• Tu/Th 1400 (Lecture Theatre 2, Appleton Tower) F 1500 (Room 2.12, Appleton Tower)
    • 30 lectures
    • First lecture 21 September
    • Last lecture 2 December
  • 9 Tutorials
  • 9 Lab

The official story

The official course descriptor is at


We need to build a course website, to go at


The document which Teaching Committee approved is


Open questions

Teaching Assistant


Guest Lecture(rs)

  • Lucky to get
  • 1 person for a run of 3, maybe (from PPLS)
  • Mark Steedman (actions / verbs / affordance)
  • Simon Kirby

Assessed coursework topics x 3

  • essay vs. practical
    • Collaboration?
    • Mixture in each assignment?
  • topics

Exam Planning

  • content
  • format
  • dummy example


  • topics
    • One (?) continuing topic -- design, execute, assess, model a phenom.
      • Perception? (BW)
      • Collective intelligence
      • Pictionary game (Jon O -- please send me pointers!!!!)
        • Bilateral development of pictures, then into a group
      • Segmentation (Saffran et al.)
      • Use some of the lectures for this too?
  • software

See SyllabusPlanning for topics, lecturer and timetable details


  1. Language -- U-shaped curve -- learning-- synthetic perception D' vs beta -- see LanguageTopic
  2. Memory and attention-- vision--see MemoryTopic
    1. synthesised line boundaries -- Dennett at TED, maybe
    2. Google's PageRank algorithm as a model of human memory
  3. Intro to the brain/ relevant neurology stuff [added by Alyssa]
    1. What are neurons and how do they "work" (trasmit information)
    2. Major brain structures, mostly those relating to our themes (language areas, prefrontal cortex, hippocampus-memory, amygdala if we do emotion, visual cortex)
    3. How this biological stuff relates to models of the brain and neural processes, and how it inspires connectionist models of language learning, memory, etc.
  4. Levels of analysis in cognition
    1. Three levels of analysis/ problem decomposition as described in David Marr's 'Vision." Implementation vs algorithmic level vs conceptual level of a problem. ** This might be a good thing to work through in a tutorial. The original section in Vision is only a few pages long, and very readable. It's a good piece to assign, and there are multiple copies of this book in the library.
    2. Type 1 vs Type 2 problems-- David Marr again, from his 1977 paper "Artificial Intelligence--A Personal View." Also very readbale.

Lecture breakdown

Intro: 1 or 2

Turing/Philosophy of Mind: 2

Review: 1

Theme x 2: 13

See LanguageTopic and MemoryTopic

Text(s) (maybe)

Need to explore http://www.oup.com/uk/booksites/psychology -- goes with Cognitive Psychology text from OU, also Methods Companion: "Electronic versions of figures, experiment and data files, and software for running cognitive models" -- Library has a copy, costs 28GBP from Blackwells online

Alternative is Quinlan and Dyson -- Alyssa to review vision chapter: http://books.google.com/books?id=SgeUWo4sUhAC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false Alyssa -- price is high: 34GBP from Blackwells Online

It would be best to get a parallel to the Pinker, if we could. . .Mark Steedman suggests Frisby, new edition http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/john+p-+frisby/james+v-+stone/seeing/7247032/, library has only old (1979 !) edition, Richard Shilcock suggests Memory / Alan Baddeley, Michael W. Eysenck, and Michael C. Anderson -- 7 copies in libraries -- worth looking at? Baddeley's earlier work on memory, with a similar ToC, is available online, in a somewhat degraded (no illustrations) version: http://ezproxy.lib.ed.ac.uk/login?url=http://www.netLibrary.com/urlapi.asp?action=summary&v=1&bookid=10203

First lecture

  1. McGurk , Gorilla, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjbWr3ODbAo starting at 14:40
  2. Real brains -- NMR film?
    1. Search -- chess, humans vs. machines
    2. Garden paths
  3. What is cogsci?

-- HenrySThompson - 25 Aug 2010

Topic revision: r8 - 07 Feb 2022 - 15:29:51 - ChrisCooke
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