COGNITIVE SCIENCE OBLIGATORY COURSES


COGS 501 Cognitive Science (Obligatory Course-All Areas)

This course introduces various empirical domains and research methods of cognitive science. First, history of cognitive science and debates in the field will be introduced. Subsequently, the major empirical research domains of cognitive science will be covered such as language, vision, attention, learning and memory, theory of mind, action, evolution, brain, emotional and social aspects of cognition. The course aims at providing an overview of the interdisciplinary field of cognitive science and to motivate students to further explore the various tracks offered by the program in their subsequent studies.


COGS 598 Cognitive Science Seminar (Obligatory Course-All Areas)

This course involves weekly presentations from qualified speakers conducting research in the area of cognitive science. Students are provided with an opportunity to listen to and discuss recent research in cognitive science.


COGS 505 Language and Mind (Linguistics Area Obligatory Course)

This course addresses some basic questions about the nature of native speakers' knowledge of language. Among a number of other questions to be addressed throughout this course, the following two play a key role: (i) What do native speakers know when they know a language? and (ii) how do native speakers acquire this knowledge? The answers to be presented come from the proposals made by Noam Chomsky and his followers starting from the 1980s. According to these proposals, natural languages are composed of a finite set of "principles" that do not vary across languages and a finite set of "parameters", where each parameter has a limited number of possible values. The diversity of natural languages is explained by differences between their sets of parameter values. Children acquiring language discover which values characterize their native language and set their parameters accordingly. Once this conception of human language is introduced, we will focus on what specific answers this approach gives to the specific questions regarding natural languages, particularly in the domain of syntax. Study of natural language syntax under the 'Principles and Parameters theory' (and for that matter, under any other formal theory) matters for cognitive science because the aim of such theories is to formalize a piece of knowledge that is represented in the human mind and that this knowledge presumably shares key computational properties with other cognitive domains. Data sets from a diverse set of natural languages will be analyzed within the framework to be introduced in the course.


COGS 507 Cognitive Neuroscience (Neuroscience Area Obligatory Course)

This course will introduce neuroscience research with a special emphasis on cognitive neuroscience. First, the structure of the nervous system, both at the neuronal and anatomical level will be presented and students will get acquainted with the principles of psychopharmacology. From here on, the lectures will cover the biological aspects of perception, motor behavior, memory, emotions, consciousness, and other cognitive faculties. The principles of contemporary neuroimaging tools such as EEG, fMRI, TMS and DTI will be explained and the most common experimental paradigms used with these tools will be described.


CSE 585 Machine Learning (Computer Science Area Obligatory Course)

Basic concepts and techniques of machine learning. Supervised learning techniques. Concept and Decision Tree Learning. Bayesian approach in machine learning. Evolutionary approach and genetic programming. Neural Networks, Support Vector Machines and reinforcement learning. Unsupervised machine learning and clustering.


COGS 511 Philosophy of Mind (Philosophy Area Obligatory Course)

This course is concerned with questions about the nature of the mind and the relation between our minds and the physical world. By the end of this course students will develop skills in critical thinking, gain a general familiarity with the major issues and debates in contemporary philosophy of mind, gain a comprehensive understanding of at least one major issue of philosophy of mind, and give some thought to how issues in the philosophy of mind connect to other disciplines such as computer science, neurology, psychology, and cognitive science. Topics include the Mind/Body Problem, Artificial Intelligence, Consciousness, Free Will and Determinism, Personal identity and Theory of Mind.


COGS 513 Cognition (Cognitive Psychology Area Obligatory Course)

This course explores the science of mental processes. Experimental evidence and theoretical perspectives on processes such as perception, attention, visual imagery and memory, as well as some neurological background for these processes are emphasised. Recent articles on cognition are discussed in depth.


COGS 515 Cognitive Anthropology (Cognitive Anthropology Area Obligatory Course)

Cognitive anthropology is the study of the relationship between thought and culture. In this course, some of the major questions in the field will be considered: How does cultural knowledge influence the basic cognitive processes that are deemed to be universal? What is the role of language in the relationship between culture and cognition? What are the appropariate methodlogies to answer these questions? The course aims to equip students with an understanding of the influence of culture on cognition.


