An introduction to cognitive science, the new discipline emerging from
the interaction of psychology, artificial intelligence, linguistics,
philosophy, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology. The course will
range broadly, examining a variety of approaches to the study of how
humans and other intelligent systems represent, reason, understand,
perceive, use language, learn, and plan purposeful actions. The
central assumption is that the human mind is fundamentally a
computational organ and that cognitive processes can be explicitly
The course will cover the basic issues and contributions in the field,
with particular emphasis on current research at UT. There will be
frequent lectures by faculty from the relevant disciplines who are
engaged in such research. Major topics in the course will include:
- Neuroscience: systems neuroscience, functional brain mapping, relating
localized brain damage to spared and damaged abilities, evolutionary
- Reasoning, concepts, and conceptual development: categorization,
children's theories of mind, nonmonotonic reasoning, qualitative
reasoning, problem solving, mental models, schemas.
- Computational approaches: modularity, connectionism, symbol manipulation,
knowledge representation, machine learning.
- Language: speech perception, sentence parsing, natural language
understanding, discourse representation, language acquisition, syntax.
- Vision: computational theory, psychology of visual perception, visual
imagination, attention, spatial reasoning.
- Other topics: Memory, philosophy of mind, robotics, implicit knowledge,