Despite a great amount of uncertainty in the world (with respect to visual input, linguistic meaning, etc.), the human mind is amazingly capable of interpreting the world as a stable, certain place with little or no difficulty. Cognitive psychologists design experiments to reveal under what circumstances the human mind succeeds or fails to perform a given task correctly in order to understand how it is organized and how it processes information. This course focuses on the scientific study mental processes with topics such as: perception, attention, memory, language, decision making, etc. Students will be introduced to the basics of the scientific method and are encouraged to come up with their own empirical questions about cognition.
Instructor: [Summer 2010]
Teaching Assistant: [Fall 2008] [Spring 2009] [Spring 2010] [Spring 2011] [Winter 2011]
Psychology of Language
Language processing is extremely complex; humans do easily and quickly but we do not yet understand it enough to design computers that are fully capable of it. This class investigates both how we achieve successful language use and how the language processing system breaks down and what this implies about its structure and function. Students learn how Psycholinguists generate theories, design experiments, and interpret data in order to understand how language is understood, produced, and acquired. This course focuses on the scientific study of natural human language processing with topics such as: word processing, sentence processing, reading, speech production, bilingualism, second language acquisition, sign language, etc. Students will be introduced to the basics of the scientific method (e.g., theories, methods, and data) and are encouraged to come up with their own empirical questions about psycholinguistics.
Co-Instructor: [Winter 2013] [Fall 2013]
Lab: Psycholinguistics and Cognition
Eye tracking techniques have proven to be incredibly useful in studying mental processes because where our eyes go and how long they linger is a reliable index of what we are paying attention to and how easily we can process it. To study internal mental processes, this course combines hands-on experience conducting research using eye tracking techniques with reading and critically evaluating published studies. Throughout this course, students assist with ongoing research in the lab, as well as read and write weekly responses to published journal articles and develop and create a final project. Throughout this course, students develop skills in scientific writing and communication, critical thought and analysis, experimental design and implementation as well as a general understanding of scientific practices and issues.
Instructor: [Spring 2011] [Fall 2011] [Spring 2012] [Fall 2012] [Spring 2013]
Academic Writing and Publication
Writing a scientific manuscript and getting it published is one of the most important parts of the scientific process. In order for one's research to have an impact, it has to be successfully communicated to a variety of readers, including journal editors and reviewers. This can be challenging, especially for authors whose first language is not English. Successful communication requires a writing style that combines simplicity and clarity with precision and detail where necessary. This workshop, aimed at graduate students and early career researchers, addresses common issues in scientific writing and provides feedback on writing samples. The workshop includes writing guides and examples of well- and poorly-written articles.
Co-Instructor: [Spring 2014]