Winter, 2007

Graduate Seminar in Cognitive Science

Description: Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of mind and intelligence. This seminar will discuss controversial topics concerning the nature of human and computer intelligence.

Organizer: Paul Thagard

Office hours (HH368): Monday, Friday 1-2, and by appointment.

Email: Phone: extension 33594.

Web page:

Time: Tuesday, 1-3, in HH 357.

Readings: Readings for each week are available electronically: see links below.

Assignments: Each student will write a research essay of approximately 20 pages. Essay proposals should be handed in to Paul Thagard by March 6 (NOTE EXTENSION). The proposal should be maximum one page, and indicate the question you hope to answer and how more than one of the disciplines of cognitive science is relevant to answering it. Students will present their work in class April 3. The final essay is due April 10. The essays can be on any topic related to the investigation of mind and intelligence, but must be interdisciplinary: they should draw on at least two of psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and anthropology. Any reference style is acceptable, but be sure to indicate your sources.

In addition, 10% of the grade will be based on 1-page essays to be handed in each week concerning the week's readings. Discussion questions to guide your reading will be available 1 week before the relevant class.


 Week  Date  Instructor Reading


Jan. 9
 Paul Thagard, Philosophy
Thagard, 2005   What is cognitive science?
Jan. 16
Ori Friedman, Psychology Friedman & Leslie, 2004 Inhibitory processing in belief-desire reasoning and beyond.
Jan. 23
  Chris Eliasmith, Philosophy & Systems Design Eliasmith, 2003 From neurons to cognition
Jan. 30
  Paul Thagard, Philosophy Thagard, 2002 Your brain on drugs: Implications for the mind-body problem
Feb. 6
Robert Duimering, Management Sciences
Abimbola, Duimering, & Zhang, forthcoming
Effects of problem structure on behaviour and performance in group problem solving
Feb. 13
José Arocha, Health Sciences Patel, Arocha, and Kaufman, 2001 Clinical reasoning and expertise in medicine
Feb. 27
Benoit Hardy-Vallée, Philosophy Glimcher & Rustichini, 2004 Economic cognition: Affective moves in social games
Mar. 6
Pascal Poupart, Computer Science

Boger et al., 2005

Boger et al., 2006

A decision-theoretic approach to task assistance for persons with
Mar. 13
  Jonathan Fugelsang, Psychology Roser et al., 2005 Constructing causality: How task set modulates the
interpretation of causality
Mar. 20
James Danckert, Psychology Ferber et al, 2003; Danckert & Ferber, 2004 Rehabilitating neglect: What works and why?
Mar. 27
Chrysanne DiMarco, Computer Science Blaschke et al., 1999; He & DiMarco, 2007 Where computer science, linguistics, and biology meet
Apr. 3
Student presentations None  Various

Note: Students who want audit credit must complete the weekly 1-page essays.

Discussion questions for weeks 2-11.

Previous COGSCI 600 seminars

COGSCI 600: 2001

COGSCI 600: 2002

COGSCI 600: 2003

COGSCI 600: 2005

COGSCI 600: 2006

Computational Epistemology Laboratory.

Paul Thagard

This page updated Feb. 27, 2007