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Introduction to Comparative Cognition

PSYC 205/3.0

An overview of the evolution and function of cognitive processes. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how natural selection shaped cognition across animal species. Topics such as memory, decision making, cooperation, and communication will be examined from a behavioural ecology and experimental psychology perspective.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Recognize and recall experimental findings that support or do not support existing theories in comparative cognition.
  • Apply theories to predict outcomes of experimental manipulations.
  • Engage in critical reading of primary and secondary sources.
  •  Combine critical reading skills and conceptual knowledge of comparative cognition to create a review of experimental findings for a broad audience.

 

Description

Topics

  • History of comparative cognition
  • Sensory systems
  • Memory
  • Associative processes
  • Orientation and navigation 
  • Causality and tool use
  • Decision making
  • Categorization and concept formation
  • Social competence
  • Prosocial behavior
  • Communication
  • Social learning

Terms

Summer 17: May - July
Course Dates: 
May 1 - July 21, 2017
Exam Dates: 
July 25 - 28, 2017

Evaluation

Quizzes10%
Online activities40%
Paper assignment20%
Proctored Final exam30%

**Evaluation Subject to Change**

You must write and pass the final exam in order to pass the course

Final Examination

Students must write their exam on the day and time scheduled by the University. The start time may vary slightly depending on the off-campus exam centre. Do not schedule vacations, appointments, etc., during the exam period.

Instructor

Professor Valerie Kuhlmeier (vk4@queensu.ca)

Instructor message

My research program explores cognition from a developmental and evolutionary perspective. I examine the origins of our cognitive capacities in a comparative manner, studying infants, young children, and non-human primates. The research thus relies upon both developmental and comparative psychology theory to form and test hypotheses.

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend approximately 9-10 hours a week (108-120 hours per term equivalent) in study/reading and online activity for.

Course Resources

About SOLUS

SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

  • Laptop or Desktop computer purchased within the last 5 years. (mobile devices are not supported)
  • Windows Vista SP2/Mac OSX 10.9 or higher
  • Up to date versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. Please note that Google Chrome is not recommended for use in our courses.
  • Most recent version of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash

 See also Getting Started.

Dates/Deadlines

The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2017, Fall Term 2017 and Winter Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $666.91; for a 6.0-unit course, $1333.82. See also Tuition and Fees.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point
A+4.30
A4.00
A-3.70
B+3.30
B3.00
B-2.70
C+2.30
C2.00
C-1.70
D+1.30
D1.00
D-0.70
F0.00

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.