Cognitive Science

The Cognitive Science Track draws students from all majors who are interested in an interdisciplinary exploration of how the mind works. Students explore connections between Philosophy, Psychology, Artificial Intelligence, Linguistics, Neuroscience, and Anthropology.


How does the track operate? 

The core requirements of the track include 15 credits. Nine of these credits are from three courses and the remaining six credits are applied to a two-semester thesis project (see description below). Upon completion of the thesis project, students present their research findings in a public forum. 


The Track is Ideal For:

  • Majors in psychology, anthropology, biology, computer science, and philosophy, with a minimum 3.25 GPA
  • Students who enjoy small classes and individual attention from faculty members
  • Students who desire practical research experience
  • Students who are preparing for graduate studies



Cognitive Science: The Interdisciplinary Study of the Mind (CGSI 2000)

Cognitive Science is an interdisciplinary study of the mind/brain. Students will gain an understanding of how the different constituent areas (Psychology, Anthropology, Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Linguistics) are the rich foundation of Cognitive Science by directly interacting with the experts in those fields. This will provide the student with an overview of the field of Cognitive Science and the general methodologies used within those fields.  

Prerequisites: PSY 1100, PHIL 1100, and any Biology Course

Selected Topics in Cognitive Science (CGSI 3000)

In this course, we will examine basic concepts and problems found in several of the disciplines that make up cognitive science. We will begin with a historical overview, a review of brain anatomy and physiology, and explore the impact of the computer metaphor in cognitive science. We will then explore some of the issues within Cognitive Science in depth. Topics will range from theories on how we construct our visual world, to the representation of the self.

Prerequisite: CGSI 2000

Cognitive Psychology (PSY 3750)

This course critically examines people’s information-processing capabilities and limitations. Emphasis is placed on the theoretical principles that underlie the attention, perception, and memory of events as well as current research problems.

Prerequisite: PSY 2030 (recommended)

Cognitive Science Honors Thesis I (CGSI 4010)

This is a research-based course. Although students will have already been exposed to one research methods course prior to the thesis course, an overview of the logic of research and the methodology will be presented. Research methods open to the students include: computer modeling and simulations, experimental and quasi-experimental designs, qualitative research methodologies, discourse analysis, and thinking out loud protocols. The ‘how to’ of research will be explored in detail. Students, in consultation with faculty, will select a topic for their research project. The exploration of the research topic will be the primary focus of the course. Formal oral and written presentation of the research proposal will be completed.

Prerequisite: CGSI 3000

Cognitive Science Honors Thesis II (CGSI 4020)

This is the second component to the Cognitive Science Honors Thesis. Students will have already selected a research topic for their thesis, and the literature review will have been completed. The focus of this component of the thesis will be on data collection and analysis, and finally on the oral and written presentation of the students’ research.

Prerequisite: CGSI 4010


What projects have students completed in the past?

Students in the Cognitive Science Track have produced the following theses:

Theresa Abou-Daoud, Measuring Motivations for Music Event Attendees in Live, Virtual and Holographic Settings, 2021

Alexandra Bonner, The Effects of Brain Breaks on Student’s Attention, 2021

Brooke Elliot, How do our childhood experiences affect academic motivation?, 2021

Nicole Munante, Why Students Love or Hate Math, 2021

Jayde Onori, Effects of social media use on relationship satisfaction and anxiety, 2021

Tiffanie Sanjuan, Athletic Injuries Affect Self Esteem, 2021

Artemia Savva, Relationship between Working Memory and Written Language Production, 2021

Max Skelly, Sleep Patterns and Anxiety’s Effects on Academic Performance, 2021

Shazna Ali, Cultural Definitions of Mental Health and Depression: Are They Help-Seeking?, 2020

Grace Burns, Does Serving Others Decrease Depression?, 2020

Corrine Bowe, Analysis of Athletic Personalities and Competitiveness, 2020

Bridget Charlton, Radio Rhythms: Do Prosodic Changes in DJ Talk Breaks Affect Listening Comprehension?, 2020

Kirsten Fernandez, Monolingual and Bilingual College Students in Stroop Task, 2020

Nicole Goitianda, The Effects of Dietary Intake on Gut Microbiome and Depression, 2020

Gillian Grahame, Examination of Social Anxiety in Athletics, 2020

Kiara Guerra, The Effect Accent Perception Has on Employability, 2020

Hannacy Gurbisz, Growing Mindsets and Persistence: Exploring the Relationship between Mindset and Persistence in College Students, 2020

Victoria Hanks, Body Image in Connection with Relationship and Sexual Satisfaction in College Students, 2020

Abryanna Hernandez, Math Anxiety, Procrastination, and Mindset in Relation to Math Performance, 2020

Cayleigh Keenan, Does Private Or Public School Promote Higher Student Achievement?, 2020

Serena Pearson, Career Aspirations and College Awareness of K-6 Elementary-Aged Students, 2020

Emilia Pirro, Profanity and its Effect on Human Perceptions of Offensiveness, 2020

Gabriella Rapisardi, Self-Esteem, Mindfulness, and Social Anxiety, 2020

Rachel Seo, Effects of Tonal Language Experience and Musicianship on Pitch Perception, 2020

Rebecca Temple, The Effect of Political Orientation on Political Memories, 2020

Richard Bach, Privacy Fatigue and Intention to Disclose Personal Information on Social Media, 2019

Sarah Berroa, Is It Funny? Demographic Effects on the Perception of Humor, 2019

Chelsea Davis, Comparative Effects of Labels and Semantic Knowledge on Visual Processing, 2019

Morgan Duncan, Quality of Autobiographical Memory in Concussed Athletes, 2019

Justin Chudley, Comparing Algorithmic Trading Decisions to Human Trading Decisions, 2019

Aszhadia Harris, Evaluating the Effectiveness of AAC on Social Development in Children, 2019

Vincent Loud, Reimagining the Skinner Box, 2019

Miranda Labbree, Can Dinosaurs be Girls?, 2019

Mary Moynihan, The Broad Autism Phenotype and the Honors College, 2019

Madeleine Oppenheim, Cognitive Disfluency, 2019

Sara Steinel, A Knowledge Discovery Approach to Analyzing Mental Health Problems in NYC, 2019

Irina Zaytseva, Perception of Accents on Different Context, 2019


How do I enroll?

To enroll in the Cognitive Science Honors Track, contact the Director, Dr. Amy Learmonth, at (973) 720-3657 or at You could also contact Jan Pinkston at (973) 720-3776 or at A completed track application must also be submitted to the Honors College. 


About the Track Director:

Dr. Learmonth is a developmental psychologist with a research focus on the development of memory and spatial ability. Most of her research is with young children and uses techniques such as deferred imitation and search tasks (both real world and virtual) to examine the changes in memory and spatial ability over the first six years. Her specific research is currently on the use of landmarks and geometric features in spatial memory and navigation. She is also currently working on a project that will look at early spatial competence and memory binding as a window into infantile amnesia. Recent publications by Dr. Learmonth have appeared in Developmental Science, Psychological Science, Memory and Cognition, and the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.