Cognitive Science

"Opinion says hot and cold, but the reality is atoms and empty space."

The structuring of these subjects largely follows the structure of the courses offered at La Trobe University



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-Sten Morten Andersen

Cognitive Science

Part 1: Psychology

1.1 Brain-Behaviour Relationships

1.1.1 Certain brain structures

1.1.2 Divisions of the adult human brain

1.1.3 Research methods

1.1.4 The limbic lobe Emotion Memory Most common causes for permanent amnesia Aggression

1.2 Psychological Research Methods (PRM)
Source: PRM

1.2.1 The five number summary

1.2.2 Standard deviation

1.2.3 Probability distributions

1.2.x For the programmatically inclined: Functions implemented in Python

1.3 Individual differences

1.3.1 Learning processes

1.3.2 Personality and Intelligence

1.4 Social psychology

This trail closely follows Dr. Platow's lecture series at La Trobe University, spring 2001.

1.4.1 Social psychology research methods

1.4.2 Social cognition. Self and others

1.4.3 Forming impressions of people

1.4.4 Attitude. Formation and change

1.4.5 Attraction

1.4.6 Close personal relationships

1.4.7 Fairness. A lab report

1.4.8 Power and leadership

1.4.9 Obedience

1.4.10 Social influence

1.4.11 Altruism

1.4.12 Aggression

1.5 Perception

1.5.1 Spatial frequency theory

On the Attentional Blink

Non-Intelligent Perception

1.6 Cognition

1.6.1 Psychophysics

1.6.2 Signal detection theory

1.7 Special topic:
Depression and ECT (Word document)

Part 2: Behavioural neuroscience

2.1 What is behavioural neuroscience?

2.1.1 Premises behind behavioural neuroscience

2.1.2 Imaging techniques

2.1.3 Human versus non-human subjects

2.2 Ethics

See 2.1.3 Human versus non-human subjects

Animal ethics report (somewhat specific to La Trobe University, Australia)

2.3 The brain and behaviour
This trail mainly follows the outlay of Russel Conduit's lectures at La Trobe University, Autumn 2001. His lectures are also one of the main sources for this material. Studying the brain

2.3.1 Cell Biology

2.3.2 Neurons and Glia

2.3.3 Neural Communication Neural Membrane Action Potential Synaptic Transmission

2.3.4 The nervous system on a large scale The 3 components of the peripheral nervous system The central nervous system The brain The spinal cord

2.4 Neurotransmitters and psychopharmacology

2.4.1 Neurotransmitters Acetylcholine (ACh) Dopamine (DA) Norepinephrine (NE) Serotonin (5-HT) Melatonin Amino acids Neuropeptides

2.4.2 Drugs Ecstasy Hallucinogens Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) Cocaine Amphetamines Nicotine Opioids Alcohol Tranquillisers Coffeine

2.4.3 Disease Schizophrenia Dopamine theory of schizophrenia

Special topic: The glutamate theory of schizophrenia Parkinson's disease Dopamine theory of Parkinson's disease Affective disorders

2.5 Genetics

2.6 Cell biology

2.7 Hormones and behaviour

2.7.1 How hormones act Types of chemical communication

2.7.2 On what hormones act

2.7.3 Endocrine glands

2.7.4 How hormones affect behaviour

2.7.5 Interaction of hormonal and neural systems

2.8 Brain development

2.8.1 Six stages of brain development Neurogenesis Migration Differentiation Synaptogenesis Neuronal cell death Rearrangement

2.9 The senses

2.9.1 General principles of sensory processing, touch, and pain Sensory processing Touch and pain

2.9.2 Hearing

2.9.3 Vestibular perception

2.9.4 The chemical senses Taste Smell

2.9.5 Vision
Special Topics:
    Binocular Rivalry
    IT cortex   

2.10 Homeostasis

2.10.1 Temperature

2.10.2 Thirst Hypovolemic Osmotic

2.10.3 Hunger

Part 3: Philosophy of human psychology

This trail follows the general outline of the course PHI11PHP offered at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.

3.1 Free will and Determinism

3.2 The problem of the Self

3.2.1 The empiricist: John Locke, a memory theory

3.2.2 The existentialist: Jean-Paul Sartre

3.2.3 The communitarian: Alasdair MacIntyre

3.3 Morality

3.3.1 Utilitarianism

3.3.2 Psychological egoism

3.3.3 Ethical egoism and hedonism

3.3.4 Self respect

3.4 Explaining human behaviour


Small wordlist