COGS 599- Dissertation

Continuation of Dissertation I. By the end of this course, students are expected to complete their dissertations which is required for their master's degree, under the supervision of their supervisors and dissertation committee members


COGNITIVE SCIENCE ELECTIVE COURSES

These are only the electives specific to the program. Other electives related to primary and secondary areas are available and can be chosen from other graduate programs at Yeditepe University


COGS 521 Selected Readings on Hemispheric Assymetries

In depth examination of hemispheric specialization of the brain in different functions using brain imaging techniques. Topics like hemispheric specialization in language and speech, in visuo-spatial processing, in attention and perception, functional asymmetries in unilateral cortical lesions, functional asymmetries in the normal brain, asymmetries in perceptual representations, in spatial representations, interaction between the hemispheres and its implications for the processing capacity of the brain will be studied.


COGS 522 Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory

In depth examination of neural and functional basis of memory. Brain mechanisms and localization of different memory processes such as encoding, retrieval, associative learning, declarative memory, episodic memory, emotional memory and conditioning, fear conditioning, lexical and semantic memory, interference, will be studied in animal and human models by functional imaging, electrophysiological and lesion studies.


COGS 523 Selected Readings on Attention and Consciousness

In depth study of brain mechanisms and localization in terms of selective information processing referred to as attention and the findings on consciousness. Topics such as visual attention, visual-spatial attention, language and attention, auditory attention, sensory aspects of attention, motor components of attention, general arousal system of the brain, neural mechanisms underlying attention, how some information is selected for additional processing whereas other information is nor privileged, hemispheric asymmetry in the organization of directed attention, conscious vs. unconscious processing, left and right hemisphere consciousness.


COGS 524 Culture, Language and Thought I

This course focuses on the semiotic and functional levels of the complex relationship between language and thought. First, through works of classical thinkers such Piaget, Vygotsky and George Herbert Mead, we will explore how language as a semiotic system contributes to human cognition and differentiates it from that of other species. Then it focuses on how syntactical and semantic characteristics of specific languages influence thought processes of their speakers. In order to answer this particular question, works of Sapir, Whorf, Lucy, Slobin, Gelitman and others who approach the issue of linguistic relativity from different, sometimes opposing perspectives will be discussed.


COGS 525 Culture, Language and Thought II

This course is a continuation of Culture, Language and Thought I. Question of discursive relativity will be adressed through works of the Bakhtin Circle and linguistic anthropological studies pertaining to the relationship between speaking styles, specialized languages, cognition, and the self.


COGS 526 Memory and Identity

Memory is a contested area, it is 'collective', 'official' yet personal and the borders between these presumably separate spheres are never clear-cut. The course aims to familiarize students with current discussions of memory studies in anthropology. The course is particularly concerned with the relationship between 'national memory' and 'personal memory'. In order to follow this dynamic link, the course will look at the functions of commemorative rituals that enhance the 'national identity' through remembering and practicing the idea of togetherness. The course will examine the public monuments, museums and landscapes as means of contestation of the 'memory' and analyse their claims over the 'authenticity' and 'continuity' of the 'past' in the present. Finally, the course will examine the relationship between the 'sensory aspects of memory' and identity, as the memories and histories activate and are activated by emotions and senses.


COGS 527 Advanced Human Memory

This course covers theories and research on processes such as the relationship between attention and memory, working memory, imagery and memory, short term and long term acquisition and retrieval, forgetting, automatic versus controlled processes in memory, autobiographical memory, memory errors.


COGS 528 Cognitive Aging

This course involves a in-depth discussion theoretical perspectives and recent empirical evidence on the effects of normal aging on cognitive processes. Topics include deficit in inhibition view, general slowing view, socio-emotional selectivity, circadian rhythms and cognitive performance, and emotion-cognition interactions. Both behavioral and neurological studies are included.


COGS 529 Emotion, Cognition, and Aging

This course covers research on the interactions of cognition and emotion in normal aging. First cognitive and emotional changes in aging are discussed, then recent research showing the effects of cognition on emotions and the effects of emotions on cognition are explored.


COGS 530 Recent Research in Cognitive Neuroscience

Recent articles on selected topics in cognitive neuroscience will be read and discussed in depth.


COGS 531 Recent Research in Cognition

Recent articles on selected topics in cognition will be read and discussed in depth.


COGS 532 Recent Research in Computer Science

Recent articles on selected topics in artificial intelligence will be read and discussed in depth.


COGS 533 Recent Research in Cognitive Anthropology

Recent articles on selected topics in cognitive anthropology will be read and discussed in depth.


COGS 534 Recent Research in Linguistics

Recent articles on selected topics in linguistics will be read and discussed in depth.


COGS 535 Recent Research in Philosophy of Mind

Recent articles on selected topics in philosophy of mind will be read and discussed in depth.