, channel capacity, coding theory, and differential entropy. The course will also cover formal measures of complexity, including Kolmogorov complexity and related notions of data compression, minimum description length, and their relationship to learning and inference. Students taking the course for credit or auditing will present papers using these ideas across cognitive science and neuroscience.

Last Offered: Fall 2016

BCS 542 NEUROPSYCHOLOGY

Examines clinical neuropsychology, which bridges neurology, neuroscience, and clinical psychology. Covers history of clinical neuropsychology, principles of neuropsychological assessment, and the interpretation of cognition and behavior as they relate to brain dysfunction. Considers specific neurological syndromes including neurodegenerative, cerebrovascular, toxic, and memory disorders; epilepsy; head trauma; infectious processes; pediatric neuropsychology; psychiatric syndromes; and forensic neuropsychology. Patient presentations (videotape and in-person interviews) supplement lectures.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

BCS 543 NEUROCHEMICAL FOUNDATIONS OF BEHAVIOR

Introduces the field of neurochemistry with an emphasis on cellular and molecular neurochemistry. Topics range from study of neurochemical mechanisms that underlie normal neural function to discussion of behavioral disturbances that result from neurochemical abnormalities. Considers neurochemical mechanisms of adaptive behavior, learning and memory, behavioral disorders, gender differences, and drug seeking behavior.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

BCS 546 BIOLOGY OF MENTAL DISORDERS

Examines the neurobiology of anxiety/phobic conditions, mood disorders, and chronic psychotic states, particularly schizophrenia. Considers definitions of psychiatric syndromes, the problems of diagnosis, brain organization, and neurotransmitter systems involved in state functions. Introduces research approaches including epidemiologic, phenomenologic, family/adoption, longitudinal descriptive, psychophysiologic, neuropharmacologic, genetic linkage, and postmortem studies; emphasizes recent in vivo brain imaging and neuroreceptor studies.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 547 INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTATIONAL NEUROSCIENCE

A review of recent progress in computational theories of the brain, emphasizing theories of representation and computation in neural circuits. The course begins with biophysical models of neurons and end with models of complex cognitive functions such as sensory motor transformations or sentence processing

Prerequisites: Graduate standing in BCS, NSC, or CS, or permission of instructor.
Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 548 NEUROECONOMICS

We will discuss the neuroscience and psychology underlying reward-based decisions. Topics of discussion will include behavioral economics, neuroimaging studies of consumer behavior, physiological studies of the reward system, and computational models of choice and reinforcement learning. Students will be expected to read several scholarly articles each week, attend lectures, and participate in discussions.

Last Offered: Fall 2016

BCS 549 DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROBIOLOGY

Advanced treatment of the development of the nervous system, including the nature/nurture issue and factors that influence the development of neural organization and function. Topics include the production, migration, differentiation and survival of neurons; functional specialization of neural regions; axonal navigation; target mapping. Compares and contrasts developmental plasticity with forms of neural plasticity exhibited in adults.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 550 DEVELOPMENT OF MIND

A 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.

Last Offered: Spring 2011

BCS 560 PROSEMINAR IN MUSIC COGNITION

The objective of this course is to engage in professional-level music-cognitive research. The course surveys primary research in the field of music cognition and functions as a laboratory course in experimental method. Students discuss and critique experimental studies published in journals and monographs. In addition, the class works collaboratively to build skills in experimental design and data analysis via readings and class demonstrations/activities. Each student is expected to design and run an empirical experiment or computational project as a final research paper.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 562 LANGUAGE PRODUCTION

Covers current and classic topics in the field of language production. Topics include speech error models, computational models of lexical/phonological encoding, issues in syntactic encoding, the incrementality of speech production, comprehension vs. production, and hearer vs. speaker-oriented accounts of production processes.

