Following an introduction, two lectures will concern the development of 'basic' cognitive and information-processing abilities (memory, executive function). Key questions will be when we first see evidence of these abilities in infants and children, and whether and how these abilities develop further. A further lecture will explore implications of this work for two applied topics: Memory training, and eyewitness testimony.
The remaining five lectures will cover three core cognitive domains: Spatial cognition, number cognition and social cognition. Once again, the work will be structured around two key questions: when we first see evidence of these abilities in infants and children, and whether and how these abilities develop further. Lectures will highlight similarities between many features of infants’ cognitive abilities and those of some non-human species, and the roles of language and social experience in generating distinctively human abilities. Work on Number cognition will be used as an example of how basic work in cognitive development informs education – in this case maths education. Work on social cognition will be used as an example of how basic research on cognitive development advances our understanding of developmental disorders – in this case autism.
A summary lecture will draw together conclusions in relation to the key themes raised in the introduction.
- 10 hours of lectures
- 2 hours of workshops
- 2 hours of question and answer sessions
Tutorial essay (5%) and Exam requiring two essays from a choice of four (1.5 hours: 95%)