CNL Course, information

[ Times and places | Aims and objectives | Syllabus | Activities | Assessment | Prerequisite | Newsgroup | References | Making up for gaps in knowledge ]

The course is not taught in 2005/2006. Students interested in Cognitive Neuroscience can take the course on "Cognitive Neuroscience of Visual Processing".

Course Lecturer

Marielle Lange (

Psychology: Room UF36, Dept of Psychology, 7 George Square, tel: 503444.

Informatics:  Room C13, ANC Forrest Hill, tel: 503088

Course webpage:

Personal homepage:


A = psychology office
B = ANC (FH) office

Times and places       Click on the arrow to go to the top of the document

This course runs during the 1st semester, on Mondays and Thursdays, 10.00-10.50 am, in Forrest Hill, Room A9/11 (on the ground floor, to the right short after the entry door)

Aims and objectives       Click on the arrow to go to the top of the document

This course provides an introduction to the processing in the brain that underlies language use. We will look at the range of techniques by which we can investigate what is going on in the brain during listening, speaking, reading and writing. We will look at the different ways of modelling this processing, but with an emphasis on connectionist modelling. We will look at as many recognised forms of language breakdown as we can find: the varieties of dysphasia and dyslexia, and the language-specific processing problems of wider exceptional cognitive circumstances such as Williams syndrome, autism, and so on.

Syllabus       Click on the arrow to go to the top of the document

Activities        Click on the arrow to go to the top of the document

Eighteen hours of lectures, and one essay.

No mandatory tutorials. Video sesssions and question/answer sessions may be organized upon request. Group discussions can be organized on any topic that relates to the lecture content if there is sufficient shared interest among students.

Assessment       Click on the arrow to go to the top of the document

!! this will change slightly in 2004, details to follow shortly!!

MSc students will be assessed by means of a 4,000-word essay, which will count for 100% of the mark.

A double submission format will be adopted.

The outline should be submitted in an electronic format. The final essay should be submitted both in electronic and paper format (for administration).

The marking grid used to assess the essays can be viewed in pdf or gif format

Prerequisite       Click on the arrow to go to the top of the document

No programming expertise is involved. Some elementary knowledge of linguistics might be useful, as might some acquaintance with the ideas of connectionism.

Discussion list       Click on the arrow to go to the top of the document

A Message Board has been created to facilitate any exchange of information and resources between students. It can be accessed at: This message board will not be moderated and I plan to have a peek only about once a week. Direct questions to the lecturer should be addressed by email to

References       Click on the arrow to go to the top of the document

The course will draw on three books:

Brown, C.M. & Hagoort, P. (1999). (Eds.) The Neurocognition of Language. Oxford: New York. (@ amazon)

Rugg, M.D. (1997). (Ed.) Cognitive Neuroscience. Psychology Press; Hove. (@ amazon)

Bishop, D. & Mogford, K. (1993). (Eds.) Language development in exceptional circumstances. LEA, Hove. (@ amazon)

Note: I do not support amazon. I link to Amazon because they provide many additional details about the book.

A series of readings will be provided for each lecture as appropriate and lecture notes will be made available at the lectures and on the web, the day after the lecture.

Making up for gaps in knowledge       Click on the arrow to go to the top of the document

Below are some suggestions of extra readings to fill in knowledge gaps you may have or to increase your general knowledge of the topic. Hence, at a master level, you are expected to begin to take the initiative of your formation. Going to the lectures is expected to take only a very small portion of the time you dedicate to the course (lecture 18 hours for assignment 60 and private study 42). You are more than welcome to open some handbooks and get some knowlegde on the various lecture content BEFORE the lecture on that topic.

if you intend to buy a book, the best "single book" option is probably If you have no prior acquaintance with psycholinguistics or cognitive psychology, you should read one of these: If you have no prior acquaintance with (cognitive) neuroscience, I recommend the reading or skimming of: If you have no prior acquaintance whatsoever, I recommend for a quick (but not detailed enough) overview: But I do not recommend the following book, that you may spot in the bookshops: