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Memory, Learning and Cognitive Development

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Course type:
Elective course
2 year, 1, 2 module


Course Syllabus


"Learning, Memory and Cognitive Development" is an elective course focusing the origins and evolution of human cognition across ontological development and individual learning, designed for the Master’s Program "Cognitive sciences and technologies: From neuron to cognition". This course aims to introduce students to the study of cognitive development from a broad different point of view. Evidence from multiple disciplines, including cognitive and developmental psychology as well as from cognitive neuroscience will be examined. The course covers the development of different cognitive abilities in children, going from the most basic to highest-level cognitive domains. The course will start with a review of the main findings from cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience about the development of attentional and perceptual abilities. Subsequent themes will cover topics such as categorization and learning abilities in children, as well as the development of social learning. The course will be also focused on the acquisition of both oral and written language abilities and particular attention will be pay to the development of different types of memory in children. Finally, the presence of high-domain cognitive abilities in children, such as metacognition, abstract reasoning and problem solving will be discussed. The course "Learning, Memory and Cognitive Development" is a new and unique discipline within the educational programs of the National Research University Higher School of Economics. The course is based on the contemporary scientific research in cognitive science, following both classic behavior and cognitive neuroscience studies on cognitive development. The course is essential in training competent specialist in the areas of cognitive sciences and technologies. The authors and teachers of the course are Beatriz Bermúdez-Margaretto and Beatriz Martín-Luengo, research fellows at the Centre for Cognition and Decision Making – Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience of the National Research University Higher School of Economics. They have considerable teaching experience including reading the related courses such as “Psycholinguistics”, “Cognitive Neuropsychology”, ‘’Memory and Decision Making’’ and “Metacognition: fundamentals and applications”.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The learning objectives of the course "Learning, Memory and Cognitive Development" are to introduce students to the research on children development through different cognitive domains and to show its connections with other branches of cognitive science covering such topics as • principal approaches to the understanding of human cognition • main theoretical explanations of the interactions between brain and cognition
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Differentiate between visual preference and habituation paradigms. Perceptual structure of the visual world and representation of spatial, occlusion, support and containment relations. The used of violation of expectation paradigm. Different types of learning in infants. Findings from Cognitive neuroscience.
  • Understand prototypes and categorization abilities in infants; the role of language in conceptual development; historical perspective of categorical knowledge; conceptual knowledge and cognitive neuroscience.
  • Understanding other’s actions and minds and attribution of mental states in infants. Social interaction. Cognitive neuroscience and social learning.
  • Notions about the phonological development and categorical perception in children. Understand the importance of phonologic learning for reading. Word learning and fast mapping in infants. Reading development. Findings from Cognitive neuroscience.
  • Recognition memory in children. Implicit memory. Development of declarative and episodic memories. Working memory. Main findings from cognitive neuroscience in the field of memory development.
  • Notions about the development of self-awareness of own cognition in children. Self-monitoring and self-regulation abilities in children. Metamemory abilities in infants. Ease-of learning judgements and judgements of learning.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Cognitive development. Perception, attention and learning in infancy
    Development of perceptual and attentional abilities in children.
  • Conceptual development and categorization
    Representation of conceptual knowledge in children.
  • Social learning, mental representation and theory of mind
    Development of social cognition in children
  • Development of oral and written language
    Development of linguistic skills at phonological and lexical levels
  • Development of different types of memory
    Memory development
  • Metacognition and metamemory
    Development of metarepresentational abilities in children
  • Reasoning, problem solving and executive function
    Executive function and cognitive inhibition in children.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Mid-term test 1
  • non-blocking Mid-term test 2
  • non-blocking Mid-term test 3
  • non-blocking Mid-term test 4
  • non-blocking Final exam
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.6 * Final exam + 0.1 * Mid-term test 1 + 0.1 * Mid-term test 2 + 0.1 * Mid-term test 3 + 0.1 * Mid-term test 4


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Arterberry, M. E., Bornstein, M. H., & Blumenstyk, J. B. (2013). Categorization of Two-Dimensional and Three-Dimensional Stimuli by 18-Month-Old Infants. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.5255527D
  • Baillageon, R., & DeVos, J. (1991). Object Permanence in Young Infants: Further Evidence. Child Development, 62(6), 1227. https://doi.org/10.2307/1130803
  • Bauer, P. J., Dugan, J. A., Varga, N. L., & Riggins, T. (2018). Relations between neural structures and children’s self-derivation of new knowledge through memory integration. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.F7D02A7A
  • Brooks, R., & Meltzoff, A. N. (2005). The development of gaze following and its relation to language. Developmental Science, 8(6), 535–543. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=mdc&AN=16246245
  • Carpenter, M., Nagell, K., & Tomasello, M. (1998). Social cognition, joint attention, and communicative competence from 9 to 15 months of age. Monographs Of The Society For Research In Child Development, 63(4), i. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=mdc&AN=9835078
  • Diamond, A., & Taylor, C. (1996). Development of an aspect of executive control: development of the abilities to remember what I said and to “do as I say, not as I do.” Developmental Psychobiology, 29(4), 315–334. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=mdc&AN=8732806
  • Eleanor Rosch, Carolyn B. Mervis, Wayne D. Gray, David M. Johnson, & Penny Boyes-braem. (1976). Basic objects in natural categories. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.9F915671
  • Friedrich, M., & Friederici, A. D. (2006). Early N400 development and later language acquisition. Psychophysiology, 43(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8986.2006.00381.x
  • G. Dehaene-lambertz, T. Gliga, Centre Hospitalier, & Universitaire Bicêtre. (2004). Common neural basis for phoneme processing in infants and adults. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.924ADED1
  • Goldman-Rakic, P. S. (1987). Development of Cortical Circuitry and Cognitive Function. Child Development, 58(3), 601. https://doi.org/10.2307/1130201
  • Káldy, Z., & Leslie, A. M. (2003). Identification of objects in 9-month-old infants: integrating ‘what’ and ‘where’ information. Developmental Science, 6(3), 360–373. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-7687.00290
  • Kaufman, J., Csibra, G., & Johnson, M. H. (2003). Representing occluded objects in the human infant brain. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.52EF1364
  • Nelson Cowan, John N. Towse, Zoe ̈ Hamilton, J. Scott Saults, Emily M. Elliott, Jebby F. Lacey, … Graham J. Hitch. (2003). Childrens working-memory processes: A response-timing analysis. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.774A29CB
  • Philip H. K. Seymour, Mikko Aro, & Jane M. Erskine. (2003). Foundation literacy acquisition in European orthographies. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.F0243066
  • Shimizu, Y. A., & Johnson, S. C. (2004). Infants’ attribution of a goal to a morphologically unfamiliar agent. Developmental Science, 7(4), 425–430. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2004.00362.x
  • Zelazo, P. D., Müller, U., Frye, D., Marcovitch, S., Argitis, G., Boseovski, J., … Sutherland, A. (2003). The development of executive function in early childhood. Monographs Of The Society For Research In Child Development, 68(3), vii-137. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=mdc&AN=14723273

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • A neural basis for the development of inhibitory control. (2002). Developmental Science, 5(4), F9–F16. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=mdc&AN=EPTOC7522641