There will be 20 1-hour lecture slots in Semester 1 (beginning Friday 25th September, 2009). There will also be one tutorial per week. Tutorials will begin in Week 2 of the term. Details of the groups, times and places will be given at the lecture. The same details are available elsewhere at this website. Notice that the links below take you to the lecture notes
The course examines a series of examples of particularly important and/or surprising topics or phenomena in cognition. It shows how these phenomena have been analyzed using a number of different research approaches. Certain common assumptions regarding computation, in its most abstract sense, make Cognitive Science a coherent field. The course focuses on human language processing and its relation to more primitive cognitive systems, particularly those used in planning action. Readings are given after each lecture description below. Readings marked * are required readings and will be examined, as will the content of the notes. The lecture topics will be as follows.
I: Representing the world in the mind
Cognitive Science, rules and representations. We look at the general terrain of Cognitive Science, its scope and limits, and at the question of levels of description.
The case of Stereo Vision. Marr and Poggio's algorithm for stereopsis.h
*Marr, David (1977). Artificial Intelligence: a Personal
View. Artificial Intelligence, 9, 37-48.
*Marr, David and Tomaso Poggio (1976). Cooperative Computation of Stereo Disparity Science, 194, 283-287.
II: Representing the World Symbolically:
The case of Scene Analysis. Huffman/Clowes labeling, Waltz/Mackworth Algorithm (AC3), basis of Assignment 1.
Huffman, Donald (1971). Impossible Objects as Nonsense Sentences Machine Intelligence, 6, 295-324.
Assignment 1, due in class Oct 13th 2009:The corrected version of the assignment handed out on 2nd Oct can be downloaded from here: (PDF)
III: Representing Action in the World (Planning):
The Problem of Planning Action
*McCarthy and Hayes (1969). Some Philosophical Problems from the
Standpoint of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Intelligence, 4, 473-502.
*Shanahan, M. (1997). Event Calculus Planning Revisited, Proceedings of the Workshop on Robots, Softbots, Immobots: Theories of Action, Planning, and Control, 96-104.
Lecture notes III (PDF)
IV: How Animals and Humans Make Plans:
Reactive and Dynamic Systems(Contd)
V: Neural and Computational Substrate of Planning:
Neuroanatomical relations between planning, language, and cognitive development.
*Miller, Galanter, and Pribram (1960). Some Neurological Speculations,
(from Plans and the Structure of Behavior, Henry Holt, New York).
Drescher (1991). Synopsis of Piagetian Development (from Made Up Minds, MIT Press Cambridge). *Rizzolati et al. 2002, Motor and Cognitive Finctions ..., Currrent Opinions in Neurobiology, 12, 149-154. *Sommerville et al. 2005, Action Experience Alters 3-month-old Infants' Perception ..., Cognition, 96, B1-B11.
Assignment 2, due in class Tues Oct. 27th 2009:The assignment handed out on Oct 13th can be downloaded from here: (PDF)
VI: Universal Grammar is Related to Planning:
Linguistic relations between planning and syntax
A Very Short Intro to CCG
VII: Semantics is Related to Planning:
Relations between planning and semantics
Assignment 3, due in class Nov 17th 2009:The assignment handed out on Oct 27th can be downloaded from here: (PDF)
VIII: Discourse is Related to Planning:
Relations between planning and discourse
Power, R. 1979, The Organisation of Purposeful Dialogues,
Linguistics, 17, 107-152.
IX: Human and Computational NLP :
Wide coverage parsing and human language processing
*Altmann, G. 1998, Ambiguity in Sentence Processing,
Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2, 146-152.
*Pereira, F., 2000, Formal Grammar and Information Theory: Together Again? Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc., 385, 1239-1253.
X:Child and Computational Language Development:
How children and programs acquire grammars
*Gopnik, A and Schulz, L., 2004, Mechanisms of Theory Formation in Children,
Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8, 371-377.
*Zettlemoyer, L and Collins, M., 2005, Learning to Map Sentences to Logical Form, Proc. Conf. on Uncertainty in AI.
XI: Envoi: Is Computational Cognitive Science ``Complete''?
*Turing, Alan (1950). Computing Machinery and Intelligence. Mind, 59,
Searle, John (1990) Is the Brain's Mind a Computer? Scientific American, 262, 26-32.
Lecture notes XI (PDF)
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