Thursdays, 4:00 - 5:30pm Elliott N119
Al Yonas, Institute of Child Development
"The development of perception"
Much work on the development of seeing has explored perception in human infants and other species with limited visual experience. For example, Eleanor Gibson placed dark reared rats on the visual cliff and observing whether they walked over the visual drop off. I will review some of the work that I have carried out and identify what questions remain to be answered. Recent work with children in India who were born blind and had their sight restored, gives us an opportunity to explore the development of perception in participants who, unlike infants, can follow directions and answer questions about their experience. Both approaches may reinforce one another, and help us answer the ancient question of how it is that we come to know about the world.
(Listed as both LING5900, section 005, and LING8900, section 003.)
Description: Introduction to mathematical and computational tools for assgining meanings to natural language sentences. Foundational skills for the development of formal models of human language syntax and semantics, and for practical applications of language technology such as text understanding and question-answering. Topics include logical inference predication, argument structure, and quantification; and syntactic structure and displacement. No previous knowledge of semantics is necessary.
Pre-requisite: LING 4201 or 5201 or instructor consent.
(Listed as both LING5900, section 004, and LING8900, section 002)
Description: This course will discuss various efforts to incorporate the standard findings and methodologies of formal semantics, mainly using quantification as a case study, into the conception of language as an explicitly mental/cognitive phenomenon. How can proposals of the sort usually be made in the study of semantics be understood as -- or developed into -- hypotheses about cognitive systems? What sort of evidence can we use to test these cognitive hypotheses empirically? After reviewing some basic semantics, much of the course will be devoted to reading experimental research papers. Previous knowledge of semantics will be helpful, but certainly not necessary.
Pre-requisites: LING 4201 or 5201 or instructor consent.
How do we go about making choices and the judgments on which they are based? What are some of the biases to which we are prone in making choices and judgments, and how do they arise? Can we improve upon our decision practices? Questions like these motivate and frame research in behavioral decision making.
A large portion of the covered research can be conceptualized as arising from origins in normative decision theory. Normative decision theory represents decision making in terms of preferences over consequences and beliefs about possible events. In order to put this theory into practice, several descriptive components must come from the decision makers: their preferences, their judgments concerning the possible contingencies that might arise, and the variables/factors/actions that comprise the decision structure--the relevant elements for making the decision. Behavioral decision theory is interested in these descriptive components, and the cognitive processes by which they arise and affect choice.
The course is a graduate level treatment of topics in decision theory from a behavioral perspective. The course will be primarily in seminar format. We will look at both traditional and current research in the field to understand and integrate some of the major models and methodologies employed in the field of behavioral decision theory. The course covers models and issues of preference, judgment, and uncertainty. We will begin by going through the following text:
Yates JF. (1990). Judgment and decision making. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Beginning with Week 3 of the course, we will use our class time to discuss original journal articles on selected topics. As an example, you can view the course schedule from the last time the course was taught (Spring-B, 2012) linked from my home page: http://umn.edu/home/curley.
Auditors are welcome; please contact the instructor with any questions about the course.
CPSY 4310: Special Topics in Child Psychology (3 credits)
10:10am - 12:40pm, Fridays
Peik Hall 335
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Understanding second language learning by young children is important for both theoretical and practical reasons. From a theoretical standpoint, it will lead to a better understanding of how the ability to learn languages changes with development. From a practical standpoint, this knowledge is relevant to accelerating second language learning by children who enter English schools with little knowledge of English. The seminar is designed to introduce students to theory and evidence on second language learning by young children. Students in the seminar will:
PREREQUISITES: This is an advanced course in child development, and given its narrow focus, topics will be covered in great detail. Students will be expected to have previous experience with developmental research, and be required to have taken Introductory Child Psychology (CPSY 2301/3301). It is recommended that students have also taken Language Development and Communication (CPSY 4345).
