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Regular version of the site
Master 2023/2024

Research Seminar "Cognitive Sciences"

Area of studies: Psychology
When: 1 year, 1-4 module
Mode of studies: offline
Open to: students of one campus
Master’s programme: Cognitive Sciences and Technologies: From Neuron to Cognition
Language: English
ECTS credits: 6
Contact hours: 80

Course Syllabus


The present program establishes minimum demands of students’ knowledge and skills, and determines content of the course. The present syllabus is aimed at department teaching the course, their teaching assistants, and students of the Master of Science program 37.04.01 «Cognitive sciences and technologies: from neuron to cognition».
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Know information for career design
  • This course aims to teach students fundamental steps of the scientific method with practical applications that the students can use with their own thesis topics. For example, writing an abstract about their thesis topic, developing their data analyses plan and preparing a presentation for the thesis project. This course will offer students the opportunity to study how research examines how the mind works. This endeavour requires knowledge drawn from multiple perspectives. The lecturer will employ perspectives from psychology and neuroscience to explore the nature of mental processes. Students will have the opportunity to discuss how their own thesis project can contribute to the literature.
  • Discuss logic, probability, and statistics to understand their relation with students' research projects.
  • Research methods and experimental design are fundamental aspects for properly prepared scientific projects focusing on practical aspects. The lecturer will present on hypotheses development, various methodologies and tools used to answer different questions in cognitive science and psychological meta-subjective task analyses.
  • Understand issues of science in society
  • Lectures will focus on brain areas and related functional properties. Students will engage in practical activities that target cortical and sub-cortical regions. Practical activities will include historical understanding and current findings related to specific brain areas.
  • The lecturer will overview fundamental practices in data collection, highlight the importance of hypothesis appropriate statistical analyses and introduce tools for analyzing data.
  • Knowledge translation is key for communicating research findings. Academic writing may vary from short abstracts to long monographs. The lecturer will present on various writing techniques and give tips for academic writing focusing on research reports for peer-reviewed scientific journals. Practical activities will include preparing text for knowledge translation such as writing conference abstract.
  • The last weeks of this course will focus on skills and techniques for orally presenting scientific findings. The lecturer will overview the dos and don'ts of poster and paper oral presentations.
  • The aim is to help students choose a supervisor, a laboratory, better variant for research project and methods
  • At the second year students will develop interdisciplinary thinking by studying behavioural economics (1 module), social cognition, executive functions, consciousness (2 module). Behavioral Economics (broadly defined) combines knowledge from several disciplines, such as Economics, Psychology, Sociology and Neuroscience. Students will learn how theories of human behavior are formalized, described and experimentally tested in Economic science. Second, the module is focused on understanding what is an economic experiment and how it is different from experimental practices in Psychology. Finally, the module helps to develop critical thinking with respect to the results of economic research. Students will have a chance to train their ability to be conscious readers of economic studies and integrate evidence from various sources. In the 2nd module at the 2nd year, students will also acquire skills to work and use in their research projects naturalistic stimuli, as part of behavioral and neuroscientific research.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Learn to consider and discuss current issues of empirical science: replication crisis, publication bias, and research misconduct.
  • Learn to consider and discuss roles of science in society.
  • Learn to consider their practical career plans before/after getting degree
  • Learn to plan and work on their own research projects independently.
  • Learn to present and discuss their own research projects
  • Learn to understand, present and discuss results
  • Students will choose a supervisor for scientific work, a laboratory, research methods.
  • Students will learn about the brain by actively participating in presentations on historical and contemporary knowledge on brain areas of interest.
  • Students will learn write conference abstracts, the first and subsequent paragraphs of an introduction and how to structure the content of a scientific paper.
  • Students will present their own thesis projects with an oral presentation and learn how to give and receive constructive feedback on their work.
