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Introduction to Cognition and Perception (Psych 2145, Section 100)
T/R 9:30 - 10:45am, Fall 2001
Room: Muen E0046
Department of Psychology, Muenzinger
Class Web Site:


Text: Willingham (2001). Cognition: The Thinking Animal. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Goals: The ability to engage in complex cognition is what differentiates us from other species in the animal kingdom. It is central to what makes us human, and it supports everything we do in school, work, conversation, etc. Cognition is what allows you to read these words and make sense of what they say, and remember what they said a few hours and (possibly) days later. The average person usually takes all of this for granted, but in fact the mysteries of how the brain carries out all of these cognitive processes are deep and fascinating. In this course, we explore all major aspects of cognition including perception (e.g., the process of reading words or identifying objects), attention (e.g., focusing on one word at a time out of many on the page), memory (e.g., remembering the words later), decision making (e.g., should I take this course or another one?), problem solving (e.g., figuring out what you need to do to graduate), and language (e.g., making sense of these words). We approach these topics using a variety of methods, including behavioral studies, neural imaging and recording studies, and computational models.

Requirements and Details:

Evaluation: Your grade will be computed based on the following percentages:


The scale is a standard one: 100-93 = A, 93-90 = A-, 90-87 = B+, 87-83 = B, etc.. Numbers on the boundary round up, e.g., 93 = A.

Special Accommodations: I encourage students with disabilities, including invisible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury and attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, to discuss with me appropriate accommodations that might be helpful. This must be done within the first 2 weeks of the semester, and you will have to provide documentation to the Disability Services Office in Willard 322 (phone 303-492-8671).



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Next: References

Randall C. O'Reilly
Mon Aug 20 14:52:10 MDT 2001