Spring Quarter 2010

PSYCH 140C, Course Code: 68280
PSY BEH 192G, Course Code: 55365

This is a core course in the psychology major and introduces students to research in cognitive science with an emphasis on experimental cognitive psychology. We will address three broad questions. How do we acquire knowledge? How do we retain knowledge? How do we use knowledge? Throughout the course, we will discuss experimental findings in areas such as perception, attention, memory, reasoning, and problem solving. Explanations for these findings will come from an interdisciplinary perspective, with insights from cognitive psychology as well as computer science and cognitive neuroscience. This course serves as an introduction to additional courses in the learning and cognition area. This course is not intended to be a special-topic course for students who seek to gain in-depth knowledge in specific areas of cognitive science.

"The Thinker" (1880)
Syllabus: PDF

Message Board:


Mark Steyvers (webpage)
Office hours: Wednesday 1-2pm
 Location: SBSG 2316

Teaching Assistant

Assal Habibi

Office Hours: Tue Th 9:30-10:30am
Location: Medical Surge I, room 150
(across science library)




Topic & Lecture Notes

Demo files






CogNeuro Review PPT

sinewave speech

natural speech

Demos of sound induced illusory flashes

Ch. 1



Computational Cognitive Science



Nettalk demo




Visual Cognition I: basic processes


LGN off cell
LGN on cell
simple cell
complex cell
directional cell

fMRI retinotopic mapping
ring stimulus, wedge stimulus

Decoding the brain: Movie from Miyawaki et al. (2008)

Word superiority effect

Interactive Activation Model demo1demo2

additional slides explaining model

Ch. 2



Visual Cognition II: object recognition





Attention I: failures of selection


Change blindness: movie examples

Attentional Blink: demo1, demo2

Ch. 3

Writing Assignment #1
due in electronic DropBox (10:30am deadline)


Attention II: selective attention and visual search





Visual Imagery



Ch. 4

 Writing Assignment #2
due in electronic DropBox (10:30am deadline)



4/27 Concept and Knowledge Representation
Posner and Keele dot pattern demo  





covers Ch. 1, 2, 3, and 4

Please bring pencil and scantron form F-288



Memory I: amnesia, implicit/explicit memory, encoding specificity
paper on creating fair lineups

 Ch. 5



Memory II: reconstructive memory, forgetting



Memory III: working memory


Neural network model for working memory applied to delayed saccade task

Illustration of Hebbian reverberatory loop

Ch. 6 (up to page 273)




Decision Making I
  Ch. 9










Decision Making II


Online material on neuroeconomics by Paul Glimcher (NYU)






 Ch. 10


Problem Solving


Induction & Hypothesis Testing
Explanation of Wason Selection task (PPT) Ch. 10

Writing Assignment #3
due in electronic DropBox (10:30am deadline)


McGurk I (mov, avi)
McGurk II (mov)
Ch. 12




FINAL EXAM FROM 10:30am-12:30pm



covers Ch. 5, 6, 9, 10, 12

Please bring pencil and scantron form F-288


Additional Readings (not required for any exams):


Schunn, C. D., Crowley, K., & Okada, T. (1998). The growth of multidisciplinarity in the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science, 22(1), 107-130. PDF

Rapaport, W.J. (1996). Cognitive Science. Draft of the article in Encyclopedia of Computer Science, 4th edition. PDF

Kosslyn, S.M., Pascual-Leone, A., Felician, O., Camposano, D.S., Keenan, J.P., Thompson, W.L.,  Ganis, G., Sukel, K.E., Alpert, N.M. (1999). The Role of Area 17 in Visual Imagery: Convergent Evidence from PET and rTMS. Science, 2(284), 167-170. PDF
Kleffner, D.A., & Ramachandran, V.S. (1992). On the perception of shape from shading. Perception & Psychophysics, 52(1), 18-36. PDF

Hasson U, Nir Y, Levy I, Fuhrmann G, Malach R (2004). Intersubject synchronization of cortical activity during natural vision. Science, 303(5664), 1634-40. PDF

Shams, L., Kamitani, Y. & Shimojo, S. (2000). What you see is what you hear. Nature, 408, 788. PDF.

Neural Network Models

Sejnowski, T. J. and Rosenberg, C. R., Parallel networks that learn to pronounce English text, Complex Systems 1, 145-168(1987). PDF. Audiotape

Hinton, G. E., McClelland, J. L., & Rumelhart, D. E. (1986). Distributed representations. PDP1, Chapter 3. PDF

Brain systems in visual perception

Hamilton, R.H., Pascual-Leone, A. (1998). Cortical Plasticity Associated with Braille Learning. Trends in Cognitive in Sciences, 2(5), 168-174. PDF

Demb, J.B., Boynton, G.M., Heeger, D.J. (1999). Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Early Visual Pathways in Dyslexia.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 96:3314-3319. PDF.

