V89.0046 - Lab in Human Cognition: Fall 10


Meeting time/place

Mondays and Wednesdays, 2pm – 3:50pm, 159 Meyer


A PDF of the syllabus.


This course provides hands-on experience with the standard experimental tools used in cognitive psychology research. Students run experiments, collect and analyze data, write research reports, and design and run a new experiment as a final project. Additionally, students read and analyze research papers that use complex and expensive experimental methods that cannot be directly explored in the classroom. Content areas include memory, categorization, attention, learning, automaticity, and visual perception. Lectures introduce new skills that apply not only in analyzing, communicating, and presenting scientific work, but more broadly how to effectively communicate complex scientific ideas. The course culminates in an intensive final project involving the design and analysis of a novel experiment.


Todd M. Gureckis
email: todd.gureckis@nyu.edu
website: here, lab
office: 859
office hours: after class friday or by appt.

Teaching Assistant

Sara Constatino
email: smc517@nyu.edu
office: 888 (may move to 873 for meetings)
office hours: Wednesday, 1-2pm, or by appointment

Writing Instructor

Jeannie Im
email: ji213@nyu.edu
office: 411 Lafayette, Rm 412
office hours: by appointment


There is no textbook for this course. However, the following may come in handy in writing your reports: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). (2001). Washington, DC:American Psychological Association. No readings from this book will be assigned, and much of the content, is available on-line via judicious Google searches. There will be other readings made available as PDF files or handouts in class.

Course Announcements

10.22.2010 - Dear class, due to popular demand, the deadline for the IRB application will be moved to the wednesday AFTER spring break. Enjoy the break but be thinking of clarifying your designs.

11.3.2010 -  I have fixed the lab 3 instructions. Use a pixel size of 100. This will prevent the stimuli from overlapping. Also the reading links have been fixed.

10.14.2010 - Dear class, I forgot to mention in class yesterday that you should begin reading the articles for lab 2. The are linked in the schedule below for 10.13. Also, note website colors fixed for Firefox!

8.19.2010 - This is where course announcements will appear. Please check back often.

Schedule (with links to slides)

Date Description Slides/Handouts
Sept. 8

Introductions, Why Study Human Cognition? (assign reading 1), Discuss plan for final project

[final project]
[reading 1]
[why R?] [survey]
Sept. 13

What make a good (or bad) Experiment? Designing experiments to test hypothesis. Collect data for Exp. 1.

Sept. 15

Discuss Simon reading, Background on Experiment 1, Begin Experiment 1 data analysis,(assign readings for Experiment 1, please read by next time, be prepared for quiz/discussion)

[read 1]
[read 2]
Sept. 20

Exercise 1 - an introduction to descriptive statistics, and computing simple t-tests

[exercise 1]
Sept. 22

Exp. 1 analysis (together in class. see handout for details)

[lab 1 handout]
Sept. 27

More Exp. 1 analysis

Sept. 29

More Exp. 1 analysis, Signal Detection Analysis (SDT). Stats quiz

[quiz 1]
[SDT handout - heeger]
[SDT 2 - heeger]
Oct. 4

Communicating Results (basic introduction to writing APA styled papers and reporting statistical results in papers) What makes a good figure? Creating accurate and informative figures. Error bars and how to (mis)use and (mis)interpret them.

[apa guide]
Oct. 6

Draft of Lab 1 due. Discuss structure of lab report, etc... Lab report 1 due Oct. 10th, Collect experiment 2 data

Oct. 11

**No Class, University Holiday**

Oct. 13

Analyzing reaction time (RT), experiment 2 data collection (assign reading 5)

[read 1]
[read 2]
Oct. 18

Discuss reading 5 (about Exp 2), begin exp 2 data analysis

[lab 2]
[read 3]
Oct. 20

Beyond pairwise contrasts: ANOVA (exp 2 data analysis)

Oct. 25

Beyond pairwise contrasts: ANOVA (cont.) (more exp 2 data analysis)

Oct. 27

Beyond pairwise contrasts: ANOVA (cont.) (more exp 2 data analysis)

Nov. 1

Project proposal due before class. Finish Exp. 2 data analysis, collect experiment 3 data

[lab 2 part 2]
[lab 3 instructions]
Nov. 3

Talk about grades lab 1, finish experiment 2 data analysis, talk about how to write lab 2 paper, background on lab 3 (reading assigned for lab 3)

[read 1]
[read 1]
Nov. 8

Draft of lab report 2 due, Exp 3 data analysis

[lab 3 data]
[lab 3 guide]
Nov. 10

continue working on Experiment 3

Nov. 15

continue working on Experiment 3

Nov. 17

continue working on Experiment 3

[final expectations lab 3]
Nov. 22

Regression and multiple regression (cont. )

Nov. 24

Experiment 3 data analysis/final project time

[exp 3 slides]
Nov. 29

Final project time, Mock IRB application, How to build your own experiment using PyPsyLib

[Mock IRB Application]
Dec. 1

Final project time

Dec. 6

Lab report 4 due, final project time

Dec. 8

How to give a good talk/Final project time

Dec. 13

Final project time

Dec. 15

Final project time