Introduction to Cognitive Studies – COGS2100

 

Course Description: The Cognitive Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary and integrative approach to the study of real and artificial brains/minds. Our program draws from such diverse fields as neuroscience, computer science, linguistics, psychology, philosophy, and physics. This introductory course will introduce the issues, methods, and key developments in this emerging field. The overview in this course is designed not only to prepare those majoring in Cognitive Studies for upper division courses in the major, but to enhance the learning experiences of all students in other courses, as well. There is a great emphasis on critical thinking and being able to express your thoughts orally in a cogent manner. Be aware that other courses will offer much more depth within the individual disciplines on topics we will cover this semester. Be prepared to work (and think) hard and have some fun!

 

Requited Textbooks:

The Owner's Manual for the Brain - Pierce J. Howard  - Bard Press, 4th Edition

The Believing Brain - Michael Shermer

 

Weekly Readings: You will have assigned reading for each week.   Lots of reading!!  Remember because this is an online class instead of have classroom/lecture time, you will be expected to keep up with the readings.  Each week I want you to write a brief response to each of the assigned readings and post them on the appropriate discussion board. This might, for example, be two strengths and two weaknesses (or troubling points). This brief response should show your thinking about what you have read, and where your thinking has led you.

 

Participation: We will be doing on-line discussion and conversation through out the class.  Your participation in these on-line discussions will play a significant role in the learning process of the course.  Please remember that this is an introductory course and there may be ideas presented that are new to you or may not make sense at first.  Please do not be afraid to ask questions. Please be kind to others as they work through the material.

 

Grading Policy: The grades for the course will be determined by four components, 1)on-line participation / weekly written responses, 2)quizzes on a each part of the Howard Book, 3)midterm paper, 4)final paper. Each of these elements will carry approximately equal weight.

The work you do for this course will be your own. You are not to submit other people's work and represent it as your own. However, I do expect and encourage you to work collaboratively with others during the course.

 

Topics:

Among the topics we are likely to explore are:

Methods, Approaches, & Critical Thinking

Neuroscience Basics & The Brain

Perception & Levels of Consciousness

Language and Linguistics

Philosophical Approaches

Drugs, the Brain & Mental Illness

Learning & Memory

Intelligence & Sex Differences

Emotions, Motivations, & Personality

Aging Brains & Brain Disorders

Consciousness, Mind/Brain Integration

 

 

DISCUSSIONS - GENERAL   During the semester we will be conversing with each other via "threaded discussions."  These conversations will be an important part of our learning -- we will be helping each other learn, and developing our own ideas through our online discussions. Each week we will have a discussion about the material for the week.  It will be important and valuable for all of us to participate in the discussions regularly, and with some care and thoughtfulness.  Points will be assigned for your participation in the discussion boards, and will play an important part in determining your grade

 

 

5 points

2 points

1 point

0 points

Topic Response

Responding to the week's topic by Friday with at least 250 words.

Responding to the week's topic by Sunday.

Responding to the week's topic after Sunday.

Not responding to the week's topic.

Peer Response

At least 150 words response to one other students posting by Sunday.

Responding to another posting with less than 100 words by Tuesday.

Responding to another posting with less than 100 words after Tuesaday.

Responding to NO peer postings.

Quality Threads

Student comments that add significantly to the discussion by suggesting other solutions, pointing out problems, or even respectfully disagreeing. Student also substantiates any comments made with reasoning or even source citation.

Student comments that add moderately to the discussion by suggesting other solutions, pointing out problems, or even respectfully disagreeing. Student does not substantiate any comments made with reasoning or even source citation.

Student comments that do not add to the discussion. Student does not substantiate any comments made with reasoning or even source citation. Posting is simple: "I agree" or "Yes" or "No"

Student does not participate at all in the threaded discussion_