Last Offered: Spring 2010

BCS 563 TOPICS IN LANGUAGE PRODUCTION AND COMPREHENSION

his seminar offers an in-depth examination of selected topics in language comprehension, including lexical processing, parsing, and anaphora resolution. Theoretical ideas from linguistics and artificial intelligence are integrated with experimental studies of language processing.

BCS 564 SIGNE LANGUAGE STRUCTURE

An examination of signed languages and the cognitive constraints that shape them, through a detailed consideration of the structure of American Sign Language and other natural signed languages of the world. Includes training in sign language notation and analysis.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 566 TOPICS IN UNDERSTANDING LANGUAGE

This seminar will focus on selected topics in language processing, for graduate students and faculty in the language sciences. The specific topic for a particular year will be announced.

Last Offered: Spring 2015

BCS 568 SIGN LANGUAGE UNIVERSALS AND TYPOLOGY

Crosslinguistic comparisons among signed languages, considering the possible linguistic universals for signed languages, the degree and types of variation among different signed languages, the ways in which universals and language specific variation for signed languages may compare and contrast to those for spoken languages, and the visual, motoric, and cognitive constraints which may give rise to these phenomena.

Last Offered: Fall 2012

BCS 569 SIGN LANGUAGE PSYCHOLINGUISTICS AND ACQUISITION

Consideration of the processing, historical development, and acquisition of signed languages, with an interest in the ways that language processing, development, and evolution may affect language structure.

Last Offered: Spring 2010

BCS 581 MUSIC AND LANGUAGE

This course will explore relationships between musical and linguistic structure. In addition to reading and evaluating early writings on the subject by Bernstein and Lerdahl & Jackendoff, students will assess more recent work by Huron and Patel, and the linguists Hayes and Ladd on prosodic structure. We will also discuss experimental work on prosodic structure in language and on music acquisition in infants. Co-taught by a music theorist and linguist, the course will review basic aspects of phonology, intonational phonology, meter, and memory that are relevant to music. Each student will complete a piece of original research in the form of a term paper and class presentation. Permission of instructor required for non-Eastman students.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

BCS 582 GRANT WRITING IN BCS

A workshop in which students will write a proposal for either a pre-doctoral or post-doctoral NRSA fellowship from NIH. Students will review old NRSA proposals, both successful and unsuccessful and analyze the components of a successful proposal. Through process of peer review and discussion, students will write and revise the main sections of an NRSA proposal, culminating in a penultimate proposal that will be reviewed by two mock study sections – one in the class and one by faculty in BCS and CVS. Reviews from these study sections will be returned a week before the deadline for NRSA proposals at NIH. Students are encouraged to use the class to prepare real proposals that they can submit to NIH.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 591 PHD READINGS

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 595 PHD RESEARCH

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 595A PHD RESEARCH IN ABSENTIA

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 598 SUPERVISED TEACHING ASSISTANT

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 599 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT & CAREER PLANNING

The purpose of this 1-credit course is to provide first- and second-year graduate students with a set of guiding principles for optimizing their progression through the PhD program. The following topics will be discussed: fulfilling program requirements, advising and mentoring, time management, conference presentations and journal publications, writing skills for journals and grants, how to juggle, persist, drop, and collaborate in your research projects, the post-PhD job market and qualifications required for success.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 890 SUMMER IN RESIDENCE - MA

No description

Last Offered: Summer 2012

BCS 895 CONT OF MASTER'S ENROLLMENT

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 899 MASTER'S DISSERTATION

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 985 LEAVE OF ABSENCE

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 986V FULL TIME VISITING STUDENT

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 990 SUMMER IN RESIDENCE

No description

Last Offered: Summer 2012

BCS 995 CONT OF DOCTORAL ENROLLMENT

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 997 DOCTORAL DISSERTATION

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 997A DOCTORAL DISSERTATION IN ABSENTIA

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017

BCS 999 DOCTORAL DISSERTATION

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 999A DOCTORAL DISSERTATION IN ABSENTIA

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

BCS 999B PHD IN-ABSENTIA ABROAD

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017