Jun 25, 2024  
Course Catalog 2018-2019 
Course Catalog 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Cognitive Sciences

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Cognitive Science is a multidisciplinary field investigating cognition or thought. Cognitive scientists examine the structures and processes that underlie a creature’s ability to think and reason. They also explore closely related cognitive phenomena, including perception, recognition, memory, communication, and consciousness. They do so through an integration of perspectives and methodologies from a variety of disciplines including anthropology, biology, computer science, linguistics, mathematics, music theory, neuroscience, philosophy, and psychology.

Oberlin College’s Cognitive Sciences concentration provides students with a broad perspective on the study of cognition, ranging from the study of a single neuron, to brain systems and processes, to complex behavior. Because Cognitive Science is a multidisciplinary field of study, students must take relevant courses from several fields of inquiry.

The Cognitive Science concentration is open to any student, irrespective of major. However, concentrations may not substitute for a major. Students wishing to complete the Cognitive Science concentration should consult with an academic advisor or a member of the concentration committee, and complete the Declaration of Cognitive Science Concentration form. The form requires the signature of the Chair: Todd Ganson (tganson@oberlin.edu).


Concentration Requirements

Requirements include two core courses:  one in psychology and one in neuroscience.  Students will also take four elective courses selecting from participating departments within the concentration.  To provide a broad perspective, the elective courses must be from different departments.  In addition to the identified courses, students may take a full course private reading or other course offering as one of the elective courses.  Students must obtain prior approval from the concentration Chair for any substitution. 

Elective Courses Approved for the Cognitive Sciences Concentration

These courses are approved for the concentration but may not be offered every year, see below for courses offered in 2016-17.


ANTH 202  Fundamentals of Linguistics

ANTH 204  Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology

ANTH 321  Language and Body

Cognitive Science

COGS 101  Introduction to Cognitive Science

Computer Science

CSCI 299  Mind and Machine

CSCI 297  Minds, Brains, and God

CSCI 313  Human Computer Interface

CSCI 361  Game Design

CSCI 364  Artificial Intelligence


ECON 204  Game Theory for Social Sciences


MATH 342  Mathematics of Social Choice

Music Theory

MUTH 314  Emotion and Music

MUTH 317  Music & Embodied Cognition


NSCI 319  Neurophysiology:  Neurons to Networks in Cognition

NSCI 357  Sensory Neuroscience

NSCI 360  Cognitive Neuroscience


PHIL 200  Deductive Logic

PHIL 201  Reason and Argument

PHIL 220  Philosophy of Language

PHIL 228  Philosophy of Mind

PHIL 347  Cognitive Science Rationality and Morality

PHIL 358  Seminar:  Philosophy of Perception


PSYC 207  Memory and Learning

PSYC 209  Complex Cognition

PSYC 221  Social Visual Perception

PSYC 303  Advanced Methods in Cognitive Psychology

PSYC 305  Advanced Methods in Human Psychophysiology

PSYC 450  Seminar: Language & Thought

PSYC 431  Seminar: Cognitve Science and the Law


Elective Courses Offered in 2016-17

Take four courses listed below in four different departments.

Note: Students should be aware that some of the below listed elective courses have prerequisites and should plan their schedules accordingly.

Additional Information

Any student, regardless of major or minor, can pursue a Cognitive Sciences Concentration. The Cognitive Sciences Concentration does not substitute for a major or minor. Its completion will be noted on the student’s final transcript along with majors, minors, and Honors. Courses in which a student earned a letter grade below a C- or P cannot be used to fulfill the Cognitive Sciences Concentration. For further information or to see recent updates, see our web site at www.oberlin.edu/cogsci.

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