1st Year - 1st Semester

Auxiliary Course I

To be selected for each student in order to extend his background to areas he did not get acquainted previously. See list here.

Foundations of Cognitive Science
Coordinator João Branquinho, Departamento de Filosofia, Faculdade de Letras

The aim of the course is to provide a survey of the philosophical foundations of current cognitive science, especially the main trends and views on the nature of mind and cognition available therein. Topics to be examined include: what is cognitive science – its aims, research methods, and intervening disciplines; some salient problems and research areas – concepts, perception, language, memory, emotion, intelligence; the basic axiom of cognitive science – the mind as a computational device; the architecture of the mind - the symbolic model (and the language of thought hypothesis), the connectionist model, and the dynamic model; the issue of the modularity of the mind.

Advanced Topics in Cognitive Neuroscience
Ana M. Sebastião, Instituto de Farmacologia e Neurociências, Faculdade de Medicina

This subject offers advanced training in experimental neuroscience, namely molecular and cellular neuroscience. The main mechanisms involved in excitability and neuronal communication will be covered. The student will have access to the techniques to investigate neuronal communication and plasticity (e.g. patch clamp electrophysiology, neurotransmitter release and uptake, calcium imaging) using neuronal preparations from laboratory animals. Setups and expertise to evaluate learning, memory and anxiety in laboratory animals are also available. The brain areas involved in different cognitive processes will also be focused together with imaging and neuropsychological approaches in humans.

Advanced Topics in Linguistics and Psycholinguistics
Coordinator João Veríssimo, Departamento de Linguística Geral e Românica, Faculdade de Letras

The main goal of the seminar is to provide advanced knowledge and training in the domain of Language and Mind. Theories of grammar and the architecture of human language processing are explored. Basic concepts are given pertaining to central areas of grammar, such as syntax, semantic and phonology/prosody, which will be useful to the understanding of the cognitive and linguistic processes underlying language comprehension and production. Eye tracker system and measures of reaction times are methods to be explored in laboratory work.

Advanced Topics in Artificial Intelligence
Coordinator João Balsa, Departamento de Informática, Faculdade de Ciências

This course covers central aspects of computational processing of knowledge in intelligent machines, in particular artificial agents and its applications, advancing students’ initial knowledge in this area. Notion of agents. Theory of agents and agency: models and architecture. Environments. Interactions. Organizations. Applications (education, cinema, social simulation).