The activities and requirements of the Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience program are designed primarily to develop the student's competence as a researcher. They are also expected to enhance the teaching, communication, and administrative skills each student will need in his or her professional career. Along with Departmental and Graduate School requirements, Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience students must take two courses in the program (e.g., perception or learning and memory), and one advanced seminar. Required research activities include empirical research projects, a review or theoretical research paper, and a dissertation project. Before candidacy is achieved, each student must also pass a general preliminary examination in cognition. Students may chose to augment their training with additional programs of study such as the Cognitive Science and Cognitive Neuroscience certificate program and the Formal Modeling, Mathematical Psychology, and Quantitative Methods specialization described below.
Formal Modeling, Mathematical Psychology, and Quantitative Methods
As part of their work in the Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience program, interested students may pursue a specialization in Formal Modeling, Mathematical Psychology, and Quantitative Methods. We believe that skills in formal modeling are an important aspect of research in Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience . The core features of the option area as follows:
- The student earns a master's degree in one of the mathematical sciences, such as statistics, applied mathematics, industrial and operations engineering, management information systems, or computer science.
- The student completes a seminar in formal modeling and methods offered by the Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience area.
- The student completes a closely supervised project in which he or she can develop expert-level competence in one particular technique.
Examples of the substantive domains students have pursued in the past include, but are not limited to:
- decision making and judgment;
- social interaction;
- motor programming;
- human factors;
- problem solving; and
Illustrative research techniques include: psychophysical methods, measurement theory, psychometrics, scaling procedures, computer stimulation, artificial intelligence, stochastic modeling, decision analysis, operations research and statistics.
Cognitive Science/Cognitive Neuroscience (CSCN) Certificate Program
Many CCN students who are interested in cognitive science or cognitive neuroscience participate in the Cognitive Science/Cognitive Neuroscience (CSCN) Certificate Program. Students in this program receive training in neuroscientific and computational methods for studying cognition and have the opportunity to interact with students from other areas who have similar interests. Students take four core courses and three elective courses related to cognitive neuroscience or computational modeling. They also rotate through two research labs doing work in cognitive science or cognitive neuroscience. The program regularly sponsors workshops on topics ranging from fMRI data analysis to neuroanatomy to neural net modeling.