What is cognitive science?
Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the mind and its processes. It examines what cognition is, what it does and how it works. It includes research on intelligence and behavior, especially focusing on how information is represented, processed, and transformed (in faculties such as perception, language, memory, reasoning, and emotion) within nervous systems (human or other animal) and machines (e.g. computers). Cognitive science consists of multiple research disciplines, including psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, neuroscience, linguistics, and anthropology. It spans many levels of analysis, from low-level learning and decision mechanisms to high-level logic and planning; from neural circuitry to modular brain organization. The fundamental concept of cognitive science is "that thinking can best be understood in terms of representational structures in the mind and computational procedures that operate on those structures. (From Wikipedia)
How can I get involved?
If you are interested in joining the lab as an honours or graduate (Masters/PhD) student please email me. I will be happy to answer your questions and discuss opportunities. Information about the graduate program can be found here.
Here are some answers to common questions:
The lab includes a bright and comfortable room arranged for daily work and a quiet room for controlled data collection. We use the machines at Compute Canada to conduct demanding simulation work.
Psychology 2480: Cognitive processes
This course surveys theory and data in cognitive psychology. Topics include perception, attention, memory, knowledge, language, decision, and thinking. By the end of the course you will have a basic understanding of cognitive psychology and will be prepared to take any of the department’s upper-level cognition courses.
Psychology 3390: Thinking
The course covers data and theory on the nature of thinking and knowing. We will examine normative (e.g., logic, probability, utility), descriptive (e.g., prospect theory), ecological (e.g., heuristics and biases), and physiological (e.g., connectionism) models of thinking and decision. We will also examine work on embodied cognition and mental representation of both language (e.g., latent semantic analysis) and number. The course concludes with a discussion of the cognitive unconscious and recent controversies surrounding statistical reasoning.
*** Thinking was named a "cool course" in the 2016 MacLean's University rankings
Psychology 4540/7310: Computational psychology
The course covers the purpose, design, use, and role of computational theory in the brain and cognitive sciences. At the end of the course you will know several key computational theories, understand the value of computational theory in psychological science, and possess the practical and theoretical wherewithal to incorporate computational analysis and theory into your own research program.
Psychology 4540/7310: Memory disorders
This is a course on memory and memory disorders. The first part of the course will focus on an analysis of selective memory impairment and what it can tell us about the structure and function of memory. The second part of the course will include a series of student-led seminars on various topics related to memory and memory disorder.
Psychology 4540/7310: Psychocinematics
This is a course on the cognitive science of film experience. The first five weeks will involve a good deal of reading to get everyone informed about the ideas and fundamentals in this emerging field of study. The remainder of the course will consist of student-led seminars on topics in the domain of cognitive science and various aspects of film and film experience.