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Language and Cognition

University of Warwick

Department of Psychology 2020/21

Module Code:

PS210 and Cognition

Module Name:

Language and Cognition

Module Credits (CATS):

15 CATS

Module Convener

Sotaro Kita

Module Teachers

Olga Feher, James Adelman

Module Aims

The aims of the module are to investigate the biological mechanisms and cognitive processes of human language, as well as the relationship between language and cognition more generally. The module will explore key findings from the fields of psycholinguistics and cognitive science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • consider language, communication, spatial problem solving, concepts and categorisation in terms of biological mechanisms and cognitive processes

  • understand and explain key findings from the fields of psycholinguistics and cognitive science

  • discuss key problems in explaining language and cognition

  • describe methods of research on language and cognition

  • critically evaluate theories of language and cognition and their supporting evidence

Assessed by:

Coursework (short answer questions), mini essay and exam.

Module Work Load

Module Length

12 Weeks

Lectures

1 lecture a week

Seminars

4 seminars

Attendance

Attendance at lectures and seminars is compulsory

Module Assessment

Assessed work:

Coursework (Short answer question)

Mini Essay

20%

20%

Exam:

60%

Module Programme

Introduction Animal communication Language acquisition Interactive communication Embodied cognition Speech sounds Word meaning and concepts Word recognition and language understanding Judgment, decision making and reasoning Revision for the exam

Module Reading List



Some representative papers to be covered in the module are as follows.

Boroditsky, L. (2011). How language shapes thought. Scientific American, 304, 62-65. -Casasanto, D. (2009). Embodiment of Abstract Concepts: Good and Bad in Right- and Left-Handers. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 138(3), 351-367. doi: 10.1037/a0015854 -Keysar, B.,

Barr, D. J., Balin, J. A., & Brauner, J. S. (2000). Taking Perspective in Conversation: The Role of Mutual Knowledge in Comprehension. Psychological Science, 11(1), 32-38. doi: 10.1111/14679280.00211

Loftus, E. F., & Palmer, J. C. (1974). Reconstruction of automobile destruction: An example of the interaction between language and memory. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 13, 585-589.