Cognitive biology 2-IKV-191
This course provides a comprehensive overview of principles of cognition, seen as a natural biological phenomenon. The main objective is the formulation of substantiated interrelation of cognition and evolution. The interdisciplinarity of research in cognitive biology requires students to think multi-disciplinary and on multiple scales.
- Feb 15, 2018
- The first lecture will be held on Monday, Feb 21, 2018 from 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm. See more details in the schedule below.
1 - Kovac Ladislav (2015) Closing Human Evolution/Springer https://goo.gl/Wo2ZRg
2 – Ladislav Kovac (2000) Fundamental principles of cognitive biology. Evolution and Cognition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2649305/pdf/cib0201_0060.pdf
3 – Baluska Frantisek and Mansuso Stefano (2009) Deep evolutionary origins of neurobiology. Communicative & Integrative Biology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2649305/pdf/cib0201_0060.pdf
The course will provide a comprehensive overview of principles of cognition. The scientific concept draws from the assumption that cognition is a natural biological phenomenon and can thus be approached by comparative studies of different types of organisms assuming a meaningful degree of continuity among them. The main objective is the formulation of substantiated interrelation of cognition and evolution. Starting with a brief outline of the history of the field, students will then be familiarized with the underlying physicochemical and electrical principles of cognitive processes, cell-cell communication, and molecular cognition. Subsequently, students will tackle the basics of homologous processes in increasingly complex systems (from simple model systems to humans and their socio-physical environment). The challenge for the students will be the high interdisciplinarity of the research area of cognitive biology that requires cross-disciplinary thinking and a multiscale mindset.
- Isabella Sarto-Jackson,
|Session type||Study group||Day of week||Time||Room|
|Lectures||2AIN*||Wednesday||17:00||to be announced|
|Semiar / Discussion round||3AIN*, 2AIN*||18:30||to be announced|
Assessment and evaluation
You can earn points in the assessment activities spread throughout the semester listed in the following table. The table also shows the required minima and possible maximal point evaluations.
|Activity||Possible maximum||Required minimum|
|Teaching period||1st assignment||25||10|
|Evaluation period||Active involvement during course / discussion||25||20|
The final mark will be awarded according to the following table:
1. A Brief History of Cognitive Biology: Goodwin, Piaget, Kuhn, Riedl, Kovac, Lyon, Keijzer, Godfrey-Smith
2. The Underlying Principles of Cognitive Biology: Kovac´s Fundamental Principles; Physicochemical Groundwork (Self-Organization; Thermodynamics vs. Kinetics)
3. The Basal Level of Cognition I: Molecular Mechanisms: From Signaling in Single Cell Organisms to Action Potential
4. The Basal Level of Cognition II: Concept of Information; Biosemiotics; Chemotons & Autocatalytic Sets
5. The Medial Level of Cognition: Cellular Communication, Neural Networks; Network Information Processing
6. The Apical Level of Cognition I: Organismal Behavior (Action [Doing/Knowing], Decision Making); “Rationality”; Goal-directedness
7. The Apical Level of Cognition II : Emotions; Mechanisms for Learning & Memory; Associative Learning Paradigm; Brain Modularity; Onticity
8. The Ontic Level of Cognition: Developmental Processes I Developmental Genetics; Gene Regulatory Networks; Epigenetic Landscape; Principles of Homology/Analogy; Convergent Evolution
9. The Ontic Level of Cognition: Developmental Processes II Generative Entrenchment & Ratchet Effects; Developmental Constraints; Hierarchical Processing
10. The Supra-Individual Level of Cognition I: From Eliminative Reductionism to Organicism; Evolutionary Epistemology; Teleonomy / Teleology
11. The Supra-Individual Level of Cognition II : Social Cognition: Beyond the Nature-Nurture Divide; Cultural Evolution; Environmental Complexity; Umwelt; Niche Construction
12. The Supra-Individual Level of Cognition III : Evolution of Complex Systems; The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis; Major Transitions in Evolution
13. Resumé & Outlook