Introduction to Cognitive Science


Weekly syllabus, readings etc.
Tutorial groups
ITO course registration forms
Course questionnaires (PDF)


04/10/09 30/09/09: 22/09/09:


Mark Steedman, Informatics Bldng 4.15, 10 Crichton Street, 504631

Aims and Objectives

This course is principally aimed at third-year undergraduates taking AI or Cognitive Science degrees in the School of Informatics, and at third- and fourth-year undergraduates in the School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences. It is intended to provide an introduction to some current research issues in Cognitive Science, together with examples of the different research paradigms by which they might be investigated. the inherently interdisciplinary nature of the subject is reflected in the course, which brings together issues relating to the disciplines of Cognitive Psychology, Linguistics, Neuroscience, Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence. Non-graduating students are also welcome to attend the course.




Representing the World in the Brain (Stereo Vision).
Representing the World Symbolically (Scene Analysis).
Representing Action in the World Computationally (Planning)
How Animals and Humans Make Plans
Neurological and Developmental Substrate of Planning and Language
How Universal Grammar Reflects Non-Linguistic Planning.
How Semantics Reflects Non-Linguistic Planning
How Discourse Reflects Non-Linguistic Planning
Human and Computational Natural Language Processing
Human and Computational Language Development
Envoi: Scope and Limits of Computational Cognitive Science.

Intellectual skills development

Teaching methods

The course uses a combination of: (a) lectures; (b) lecture-based tutorials; (c) homeworks.
Two 1-hour lectures per week. A week-by-week listing of lectures, notes, and tutorials is available here.
One tutorial per week, in groups of around 10, in one of the slots indentified here

A week-by-week listing of tutorials is available here.

Attendance at all tutorials is a requirement of the course.


Assessment will be by (a) a final examination paper; and (b) coursework. The latter consists in three homeworks

the homeworks are made available here.

75% of a student's mark will be given for performance in the examination.

25% of a student's mark will be based on the homeworks.

Late coursework will be recorded as late and marks deducted as per the course guide. Any extension to the coursework deadline for a particular student must be approved by the Course Lecturer, and the reason for the extension will be recorded. Any student requesting an extension should contact the lecturer at


No one textbook is recommended for this course. In the week-by-week syllabus, readings are recommended specific for each topic. The required readings will be available electronically via links from the weekly-syllabus page

Student representative

The student representative for the course is elected in Week 2. For 2007/8 it is NAME, who can be mailed at

For further information, contact Mark Steedman as
Updated: 22 Sept 2009

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