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Course Information

Instructor Info:Joanna Morris
Office Extension x5462
TA Info:Jolie Anderson
Term: 2014S
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 221
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 221
Description:

The problem of explaining how the brain enables human conscious experience remains a great mystery of human knowledge. This course is an introduction to cognitive neuroscience in which we will attempt to examine the neural underpinnings of the mind's complex processes, paying particular attention to vision. Cognitive neuroscience incorporates elements of physiological psychology, neuroscience, cognitive psychology and neuropsychology. In this course we will become familiar with the tools of research used in cognitive neuroscience and with questions that motivate researchers in the field.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this course students should:

  1. Be familiar with basic neuroanatomy and physiology of the nervous system. 
  2. Understand neuroscience methodologies.
  3. Understand current neurocognitive theories of vision, attention, and other mental processes and operations
  4. Be familiar with empirical quantitative research methods and understand the ways in which the use of such methods use can advance our understanding of the human mind and human behaviour.
  5. Be able to write a well-structured empirical research proposal with a testable hypothesis, a literature review that motivates the hypothesis, quantitative predictions, and an appropriate research design.
Evaluation Criteria:

Students are required to attend class, participate in discussions, take notes when necessary, do assigned readings, and complete all assignments.  If a class is missed, students are responsible for the material covered.The required assignments MUST be submitted to receive an evaluation in this course.  Any student who does not complete all assignments in a timely fashion, and to a satisfactory standard, will not receive an evaluation for the course. 

Expectations of work completed outside the classroom 

In this course, students are expected to spend at least six to eight hours a week of preparation and work outside of class time.  

All work should be submitted via the course website (instructions will be provided).  Except in exceptional circumstances, I will not accept e-mailed work.

Weekly Assignments

You will have several short assignments due throughout the semester.  These assignments will  be based on the reading, and they are designed to allow me to evaluate your comprehension of the material.  

Papers

You are required to write an 8-10 page research proposal consisting of a literature review justifying or motivating your proposed research, a testable hypothesis, clear quantitative predictions that derive from  that hypothesis, and a detailed description of an empirical study designed to test those predictions.

The proposal can be on any topic of your choice as long as it is related to the subject matter of the course. Your literature review should be organised around, and related directly your research question.  In the methods section of the proposal you will formulate a  specific hypothesis, generate quantitative predictions and discuss how the data you might collect would support or disprove your hypothesis.  

Grade Weighting Scheme

For Five College students the grades are weighted as follows:

Assignments 40%

Research Proposal55%

Peer Review 5%

Incomplete Policy

Faculty are not obligated to negotiate an incomplete. In those cases where a student has requested and the faculty member agrees that an incomplete is appropriate, that information must be recorded no later than the course completion summary deadline for that semester. 

To record an incomplete, both student and faculty member will fill out the appropriate form to record the new negotiated deadline by which the student will complete all remaining work for the course. That date will not exceed the first day of the spring semester for a fall incomplete, and June 30th for a spring incomplete. 

If the negotiated deadline passes without the faculty member receiving and recording the completed work from the student, the incomplete will be converted to a "No Evaluation." Faculty have one month from the negotiated date to evaluate the work. 

Students experiencing exceptional circumstances that could make it difficult to adhere to any part of this policy should immediately be referred to CASA for assistance with accommodating circumstances 

Plagiarism Policy

All Hampshire College students and faculty, whether at Hampshire or at other institutions, are bound by the ethics of academic integrity. The entire description and college policy can be found in Non Satis Non Scire at http://handbook.hampshire.edu under Academic Policies/Ethics of Scholarship. Plagiarism is the representation of someone else’s work as one’s own. Both deliberate and inadvertent misrepresentations of another’s work as your own are considered plagiarism and are serious breaches of academic honesty and integrity. All sources used or consulted in the process of writing papers, examinations, preparing oral presentations, course assignments, artistic productions, and so on, must be cited. Sources include material from books, journals or any other printed source, the work of other students, faculty, or staff, information from the Internet, software programs and other electronic material, designs and ideas. 

All cases of suspected plagiarism or academic dishonesty will be referred to the Dean of Advising who will review documentation and meet with student and faculty member. Individual faculty, in consultation with the Dean of Advising, will decide the most appropriate consequence in the context of the class. This can range from revising and resubmitting an assignment to failing the course. Beyond the consequence in the course, CASA considers first offences as opportunities for education and official warning. Multiple or egregious offences will have more serious consequences. Suspected instances of other breaches of the ethics of academic integrity, such as the falsification of data, will be treated with the same seriousness as plagiarism and will follow the same process.

Additional Info:

Course Materials

The required textbook for this course is : Gazzaniga, M. S., Ivry, R. B., & Mangun, G. R. (2009). Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind (4th Ed.) W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.: NY.

The textbook is available from the Hampshire College  Bookstore:

http://www.bkstr.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/booklookServlet?bookstore_id-1=1153&term_id-1=2014S&crn-1=313609

as well as from amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Cognitive-Neuroscience-Biology-Fourth-Edition/dp/0393913481/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390415826&sr=8-1&keywords=biology+of+the+mind+4th+edition  

Cheaper electronic versions are also available from Norton:

http://books.wwnorton.com/books/detail-formats.aspx?ID=4294978503

All other readings will be made available on the course website on moodle: http://moodle.hampshire.edu

Online Resources

Purdue Online Writing Lab APA Formatting and Style Guide:  https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/

Citation Management Software: http://www.zotero.org