Syllabus and links to readings for Psy 5120, 2012: Issues in Comparative Cognition

Posted March 6: Last 4 weeks revised (several deletions and 2 substitutions)

Complete and corrected syllabus (updated January 31 -- for now refer to post above for last 4 weeks)

Starred readings on the syllabus:

For January 24:

Heyes "Beast Machines" pdf of the published chapter

Sober "Morgan's Canon" pdf

For February 14:

Dickinson "Goal directed behavior..." pdf



Reaction paper topic for the next class:

Reaction Paper #10

400-500 words. Hard copy due at the beginning of class, April 3

Marks on the papers will be based on the best 8, so this is an extra for anyone who wants to improve their average a bit. Otherwise, something to think about for discussing in class.

The 2002 Science paper by Hauser, Chomsky, and Fitch has been widely noticed, with 819 citations as of March 22 this year (Web of Science). It is also a great argument for a comparative approach to cognition in general as well as language evolution in particular, drawing on lots of material you should be familiar with from throughout this course. Discuss any aspect of this paper in the light of the other readings from this week (and, if you like, from earlier in the course).

Readings:  Be sure you are referring to the March 6 posting on the website “last 4 weeks revised”, with fewer readings than on the original syllabus.

General guidelines: To make best use of your 400 - 500 words, try to avoid directly restating the question. Cut straight to your ideas about the answer. In general, words are better used to analyze or evaluate what the readings say than to summarize them, although a very brief summary may be appropriate to show you know what the writers did say. Marks (out of 5) will be based on clear and precise writing conveying that you understood what was in the articles and thought about it in an interesting way. Evidence that you read all the relevant articles is also taken into account.