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Course Information

Instructor Info:Neil Stillings
Office Extension x5513
Term: 2013F
Meeting Info: Wednesday
02:30 PM - 05:20 PM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 221

This course is intended for concentrators and advanced students whose work involves mind, brain, behavior, or intelligent machines and who are studying disciplines such as cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, linguistics, computer science, animal behavior, education, and so on. The students in the course will select a number of current issues in this broad area, choosing recent journal articles, essays, or books in each area for discussion. Each week students will be expected to write a discussion paper or contribute to a web forum and to engage in intensive discussion during the single class meeting. Leadership of at least one class meeting, and an extended paper on one of the course issues is also required. Prerequisite: Two or more courses in relevant fields

Course Objectives:

Please see the pdf document CS 335 Course Information available below for full information about the structure and requirements of the course

  • Write an advanced review of the literature on a topic in the cognitive, neural, or behavioral sciences.
  • Learn to read and discuss research papers in areas that are new to you with confidence and sophistication.
  • Improve your skills in leading discussion and presenting your ideas orally.
  • Improve your ability to give constructive feedback to peers and to respond productively to feedback from others.
Evaluation Criteria:
  • Completion of an advanced review of the literature on a topic in the cognitive, neural, or behavioral sciences, including the submission of an initial proposal and reference list, a draft, and a final version by the stated deadlines.
  • Participation in web forums and class discussion for all class meetings.
  • Leadership of one class session and one brief, polished oral presentation on your paper topic.
  • Peer review of the drafts of two other students’ papers. 

Details and deadlines can be found in the pdf file CS 335 Course Information, available below.

Additional Info:


In this course, you are expected to spend at least eight to ten hours a week of preparation and work outside of class. The class meets Wednesday afternoon, and you can think of your work cycle for the coming week as beginning on a Thursday after class and extending through Tuesday before the next class. In most weeks, you will have to spend a good chunk time from Thursday through Saturday posting your initial responses to the assigned reading, and another good chunk of time from Sunday through Tuesday responding to other students’ posts and preparing for the week’s discussion. In addition, you will have to spend some time every week working on your final paper. In the last month of class this rhythm will shift somewhat, as you focus your time on writing you own paper and preparing your stand-up presentation of the paper. During this time you will also have to read and comment on the drafts of two other students’ papers.

Format for citations and reference list

In this course you are required to use APA format for citing your sources in text and for formatting your reference list. You can learn about APA format by consulting the sources listed at You can also learn about APA format by just paying attention to published papers that use it, in journals such as Psychological Review or Psychological Science.

Please remember that if you list a source in your reference list you are affirming that you consulted that source directly. If your knowledge of source X comes only from learning about it in another source Y, then your knowledge of X is indirect, and you acknowledge this in your text and list Y in your references. For example, you might write, “In his classic analysis Fodor listed nine criteria for modularity (as cited in Barrett & Kurzban, 2006, p. 629).” In this case your knowledge of Fodor is indirect, and you only list Barrett and Kurzban (2006) in your reference list. For more information see the sources mentioned above.

Ethics of scholarship and academic dishonesty

Hampshire maintains a strict policy on the ethics of scholarship and academic dishonesty. Violations entail disciplinary action, which can include loss of credit or expulsion from the college. The full policy is available at under academic policies/ethics of scholarship.

For the purposes of this course the most important point is to avoid representing someone else’s work as your own, either inadvertently or deliberately. All sources used or consulted in your work must be cited. Sources include books, journals or other printed material, information from the internet, or the ideas or work of other people, such as fellow students or faculty.

An important theme of this course is to accurately review the literature on your chosen topic and to put your own ideas in the context of the record of published research and scholarship in the area.