Cognitive Science

Coordinator: Brownell Professor of Philosophy Dan Lloyd (Philosophy)

Of what are minds made? How do people think, perceive, and feel? What is the nature of human consciousness? What is the relationship of the mind to the brain? In what ways is the human mind like, or unlike, a computer? These are a few of the central questions of cognitive science, the interdisciplinary study of the human mind. In recent years, cognitive science has undergone explosive growth. The diverse methods of cognitive science encompass, among others, thought experiments, computer simulations, brain scans, and perceptual and cognitive laboratory experiments.

The fields of cognitive science include psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, linguistics, and computer science. The cognitive science minor is built around five core courses designed to introduce students to the major issues and approaches of cognitive science and its component disciplines. One or more culminating courses provide a close examination of specific topics in cognitive science. Thus, the minor comprises a minimum of six courses.

The courses below form a recommended path through the minor. However, alternative courses in each category can be selected, subject to the approval of the minor coordinator. Since some courses are not offered every year, students with an interest in the minor should meet with the coordinator as soon as possible. Students must receive at least a C- in any course for it to be counted toward the minor.

Course requirements:

Core courses—students should take one course in each of the five areas below. Although the core courses can be taken in any order, the sequence below is recommended.

Culminating courses—each of the courses below takes an interdisciplinary approach to a significant problem in cognitive science. Students should take at least one of the following to conclude the minor: