V89.0046 - Lab in Human Cognition: Fall 12


Meeting time/place

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12pm – 1:50pm, 482/460 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: immediately after class or by appt.

Teaching Assistant

Alicia Smith
email: ams1099@nyu.edu
office: 161H of Meyer
office hours: After class on Tuesday and Thursday (2:00-3:00pm)

Writing Instructor

Zach Udko
email: zbu200@nyu.edu
office: 411 Lafayette
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

Hurricane Sandy Info 11.4.2012 - Dear class, As you all know, Hurricane Sandy disrupted NYU classes. As a result, I have delayed the due date for Lab 2 write up to Sunday, Nov. 11th at midnight. This adds over a week of extra time to the project. We will try to just make up the time lost in class by covering some parts a little faster than usual. Please contact me if there are any issues.

9.4.2012 - This is where course announcements will appear. Please check back often.

Please note, the final exam is scheduled for Dec. 18th 2:00-3:50pm! While there is no final exam in this class, there is final presentation that everyone is required to perform. This will take place during our final exam time.

Schedule (with links to slides)

Date Description Slides/Handouts
Sept. 4

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

[reading 1]
[why R?]
[lecture 1]
Sept. 6

What make a good (or bad) Experiment? Designing experiments to test hypothesis. An introduction to R (assign reading for Experiment 1)

[lecture 2]
Sept. 11

Collect data for Exp 1 and begin Experiment 1 data analysis

[reading 1]
[reading 2]
Sept. 13

A gentle introduction to data analysis and statistics in Excel

[quiz 1]
[exercise 1]
Sept. 18

A gentle introduction to data analysis and statistics in Excel (part II)

[exercise 2]
Sept. 20

A statistics refresher (part I)

[lab 1]
[lab 1 data]
Sept. 25

Communicating Results (basic introduction to writing APA styled papers and reporting statistical results in papers)

[APA Handout]
Sept. 27

Continue APA discussion. What makes a good figure? Creating accurate and informative figures. Error bars and how to (mis)use and (mis)interpret them.

[exercise 3]
[SDT handout - heeger]
[SDT 2 - heeger]
Oct. 2

Finalize Lab 1 analysis: Signal Detection Theory analysis of recognition memory. Continue APA discussion.

[on writing]
Oct. 4

Finalize Lab 1 analysis: Signal Detection Theory analysis of recognition memory.

Oct. 9

Begin Lab 2. Introduction to R. Lab 1 Due.

Oct. 11

Introduction to R (continued).

[R Intro]

[For Mac]
[For Windows]
[Also windows]
Oct. 16

*No class, Fall recess*

Oct. 18

Regression and multiple regression (cont. ). Begin Lab 3 analysis.

Before class next time:
Please read (and enter in to your interactive R session) the following sections of this online R tutorial:

[the data]
[reading 1]
[reading 2]
[script from last class]
Oct. 23

Continue Lab 2 analysis

Oct. 25

Finalize Lab 2 analysis

Oct. 30

** Class Canceled due to Hurricane Sandy **

Nov. 1

** Class Canceled due to Hurricane Sandy**

Nov. 6

Collect data for lab 3. Being Lab 3 background and analysis. Lab 2 due Sunday, November 11th.

Nov. 8

Beyond pairwise contrasts: ANOVA. Continue Lab 3 analysis

Nov. 13

Final project time. Mock IRB Application

[Mock IRB Template]
[IRB Tutorial]
Nov. 15

Beyond pairwise contrasts: ANOVA. Finalize Lab 3 analysis.

Nov. 20

Beyond pairwise contrasts: ANOVA. Continue Lab 3 analysis

Nov. 22

*No Class, Thanksgiving Break*

Nov. 27

Finish lab 2 (2-way ANOVA). NOTE: Lab 3 will be due Dec. 7th by Midnight. See the readings posted here about lab 2.

[read 1]
[read 2]
[read 3]
Nov. 29

Final project time.

Dec. 4

Final project time.

Dec. 6

Final project time, How to give an academic talk about research.

Dec. 11

Final project time

Dec. 13

Final project time

[Talk notes]
Dec 18

Final Exam Time according to the register. This is when we have the "mini-convention".