Reading out the brain ("mind reading")

Kay, K.N., Naselaris, T., Prenger, R.J., & Gallant, J.L. (2008). Identifying natural images from human brain activity. Nature, 452, 352-355. PDF

Miyawaki et al. (2008). Visual Image Reconstruction from Human Brain Activity using a Combination of Multiscale Local Image Decoders. Neuron,  60(5), 915-929. PDF

Mitchell et al. (2008). Predicting human brain activity associated with the meanings of nouns, Science 320, pp. 11911195. PDF

Object Recognition

Geisler, W. S., Perry, J.S., Super, B. J. and Gallogly, D. P. (2001) Edge co-occurrence in natural images predicts contour grouping performance. Vision Research, 41, 711-724. PDF

Maurer, D., Le Grand, R., and Mondloch, C.J. (2002). The many faces of configural processing. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 6(6), 255-260. PDF


Behrmann, M., & Tipper, S.P. (1999). Attention accesses multiple reference frames: evidence from visual neglect. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 25(1), 83-101. PDF

Simons, D.J., & Chabris, C.F. (1999). Gorillas in our midst: sustained inattentional blindness for dynamic events. Perception, 28, 1059-1074. PDF

O'Regan, J.K., Rensink, R.A., & Clark, J.J. (1999). Change-blindness as a result of 'mudsplashes'. Nature, 398, 34. PDF


Bower, G.H. (2000). A brief history of memory research. In E. Tulving & F.I.M. Craik (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Memory, pp. 3-32. Oxford University Press. PDF

Farah, M. J. and McClelland, J. L. (1991). A computational model of semantic memory impairment: Modality specificity and emergent category specificity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 120, 339-357. PDF

Concepts and Categories

Landauer, T. K., Foltz, P. W., & Laham, D. (1998). Introduction to Latent Semantic Analysis. Discourse Processes, 25, 259-284. PDF

Landauer, T. K., and Dumais, S. T. (1997). A solution to Plato's problem: the Latent Semantic Analysis theory of acquisition, induction, and representation of knowledge. Psychological Review, 104, 211-240. PDF

Palmeri, T.J., & Blalock, C. (2000). The role of background knowledge in speeded perceptual categorization. Cognition, 77, B45-B57. PDF

McClelland, J. L. and Rogers, T. T. (2003). The Parallel Distributed Processing Approach to Semantic Cognition. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 4, 310-322. PDF

Goldstone, R. L., & Rogosky, B. J. (2002). Using relations within conceptual systems to translate across conceptual systems, Cognition, 84, 295-320. PDF

Reading and Speech Perception

McClelland, J. L. & Rumelhart, D. E. (1981). An interactive activation model of context effects in letter perception: Part 1. An account of basic findings. Psychological Review, 88, 375-407. PDF

McClelland, J. L. & Elman, J. L. (1986). The TRACE model of speech perception. PDP2, Chapter 15. PDF

Dell, G. S., Schwartz, M. F., Martin, N., Saffran, E. M., & Gagnon, D. A. (1997). Lexical access in normal and aphasic speakers. Psychological Review, 104, 801-838. PDF

Plaut, D. C. (1999). Computational modeling of word reading, acquired dyslexia, and remediation. In R. Klein and P. A. McMullen (Eds.), Converging methods in reading and dyslexia (pp. 339-372). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. PDF

Plaut, D. C., McClelland, J. L., Seidenberg, M. S., & Patterson, K. (1996). Understanding normal and impaired word reading: Computational principles in quasi-regular domains. Psychological Review, 103, 56-115. PDF

Coltheart, M., Rastle, K., Perry, C. and Langdon, R. & Ziegler, J. (2001). DRC: A dual route cascaded model of visual word recognition and reading aloud. Psychological Review, 108, 204-256. PDF

Plaut, D. C. and Shallice, T. (1993). Deep dyslexia: A case study of connectionist neuropsychology. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 10, 377-500. PDF

Hinton, G. E., Plaut, D. C., and Shallice, T. (1993). Simulating brain damage. Scientific American, 269, 76-82. PDF

Dahan, D., Magnuson, J. S., & Tanenhaus, M. K. (2001). Time course of frequency effects in spoken-word recognition: Evidence from eye movements. Cognitive Psychology, 42, 317-367. PDF

Problem Solving

Jung-Beeman, M. et al. (2004). Neural Activity When People Solve Verbal Problems with Insight. Public Library of Science -- Biology, 2, 500-510. PDF

Haller, S., & Radue, E.W. (2005). What Is Different about a Radiologist's Brain? Radiology,  236(3), 983 - 989. PDF

Kelly, A. M. C. & Garavan, H. (2005). Human Functional Neuroimaging of Brain Changes Associated with Practice. Cereb Cortex, 15(8), 1089 - 1102. PDF

Maguire, E.A., Gadian, D.G., Johnsrude, I.S., Good, C.D., Ashburner, J., Frackowiak, R.S., & Frith, C.D. (2000). Navigation-related structural change in the hippocampi of taxi drivers. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A., Apr 25, 97(9),4414-6. PDF