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PSYB57-F13 Syllabus.pdf

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Dwayne Pare

PSYB57- Fall 2013: Memory and Cognition Course website: BlackBoard Contact Information for Instructor: Instructor: Dwayne E. Paré Office: SW415 Office Phone: (416) 287-7549 Email: [email protected] Goals of the course: This course is concerned with the study of the human mind, with a focus on the methods used by cognitive psychologists to understand how the brain gives rise to the mind. This is an inter- disciplinary area that represents an attempt by cognitive psychologists, neuroscientists, computer scientists, linguists, and philosophers to discover how mental processes are implemented in the brain. The approach focuses on human cognitive processes, and relies heavily on the methods and findings of neuroscience, in that the brain is used as a constraint on how models of the mind must be designed. Our focus will be on the contributions of cognitive psychology, but we will sample methods and theories from the other related fields as appropriate. This kind of research receives extensive coverage in the media (e.g., brain scanning of cognitive function, the implications of talking/texting while driving, financial decision making, etc.), and this course should provide you with a deeper understanding of what you might read and hear about outside of the classroom. The topics covered are the major ones in higher-level cognition, and include: concepts and mental representations, object recognition, long-term memory, working memory, attention, control processes, emotion, decision making, reasoning, problem solving, and language processing. To understand the cognitive approach to these topics, students will be introduced to the behavioral reaction time methods of cognitive psychology, to some elementary neuroanatomy, to the logic of studies with neurological patients, to functional neuroimaging techniques such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), and to the basics of computational modeling, with a focus on connectionist modeling. Required Reading:  Cognition (5th edition) – Daniel Reisberg  Zaps – The Norton Psychology Labs If you have purchased a used copy of the text, you can go to and order a stand-alone license. Methods of Evaluation: Online written activities (using peer feedback) 14% Online Experiments (Zaps! participation grade) 7% Chapter Quizzes 14% Midterm Exam 30% Final Exam 35% Online Written Activity & Peer Feedback (through peerScholar) (7% x 2 = 14%) Activity: Two times throughout the semester you will be asked to do an online activity where you will answer a question related to the course material. Peer Feedback: You will then read & give feedback to 3 of your peers’ responses. Online Demo Experiments (7%) You will be required to participate in a number of online experiments using the ‘Zaps Labs’ website. This 7% is earned by just participating in the demo experiments on time. Chapter Quizzes (14%) Chapter quizzes will take place on a weekly basis and will be worth 14% overall; however, only your best 7 marks will be counted towards this grade. Midterm and Final Exam (30% and 35% respectively) The midterm and final exam will consist of multiple-choice questions as well as short answer questions. The content will be based on the material we have disndssed throughout the term, and although the majority of the final exam material will come from the 2 half of the course, there will be some relevant material from the
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