  • The students will engage in discussion and activities associated how we study the brain and mental processes using the scientific method.
  • The students will learn about good practices on data collection, analyses and software tools and have the opportunity to discuss practical aspects in preparing their own research projects.
  • The students will think critically about experimental methodology related to their own experiment. They will complete a freely available research ethics course that covers ethical contact for research involving humans.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Career design
  • Logic, Probability, and Statistics
  • Science in society
  • Intersubject correlation method in fMRI/EEG/MEG data
  • Application of naturalistic stimuli in cognitive studies
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Year 2, Module 1: Short review paper
    Short review paper guidelines: Describe the chosen behavioral economic concept and explain why this concept can be considered as an example of irrational behavior. Provide experimental evidence that supports the existence of this effect (at least 5 studies). Explain which specific predictions were tested in each study. Provide experimental evidence under which the What are the conditions under which the effect is not observed? What field studies (outside the lab) suggest that the effect is observed in real-life conditions? What can you conclude about the robustness of the effect? Short review paper submission: The paper must be submitted in the electronic form (Word or PDF). The essay must be sent to the following email address: ha.beconomics@gmail.com DO NOT SEND YOUR ESSAY TO ANY OTHER EMAIL ADDRESSES AS IT CAN GET LOST. If you did not receive an automatic reply from the indicated address at the time of submission, this means the paper may not have been received. Meeting the deadline: Students are expected to meet the deadlines that are indicated on all written assignments. Missing the deadline on a written assignment for less than 24 hours leads to a discount of the grade by 50%. Assignments turned in later than 24 hours after the deadline will not be graded.
  • non-blocking Year 2, Module 1: essay
    Essay requirements: An essay should contain three examples of real-life stories where you or your friends behaved irrationally or demonstrated any of the cognitive biases covered in this course. Each story should contain the following elements: A brief explanation of what exactly was observed (in each case your story should either directly relate to you or you should have directly observed it happening). An explanation of how a rational person would behave in the same situation (what decision he/she would make) and why; how this hypothetical behavior would correspond to classical utility theory; An explanation of which particular cognitive bias you observed in this story and why you believe the observed behavior was irrational. An essay should be written by you personally and individually. Essay submission: The essay must be submitted in the electronic form (Word or PDF). The essay must be sent to the following email address: ha.beconomics@gmail.com DO NOT SEND YOUR ESSAY TO ANY OTHER EMAIL ADDRESSES AS IT CAN GET LOST. If you did not receive an automatic reply from the indicated address at the time of submission, this means the essay may not have been received.
  • non-blocking Year 2, Module 1: final test
  • non-blocking Year 1, Module 3-4: Final exam - Take home - Module 4 - formula code Gf
  • non-blocking Year 1, Module 3-4: Participation - formula code Ga
  • non-blocking Year 1, Module 3-4: Mid-term test- last week of Module 3 - formula code Ge
  • non-blocking Year 1, Module 1-2: Two essays
  • non-blocking Year 2, Module 2: final test
  • non-blocking Year 1, Module 3-4: Presentation - formula code Gp
  • non-blocking Year 1 (2023/2024 year) - 3-4 modules - final test
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2023/2024 2nd module
    The grade for the 1st and 2nd modules of Research Seminar "Cognitive sciences" at the 2nd year of education is calculated as an average of 1st and 2nd modules grades: (0.3 * Final test (module 1) + 0.3 * Essay 1 module + 0.4 * Short review paper 1 module)*0.5+0.5*(tests in 2nd module's grade)
  • 2023/2024 4th module
    This formula is provided to get a grade for Research Seminar "Cognitive Sciences", 1st year of education (for students started in 2022): G1 = 0.3*(two essays) + 0.7*(0.2*Ga + 0.2*Ge + 0.3*Gp + 0.3*Gf ) This formula is provided to get a grade for Research Seminar "Cognitive Sciences", 1st year of education (for students started in 2023): G1 = 0.5*(two essays) + 0.5*(Year 1 (2023/2024 year) - 3-4 modules - final test)


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Reinhart, A. (2015). Statistics Done Wrong : The Woefully Complete Guide. San Francisco: No Starch Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=984483

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Lakatos, I., Feyerabend, P., & Motterlini, M. (1999). For and Against Method : Including Lakatos’s Lectures on Scientific Method and the Lakatos-Feyerabend Correspondence. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=351279