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Human Cognition Semesters I and II (1990-91)

 

Jayashree Ramadas, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

 

Notes typed by: Kala Ranganathan / V. N. Purohit / Niranjan Shimpi – Available for internal circulation at HBCSE.

 

Summary of course contents

 

LECTURE 1

Summary: Cognition as study of the mind; History of behavioristic approaches: classical and operant conditioning; Limitations of behaviorism and need for a science of the mind; The example of linguistics.

 

LECTURE 2

Summary: Cognitive science as a confluence of disciplines: Philosophy, Psychology, Linguistics, Artificial Intelligence, Neurosciences, Neural networks, Anthropology; The development perspective.

 

LECTURE 3

Summary: Piaget's theory of cognitive development (1): Nature of theories in the social sciences; Broad features of Piaget's theory: Biological orientation, cognitive structures, qualitative stages, constructivism, assimilation-accommodation, action schemes, and mental operations.

 

LECTURE 4

Summary: Piaget's theory of cognitive development (2): The sensori-motor stage: development from sub-symbolic to symbolic representations of the world (six sub stages); The performance-competence distinction; Post-Piagetian experiments; Action schemes vs perceptual schemes as precursors to conceptual thought; Short-term memory and fine motor skills as performance variables.

 

LECTURE 5

Summary: Piaget's theory of cognitive development (3): The pre-operational stage; Mental operations; pre-operational characteristics in terms of operations; Semiotic function; Egocentrism; Development of causality in sensori-motor period.

 

LECTURE 6

Summary: Piaget's theory of cognitive development (4): Concepts of casuality in pre-operational period: finalism, artificialism, participation, animism, syncretism, juxtaposition, Other development in the pre-operational period: language, identity; Vertical decalages; The clinical method.

 

LECTURE 7

“Language and cognition” Special Lecture by Prof. R. Narasimahan.

 

LECTURE 8

Summary: Piaget's theory of cognitive development (5): Structures of concrete operations: groups, lattices, groupings. The nine concrete-operational groupings and their cognitive analogues.

 

LECTURE 9

Summary: Piaget's theory of cognitive development (6): Classification, seriation and the concept of number. Post-Piagetian research; Grand theory vs. Grounded theory approaches. Spatio-temporal operations: Topological, projective and Euclidian properties; Time, movement and velocity.

 

LECTURE 10

Summary: Piaget's theory of cognitive development (7): The formal operational stage: Hypothetico-deductive, inductive, propositional and combinatorial properties of reasoning; specific formal operational schemes; problems with the theory.

 

LECTURE 11

Summary: Piaget's theory vs. Behaviorism: Interactionist view, Equilibration, Constructivism, Qualitative stages, Expectations and intentions. Piaget on learning: stage constraints , procedures. Application of Piaget's theory to education.

 

LECTURE 12

“Cognitive Science and Education” (Robert Glaser's paper) Special Lecture by Ms. Lalita Shankar.

 

LECTURE 13

Summary: The Information Processing approach: The human-computer analogy, basic model of information processing, historical factors and early results, comparison with Behaviorism and Piaget's theory.

 

LECTURE 14

Summary: Individual differences in Information Processing: Comparison with the IQ approach, experiments on sensory stores, STM, LTM; expert-novice studies.

 

LECTURE 15

Summary: Domain specificity in cognition: Trends in AI, Psycholinguistics and Cognitive Science, results from memory studies, problem solving, logical inference, replication studies of Piaget, alternative conceptions in science, “culture-fairness” in IQ testing; ecological validity.

 

LECTURE 16

Summary: The symbolic approach, its repercussions, and reactions against it: Symbol processing, the seriality assumption, challenge from neural networks; The concrete-formal hierarchy, schema theory, Constructionism, Situated Cognition.

 

LECTURE 17

Summary: Cognitive development: Finding an alternative to Piaget's structures. The information-processing view. Adaptation based on successively more adequate representations of the environment. Discrimination processes and pattern recognizers. Overview of what develops in Cognition. Domain specificity.

 

LECTURE 18

Discussion Paper (Contd.): Carey, S., “Cognitive development: The descriptive problem”, in M. Gazzaniga, ed., Handbook of Cognitive Neurology, Hillsdale, NJ: LEA, 1983.

 

LECTURE 19

Discussion Paper: Brown, A. L., “Analogical learning and transfer: what develops?” in Vosniadou, S. and Ortony, A. (eds.) Similarly and Analogical Reasoning, Cambridge University Press, 1989.

 

LECTURE 20

Discussion Paper (Contd.): Brown , A. L., “Analogical learning and transfer: what develops?” in Vosniadou, S. and Ortony, A. (eds.) Similarly and Analogical Reasoning, Cambridge University Press, 1989.

 

LECTURE 21

Discussion Paper: Brown, A. L. and DeLoache., J. S., “Skills plans and self-regulation”, in R. S. Siegler (ed.) Children's Thinking: what Develops? (abbr. CTWD), 1978.

 

 

LECTURE 22

Discussion Paper (Contd.): Brown, A. L. and DeLoache., J. S., “Skills plans and self-regulation”, in R. S. Siegler (ed.) Children's Thinking: what Develops? (abbr. CTWD), 1978.

 

LECTURE 23

Discussion Paper: Case, R., “Intellectual development from birth to adulthood: A neo-Piagetain interpretation,” in Siegler Robert S. (Ed.) (1978), Children's Thinking: What Develops?, Lawrence Erlabaum, New Jersey. (Abbr. CTWD).

 

LECTURE 24

Discussion Paper: Siegler, R. S. “ Three aspects of cognitive development”, Cognitive Psychology, 4 , 481-520, 1976. Siegler, R. S., “The origins of scientific reasoning”, in CTWD.

 

LECTURE 25

Overview Paper 1: Sternberg, R. J. and Lasaga, M. I., “Approaches to human reasoning: An analytic framework,” in Elithorn, A. and Banerji, R. (eds.) Artificial and Human Intelligence, Elsevier Science, 1984.

 

LECTURE 26

Overview Paper 2: Scholenfeld , A. H. “Cognitive science and mathematics education: An overview”, in Scholenfeld , A. H. (ed.) Cognitive science and Mathematics Education, LEA, 1989.

 

LECTURE 27

“Computer Models in Cognition” Special Lecture by Dr. S. Ramani (Director, NCST)

 

LECTURE 28

“Computability and the mind” (from “The Emperor's New Mind” Roger Penrose) Special Lecture by Dr. Arvind Kumar.

 

LECTURE 29

Overview Paper 3: Sincoff, J. B. and Sternberg, R. J. “ The development of cognitive skills: an examination of recent theories”, in Colley, A. M. and Beech, I. R. (eds.) Acquisition and Performance of Cognitive Skills, John Wiley, 1989.

 

LECTURE 30

Summary of the information-processing view of cognitive development. Developmental changes related to representation and processing.

 

LECTURE 31

Summary: Models of cognitive (1): History of formal models - philosophical background, early connectionism; Limitations of AI.

 

LECTURE 32

Summary (contd.): Models of cognition (2): Seriality, parallesim and connectionism in cognitive functioning, Recent technological breakthroughs in parallel computing and neural networks; Real minds and contextual issues; Ecological Psychology and situated Cognition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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