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PSY 200: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

Fall 2017
MWF 7:30 pm-8:20 pm
Wilmeth Active Learning Center, Room 1055



NameOffice EmailPhoneOffice hours
Greg FrancisPSYCH 3186gfrancis@purdue.edu494-6934 MWF 2:00 pm-3:00 pm
Please contact me (email is best) if you cannot visit during office hours to schedule an alternative time to meet.

Text: There is no textbook. Material for exams will be taken from the lectures. If you want to use a textbook, you can use any cognition text from other (present and past) sections of this course, or you can purchase a textbook online. Class notes will be available on the web (see below). The notes are reduced in size so that six slides fit on a single page. You can either download individual lectures (below) or you can download the entire set of lectures notes in a single file (51 MB). There are also optional readings in the schedule below. These readings may help if you are unsure about something or want to explore a topic further.

Class attendance: Your presence for the lectures is mandatory, and will be checked each class period. Over the course of the semester, each student may miss up to 6 lectures without penalty. Additional absences will proportionally reduce your class attendance score. This score contributes to 5% of your final class grade. Athletes and other special cases need to contact Dr. Francis.

Vodcast recordings of lectures: BoilerCast recordings of the lectures will be available as a vodcast. As they become available, the “vodcast” links in the schedule below will become links to the recordings. It sometimes takes a few days for the vodcast to be uploaded. The recordings are meant to be a (poor) substitute should you miss a lecture and to provide a way to go back and check on topics that you do not fully understand. The vodcast recording system does not always properly capture the lecture, and sometimes the audio is quite poor. Your best option is to attend the lecture itself and use the vodcast as a way to refresh selected topics.

Class home page: The home page for this course is http://www.psych.purdue.edu/~gfrancis/Classes/PSY200/indexF17.html From this page you can download lecture notes, view the class schedule, view current grades, and connect to the various homework laboratory and writing assignments. This course does not use only partially uses Blackboard. Some information is only on the class home page.

Examinations: There will be four section exams and one final exam. The section exams will be in-class and the final exam will be given during the final exam period (do not plan to leave campus early, this course's final exam is sometimes scheduled for the last day of exam week). The first two exams are each worth 10% of your class grade. The last two exams and the final are each worth 15% of your class grade. The final will cover all topics of the course. Exams will be all multiple choice questions. Extensive study guides are available as links in the class schedule below. You might also find it useful to look at old exams from Fall 2016. However, the course always changes a bit from semester to semester, and your exams will be made of different (but similar) questions. Make-up exams will not be permitted unless you notify Dr. Francis at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled exam date. Missed exams will receive a grade of 0.

CogLab: CogLab is an Internet site that allows students to participate in classic experiments related to cognitive psychology. You will be given lab assignments throughout the semester. These labs are run through the Internet and can be carried out at any computer lab on campus or at a home computer. Your overall lab grade will make up 15% of your class grade. All the labs are on the Cognitive Psychology Online Laboratory (CogLab) web page at https://coglab.cengage.com. In the schedule below, individual labs are associated with different dates. You must complete each lab by 6:00 am on the date indicated to get credit (better to do it the night before). You will receive log-in instructions in class.

Writing assignments: Four times during the semester (the precise dates are listed in the schedule below), you must submit a short (3-5 pages) report related to CogLab assignments or other topics discussed in class. The details of each assignment are provided in the linked documents in the schedule, below. Each report must be typed, single space, and follow the format indicated in the linked document. The report should be free of grammar and spelling errors, and it must address all the topics indicated in the instructions. Each report will be scored on a 10 point scale. The average report score for each student across the semester will make up 15% of your class grade. Reports must by prepared in a word processing program (Microsoft Word or something similar) and be submitted to the TA by electronic mail by the start of class on the date indicated in the schedule, below. Late submissions receive a score of 0. Plagiarism (passing someone else's writing as your own) will not be tolerated. Do not simply copy and paste material from any source. For short reports like this assignment, you should not be quoting text from any source, even with proper attribution. See the Purdue Online Writing Lab for details about plagiarism.

