Course Syllabus

Syllabus, at-a-glance (PDF).

Course Aims:

Where does our knowledge come from? What are the ontogenetic and phylogenetic origins of human thinking? In this course we will explore the origins of human knowledge using a comparative approach to behavioral neuroscience and developmental science.

Course Information:

SP22: 16:830:637/638 (Psych) & 16:185:600:01 (Cog Sci)



Time/Day: Wednesdays 2-5pm

Format: Hybrid (in person + remote)

Open to all students with special permission of instructor(s)


Prof. Kasia Bieszczad:

Prof. Jenny Wang:

Course Structure and Requirements:

The class will meet once a week for 3 hours ( intro + lecture + discussion). Readings will be assigned ahead of time for each class. The course will open with students writing an opinion paper on their definition of “mind” and whether or not “mind” can be attributed to humans and animals. This paper will be graded pass/fail and counts for 10% of final grade. Students will also submit his/her own questions each week before the class, and later submit reflection on the topic afterwards to answer the following: (1) Where are there similarities in the developmental psychology and behavioral neuroscience approaches? (2) What are the distinctions between the two fields? These weekly assignments will be graded pass/fail and count for 25% of the final grade. Two sessions will consist of student presentations (25% of final grade). The course will close with students writing a reflection paper following a News and Views format and developed with ideas and evidence gained from classroom discussions. The reflection paper will be graded and counts for 40% of final grade. 

Course Summary:

Date Details Due