3 credits
45 hours

Human Cognitive Processes

Dr. Mohita Junnarkar

There is more general interest than ever in understanding the mysteries of the human brain and the mind. Cognitive psychology is concerned with the processes that allow us to make sense of the world around us and to make reasonably sensible decisions about how to cope with everyday life. The cognitive encompasses processes such as perception, attention, memory, problem solving, decision making, language etc. the recent developments in the field have permeated most of the rest of psychology – developmental psychology, social psychology, and abnormal psychology. The understanding of these processes has led to transformation of emotion, cognition, motivation and decision making research arena.

3 credits
45 hours

The ‘Online Brain’: Internet and Cognition

Dr. Divya Bhatia

Humans, being the most advanced species, have a remarkable ability to adapt and flourish across a wide range of living conditions. Central to such behaviour is a highly specialized set of mental operations, collectively known as “cognition”, which enables us to process environmental information and produce adaptive behaviours. Our cognitive capacities are further extended by technological advancements, which include any tool, software, method or skill designed to facilitate our daily functions. Barely thirty years ago, the Internet surfaced as the latest technological invention of all times. It first served as an information exchange network between scientists and academics around the globe, but later on was officially released for public use. Since then, the Internet had been an integral part of our lives. From highly efficient search engines providing immediate access to any information we require, to social networking and entertainment platform, the internet has been evolving ever since its inception. The advent of portable and multifunctional smart devices which allows us to stay connected at all times and access to any information at our fingertips makes our generation “online”. This unprecedented integration of Internet has profoundly transformed our thoughts, actions and behaviours. Such vast pool of available information and our limited cognitive capacities allow us to think and investigate deeper the potential effects of Internet on our cognitive structures. This course is designed to provide an understanding of the impacts of Internet on our cognitive systems i.e. the information processing systems. Recent research has suggested that the intensive use of Internet has enabled a ‘shallow’ mode of information processing characterized by rapid shifts in attention i.e. increasing distractibility and poor executive control. Moreover, recent studies have also shown a link between Internet-related cognitive impact and structural changes in the brain. In this course, we learn about how the Internet has altered the cognitive behaviours and brain structures involved in information processing, executive control and reward processing will be discussed.

3 credits
45 hours

Understanding Human Behaviour

Dr. Kulpreet Kaur

1.5 credits
22.5 hours

Human Memory System: Understanding and Strengthening It

Dr. Divya Bhatia & Rakhi Gupta

Human memory is certainly one of the most valued abstract qualities, which enables us to function properly in space and time. From celebrating the birthdays and anniversaries, learning to drive a car, learning to bake a cake, or to navigate properly in the surroundings, memory is one of the many cognitive functions which allow us to adapt ourselves in a dynamic world. But the most important question is how we remember some events so effortlessly and some are almost forgotten. Perhaps, our memories allow us to go back in time and re-live the moments with similar feelings and emotions but wonder what would happen if we started to forget important things from daily lives or would have a poorer recall of past events. In such cases, the ability to survive and adjust with our surroundings would significantly suffer. The current course is therefore designed to provide the students with an understanding of the structures and functions of the memory system in humans and the tools and techniques to aid its functioning. the current course will focus on an understanding of mental representations, cognitive maps and how these processes contribute to form a strong lasting memory. Most importantly, the students will learn several techniques to aid the memory functioning such as mind mapping, spaced repetition, memory palaces, and chunking etc. The students will also be enriched with an understanding of the role of distraction and interference while information acquisition which further give rise to the distorted memories which are therefore difficult to recollect. Also, the course will guide the students on how different factors such as speed-reading and sleeping affect our ability to retain the information. The course will be beneficial to students irrespective of their background who are interested in understanding and learning the methods and techniques to further aid in the functioning of their memory systems.