Cognitive Science Overview

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The Cognitive Science Psychology Graduate Training Program

The Cognitive Science Program maintains active laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment for research and graduate training.  Shared laboratory facilities include a research dedicated 3T MRI scanner (housed in our NSF-funded SCAN center) and a 64-channel EEG system, both of which are integrated with remote eye tracking. Several remote or head-mounted eye trackers are also available for psycholinguistic and visual cognition and perception studies.

Interdisciplinary training is available in cognitive science, in cooperation with the Departments of Linguistics and Computer Science, and in cognitive neuroscience, in cooperation with the Biopsychology Program, the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, and Brookhaven National Laboratory's Medical Department.

Our recent Ph.D. graduates have achieved excellent placement as assistant professors and postdoctoral associates. Faculty research is particularly strong in language, memory, attention, visual cognition, and decision making. Most research programs are funded by agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Mental Health, the Army Research Office, and the National Patient Safety Foundation.


Program Requirements

Students in the program produce both first- and second-year research papers. During their graduate training, they are encouraged to work with more than one faculty mentor, which broadens their professional opportunities. Required courses include statistics courses, First Year Lectures, three depth courses within the Cognitive Science Area, and three breadth courses. Journal Club provides opportunities to discuss current literature within cognitive psychology. Graduate students and faculty meet weekly to present their work in a supportive "brown bag" setting that also includes topics such as grant-writing and taking articles through the publication process. All second- and fourth-year Ph.D. students present their work at a formal research symposium, designed to provide experience in speaking in a conference-style environment. A Quantitative Concentration is also available. Students receive practice in undergraduate teaching that involves at least two semesters of substantial direct instruction. A specialties examination is completed, with advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D., at the end of the third year. The dissertation is completed in the fourth or fifth year. Click Here for detailed program requirements. 


In recent years, Ph.D. and postdoctoral trainees from the program have achieved excellent placement in academic and industry positions. Recent placements include tenure-track positions at Stanford University, Oberlin College, University of Connecticut, Northwestern University, University of Arkansas, University of Minnesota, Texas A&M University, Wayne State University, University of Bristol, Central China Normal University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Appalachian State University, St. Peter's College, Luther College, William Paterson University, Caldwell College, and Allegheny College, as well as postdoctoral and research associate positions at Carnegie Mellon University, Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, Brown University, Tufts University, University of Delaware, U Mass Amherst, Columbia University, Beckman Institute (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), University of California at San Diego, University of Vermont, Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience (University of Chicago), University of Delaware, Center for Mind/Brain Sciences (University of Trento, Italy), Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience (Berlin, Germany), University of Cyprus, Medical College of Georgia, York University, Nuance Communications Inc., and the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Research Facilities

The Cognitive Science Program maintains active laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment for research and graduate training. Laboratory facilities include a state-of-the-art 3 Tesla fMRI research-dedicated scanner, four remote EL1000 eyetrackers and a head-mounted eyetracker for psycholinguistics studies, rooms equipped to study electronic communication and human-computer interaction, sound-isolated chambers for perception and psycholinguistics experiments, multimedia workstations for presenting stimuli and collecting data, and computer-controlled choice stations for testing human and nonhuman subjects. Faculty, students, and postdoctoral associates rely largely on the Psychology Department's large volunteer pool of human subjects; some studies are conducted on patients with memory disorders. Ample office and laboratory space is available for all graduate students. The Program is affiliated with the Departments of Linguistics, Computer Science, Emergency Medicine, and Neurology, as well the Northport Veterans' Administration Medical Center. The Language, Mind, and Brain Initiative regularly sponsors interdisciplinary seminars with participation from psychology, linguistics, computer science, philosophy, and biology.

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