COURSE FORMAT: Class sessions will alternate between lecture and discussion, with the instructor providing background material in lecture format, and students leading discussions on the weekly readings and topics. Thus, regular class attendance is required. Students who are not leading the weekly presentations are expected to come to class having completed the readings, having written a short reaction paper, and thus ready to discuss the topic.
COURSE ASSIGNMENTS AND GRADING
CLASS PARTICIPATION (15%) Informed and engaged class participation will be required of every student. Thus, students need to come to class having completed all assignments as scheduled.
REACTION PAPERS (15%) Students will be required to write brief reaction papers weekly. Reaction papers should be typed and approximately one page in length (single spaced, 1 inch margin, 12 point font). Reaction papers should demonstrate that you have read the assigned readings and are thinking critically about the issues presented
STUDENT-LEAD DISCUSSIONS (30%) In addition to the text by Tabors, each student will be required to lead 2-3 discussions of the additional required readings. In these presentations, students will be expected to introduce the topic and provide background information, summarize the reading, and come to class with 3-5 questions to engage the other students in a critical discussion of the material.
FINAL PAPER (20%) Students should select a topic related to second language learning that interests them, and write an 8-10 page paper (double spaced, 1 inch margins, 12 point font, APA style). Your paper should be based on scientific references.
INDIVIDUAL ORAL PRESENTATION (20%) Students will prepare a brief (20-minute) presentation of their final papers.
Description: Kinesiology 4133 (Perceptual-motor control and learning) is an introduction to the emergence and stabilization of motor skills. The primary focus is on how we are able to coordinate movement -- movement of different parts of the body relative to one another, and movement of the body relative to the environment. The class is relevant to students who are interested in movement and development over the lifespan and issues of perception and action, in general. Most students in previous classes have career goals in the fields of human development, education, exercise physiology, or physical rehabilitation. Kin 4133 is not a course about development or enhancement of athletic abilities, coaching, or sports performance, although we will occasionally discuss examples from these areas. By the end of the course, students will have a broad awareness of many of the factors involved in the perceptual guidance of motor coordination. The class will operate at a fast pace and will require reading of original scientific literature, and brief daily writing assignments.
Class Time: 80% Lecture, 5% Discussion, 15% Laboratory.
Work Load: 40 pages reading per week, 10 pages writing per term, 3 exams. 5 lab projects, including short papers
Grade: 20% mid exam, 25% final exam, 10% reports/papers, 25% laboratory evaluation, 20% other evaluation. additional exam
Exam Format: multiple choice, with short essays
Description: Introduction to relations between physical behavior and mental activity including cognitive, emotional, and social aspects. Concepts of embodied cognition, their relation to traditional concepts of mind/body. Lifespan development, empirical research.
Description: Student may contact the instructor or department for information.
(To sign up for this new course, sign up for section 001 of Nsci 4151 "Advanced Topics in Neuroscience". This will be the same class as Nsci 3100, including all of the same credits.)
(Prereq-Biol 3411 or Psy 3061 or #)
Animal cognitive abilities. Learning, perception, memory, navigation, and communication from evolutionary/comparative perspective. Cognitive abilities as adaptations that solve specific environmental problems. Empirical methods for assessing cognitive abilities. Emphasizes parsimonious interpretations of data. Controversial topics such as animal intelligence, animal language and whether non-human animals have a "theory of mind."
from the article "A simulator at the U of M is rethinking motion sickness", Nov. 5, 2013
"In the bowels of a brick building on the University of Minnesota’s East Bank campus, a kinesiology professor uses his “moving room” to throw people off balance."Made of crude materials, the small chamber consists of three large textured walls, one with a map of the United States fixed to it. During his studies, Prof. Thomas Stoffregen, director of the University of Minnesota's Affordance Perception-Action Laboratory, invites visitors to step onto a sensor inside the chamber. Suddenly, one of the walls zooms forward, forcing the test subject off balance. Here, in this humble lab in the landlocked Midwest, Stoffregen has come up with a theory he hopes will turn what we know about motion sickness on its ear."