I teach two undergraduate courses in regular rotation: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology (31:016) and Research Methods in Psychology (31:121).
Psychology 031:016 Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
The intent of this course is to introduce the basic concepts and findings of cognitive psychology, including the topics of perception, attention, learning, memory, language, categorization, imagery, judgment and decision-making, and problem-solving. Cognition will be discussed from the perspectives of information processing and cognitive neuroscience.
Psychology 031:121 Research Methods II
The primary objective of the class is to give students a working understanding of how research in experimental psychology is conducted. Essentially, this topic entails the path from the initial formulation of a hypothesis to the completion of a submittable manuscript. Because an understanding of this process is not easily achieved without hands-on practice, the class is conducted as a laboratory course.
I teach four graduate seminars. However, I have recently been teaching the graduate methods and prefrontal cortex classes most frequently.
Psychology 031:280 Prefrontal cortex
This seminar focuses on theories frontal lobe function across a range of domains. The readings in this course attempt to provide a broad overview of the wide-array of behaviors in which the frontal lobes play a role. We will consider neuroanatomical, neuropsychological and neuroimaging data. We also consider some general accounts of frontal lobe function and examine computational models. Topics include attention, cognitive control, decision making, development, and aging.
Psychology 031:330 Executive control
“Dissolve, deconstruct, or fractionate the executive! Let a hundred idiots flourish!” (Monsell & Driver, 2000, p. 7)
This seminar focuses on executive control and some closely-related topics. Executive control is often neglected in theories of specific human behaviors but is present (sometimes lurking in the background) during most experimental tasks. The readings in this course attempt to bring executive control processes into the foreground, and examine how control can be implemented without resorting to a homunculus, an intelligent agent scheduling cognitive operations to insure that the rules are followed and the goals are achieved.
Psychology 031:330 Motor control
This seminar focuses on motor control, providing a survey of the field that balances seminal and contemporary papers. Motor control is a fundamental, but it is often neglected in explanations of behavior and seldom makes it way into textbooks for cognitive psychology. The seminar takes a "greatest hits" approach the field, so as to introduce student to a wide range of topics and papers. Topics include: action represention, motor sequence learning, interactions between perception and action, and models of cerebellar function.
Psychology 031:335 Computer-based research methods in psychology
E-prime, Excel, and Matlab. This seminar is essentially a practicum with the goal of giving graduate students the skills to conduct experiments on their own from start to finish. We focus on three pieces of software that are sufficient for collecting and organizing data: E-prime, Excel, and Matlab. The class is meant to give students a working knowledge of these software packages, so that they can accomplish what they need to in the lab and quickly collect and process data. There is some loose lecturing/demonstration, but it is expected that much of the class discussion will be dependent on student questions and interaction. Students are partly responsible for the curriculum; they should design their projects so that they are exposed to the topics that are particularly important to them. Integrating lab work with class projects is encouraged.