Grading: Grading is on a straight scale, as described in Lecture 1. There is no rounding or curving of grades. There is no possibility of extra credit.

Teaching Assistants:

NameOffice EmailOffice hours
Pierson FleischerPeirce Hall 365Bpfleisch@purdue.edu 8:00-9:30 am Tuesday and Thursday
Pallavi MishraPeirce Hall 375palmishr@gmail.com 1:30-3:00 pm Tuesday and Thursday


The links to the optional readings provide some additional background or related information. You do not need to read this material, but if you are interested in the topic, it is a place to start further exploration.

Lecture PDFLecture vodcastDate Topic Assignment Optional Readings
01vodcastAugust 21 Introduction
02vodcast August 23 Brain Brain asymmetry The Brain from Top to Bottom, Visual contralateral processing
03 vodcast August 25 Brain scans
04 vodcast August 28 Mind reading Video of tongue display unit
05 vodcast August 30 Neurons and neurotransmitters The Mind Project
06 vodcast 1 (starts about 18 minutes in), vodcast 2 (uses about 30 minutes to finish lecture 06) September 1 Receptive fields Blind Spot, Writing report #1 (doc, pdf) Receptive field tutorial
-- -- September 4 Labor Day (No class)
07 vodcast September 6 Neural networks Network simulator
08 vodcast September 8 Neural learning Neural Networks
SG1 -- September 11 Review for exam
-- -- September 13 SECTION EXAM 1
09 vodcast September 15 Visual perception The Joy of Visual Perception
10 vodcast September 18 Dynamic vision Apparent motion The Joy of Visual Perception - Motion Perception
11 vodcast September 20 Attention Wikipedia Page
12 vodcast September 22 Attention Attentional blink, Visual search Visual Salience
13 vodcast September 25 Sensory memory Partial report, Writing report #2 (doc, pdf)
14 vodcast September 27 Two-store model Brown-Peterson, Serial position Wikipedia Page, Dewey (2007)
15 vodcast September 29 Working memory Sternberg search Wikipedia Page
16 vodcast October 2 Working memory Memory span, Phonological similarity
SG2 -- October 4 Review for exam
-- -- October 6 SECTION EXAM 2
-- -- October 9 Fall Break (No class)
17 vodcast October 11 Encoding specificity
18 vodcast October 13 Memory discrimination False memories
19 vodcast October 16 Constructive memory Loftus (2003)
20 vodcast October 18 Amnesia Wikipedia entry on HM
21 vodcast October 20 Improving memory 1 Levels of processing
22 vodcast October 23 Improving memory 2 Link word, Writing report #3 (doc, pdf)
23 vodcast October 25 Mental representation Prototypes
24 vodcast October 27 Mental imagery Mental rotation Wikipedia Page
SG3 vodcast October 30 Review for exam
-- -- November 1 SECTION EXAM 3
25 vodcast November 3 Language instinct African American Vernacular English
26 vodcast November 6 Phrase trees MiniLing, Library of Babel
27 vodcast November 8 Words Word superiority Proto Indo European Language
28 vodcast November 10 Parsing Lexical decision
29 vodcast November 13 Speech Categorical Perception - Discrimination Wikipedia Page on Consonants
30 vodcast November 15 Language development Age of Acquisition
31 vodcast November 17 Language and brain Writing report #4 (doc, pdf) The Brain from Top to Bottom: Language-Procesing Areas, Deciphering the Chatter of Monkeys
32 vodcast November 20 Consciousness The Brain from Top to Bottom: Consciousness, Searle and the Chinese Room Argument,
-- -- November 22-24 Thanksgiving Break (No class)
SG4 -- November 27 Review for exam
-- -- November 29 SECTION EXAM 4
33 vodcast December 1 Decision making
34 vodcast, vodcast from Fall 2016 December 4 Problem solving
35 -- December 6 Current topics
SGF -- December 8 Review for final exam