Introduction to the Human Mind and Brain
This class is currently taught at both Howard University and Flordia International University. The course consists of a series of seven lectures by MIT professors on cognitive science and neuroscience, led by Edward Gibson, professor of Cognitive Science at MIT. Each class will consist of a 90-minute lecture, followed by a break, and then 60 minutes of discussion with the professor. There will be a quiz following each lecture. No background is assumed, but some mathematical and/or computational knowledge will be useful. The class will introduce students to the fields of cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience.
The Spring 2021 series consisted of the following seven lectures:
Title: Introduction to the course; and human language: its roots in information structure and its implementation in the brain
Taught by: Edward Gibson, professor of Cognitive Science at MIT, and fellow of the Cognitive Science Society (among many other awards). See his 2016 TedX talk “How efficiency shapes human language”
Title: The modular nature of cognition in the brain.
Taught by: Nancy Kanwisher, professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at MIT, and member of the National Academy of Sciences (among many other awards). See her 2014 Ted talk “A neural portrait of the human mind”
Title: Cognitive development.
Taught by: Laura Schulz, professor of Cognitive Science at MIT, director of the Early Childhood Cognition Lab, winner of the 2012 Troland Award, National Academy of Sciences (among many other awards). See her 2015 Ted talk “The surprisingly logical minds of babies”
Title: The computational basis of vision
Taught by: Pawan Sinha, professor of Vision and Computational Neuroscience at MIT, winner of the Pisart Vision Award from the Lighthouse Guild International (among many other awards). See his 2010 Ted talk: “How brains learn to see”
Title: Language in computers and the human mind
Taught by: Roger Levy, Professor of Cognitive Science, Director of the computational psycholinguistics lab at MIT, and International Chair in Empirical Foundations of Linguistics, LabEx collaborative (among other awards). See his 2019 IBM lecture “Mastering language”
Title: The neural basis of memory
Taught by: John Gabrieli, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, director of the Athinoula A. Martinos Imaging Center at the McGovern Institute, and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (among many other awards). See his 2018 Science of Learning Interview. (note: this class will end early)
Title: The neural basis of audition
Taught by: Josh McDermott, Associate Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, director of the Laboratory for Computational Audition, and winner of the 2019 Troland Award, National Academy of Sciences (among many other awards). See his 2015 Open course on audition. (note: this class will end early)