Undergraduate Research (COGS 199)
A 199 is an independent study course that is for individual, advanced students who wish to complete a one-quarter reading or research project under the mentorship of a faculty member. However, independent studies can often extend to an additional quarter or for the rest of the academic year. Students should contact faculty whose research interests them to discuss possible projects.
To qualify, you need:
- minimum 90.0 cumulative units
- minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA
- Completion of Special Studies Form, signed by sponsoring faculty member, approved by the Department (See Thanh Maxwell in CSB 140), and turned into the Registrar's Office by 4:30pm on Friday of Second Week of the quarter for which you plan on participating in the independent study for departmental approval
Guidelines for 199s:
- Must be taken Pass/No Pass
- Four units of course credit requires 12 hours per week of substantiative, supervised work defined by the faculty mentor
- A term project is required, defined by the mentor and described in the special studies form
Term projects may include, but are not limited to:
- Intensive directed reading project, 8-10 page or 4-5 page research paper, and an oral presentation in front of a laboratory group
- Participation in a local research conference presenting work completed during the 199 (oral/poster presentation)
- Substantive participation in data collection, computer programming, experimental design, design and implementation of significant computation components, data analysis, 2-3 page write up of laboratory activities or summary of data analysis
UCSD Reading Study
Contact: Dr. Teri Lawton
Are you interested in working with children, and studying neuroscience and cognitive science? This is a great opportunity to learn how to motivate and instruct children, do research and receive 199 credit.
What This Study Involves:
• Working with elementary school students on computer-based interventions designed to promote neuroplasticity and reading and cognitive processing.
• Working with the students 3 to 5 days a week for 2 hours in the mornings.
• Learning and administering standardized literacy tests.
• Receive 2 Quarters of 199 Credit
• Pay rate of $15/ hour after completing 2 quarters of 199 research
Requirements: If you are interested in being involved in this study, please contact Dr. Teri Lawton at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jordan Conway at email@example.com, and more information will be sent concerning the requirements and what it involves.
Abstraction and Embodiment
Lab: Embodied Cognition Lab
Contact: Esther Walker
The Embodied Cognition lab is interested in understanding cognition from the perspective of the embodied mind, investigating how the peculiarities of our bodies and how our experiences in and interactions with the world around us give rise to our understanding of abstract concepts such as time.
We are seeking motivated and responsible research assistants to work on various projects investigating the embodied nature of our minds. You should have an interest in embodied cognition, and more specifically, in abstract concepts, spatial cognition, and interpersonal interaction. You will learn a lot about – and be involved in – experimental design, data collection, and some data analysis. The methods you will learn will be mainly behavioural in nature, and may include the analysis of spontaneous gestures co-produced with speech as well as the creation of various psychological experiments. While no research experience is necessary, research assistants should demonstrate a willingness to collaborate, work, and learn.
Requirements: 3.0+ GPA, 3.3+ GPA preferred; junior or senior standing; interest in abstraction, spatial cognition, and interpersonal interaction. Research Assistants should be motivated, independent, and responsible. Minimum two-quarter commitment.
Research on the embodiment of number and mathematics
Lab: Embodied Cognition Lab
Contact: Tyler Marghetis
Research on the embodiment of number and mathematics
How do we think about entities that are so abstract that they can't be seen, touched, or heard? In the Embodied Cognition Lab, we investigate cognition from the perspective of the embodied mind, studying the ways in which our understanding of the most abstract concepts (e.g. negative numbers) are grounded in our embodied experience. We may reason about numbers and arithmetic, for instance, by recycling cognitive resources that are otherwise used to understand space, motion, or action.
We are seeking research assistants to work on new and ongoing projects investigating the embodied nature of number and arithmetic. Methods include gesture analysis and behavioral experiments, including mousetracking. You should be motivated and responsible, with an interest in abstraction, inference, and conceptual systems. You will learn -- and help with -- experimental design, data collection, and some data analysis. No experience necessary -- just a willingness to collaborate, work, and learn.
Requirements: Requirements: 3.0+ GPA, 3.3+ GPA preferred; junior or senior standing; interest in abstraction, inference, and conceptual systems; interest in mathematics is an added bonus. Research Assistants should be motivated, independent, and responsible. Minimum 2-quarter commitment.
Language Acquisition & Sound Recognition
Lab: Language Acquisition and Sound Recognition Lab
Contact: Adrienne Moore
Dr. Sarah Creel's LASR lab is seeking enthusiastic, motivated, and reliable undergraduate research assistants to assist with several studies involving preschoolers and adults. Successful applicants will receive course credit and gain valuable experience with language & music research including learning eye tracking methodology. Research assistants will have the opportunity to work with preschoolers by traveling to local childcare centers and collecting data from 3 to 5 year olds. Bilingual applicants (Spanish, Mandarin, Korean, or Vietnamese plus English) are strongly encouraged to apply and may have opportunities to participate in adult or child research projects utilizing their language skills. Interested students should contact Adrienne Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requirements: GPA 3.0 or higher; 2 quarter commitment required; if interested in visiting preschools, must be able to work well with children and must be available at least once a week from 8:30 - 1:30.
Language Development and Remediation in Children
Contact: Dr. Teri Lawton
We are evaluating two interventions for dyslexia that involve training the temporal dynamics of the visual system (magnocellular pathway) and the auditory system, and whether the two interventions together have super-additive effects. As a Research Assistant, you would be traveling to one or two of five participating local elementary schools and administering the interventions to second and third graders, as well as testing them on a battery of standardized cognitive, attentional, and reading measures. Research Assistants need to be available for training when the school year starts, in late august in most schools. Experience with children is essential for this position. This position is perfect for undergraduates who are interested in a job involving kids, a bit of neuroscience, and a lot of psychology. Quarters of Availability: Fall, Winter, Spring (Fall 2012-Spring 2014). Note: this is a CSE 199 and not Cogs 199.
Requirements: 2 quarter minimum commitment; Minimum 3.3 GPA; 6 hours/week available (2 units), 12 hours/week available (4 units); Be available starting the last week of August; Transportation available through carpooling; Means of evaluation: 1 page paper describing methods and concepts learned.
Brain Activity Underlying Access to Sensory and World Knowledge During Sentence Comprehension
Lab: Cognitive Electrophysiology Lab
Contact: Ben Amsel
We study how the human brain processes language, including at the single word level and sentence level. Our primary methodology in this pursuit is to record event-related potentials (ERP) from the scalp. These brain potentials can provide a real-time window into the neural processes underlying language comprehension.
One of our current projects assesses how different kinds of information are used in real time during sentence comprehension. Specifically, we would like to know if sensory information (e.g., how something looks, feels, smells, etc) and world knowledge (e.g., what types of things are likely to be found at a party, beach, restaurant, or concert) are used in the same way and at the same time when we understand a sentence.
Duties will include creating sentence stimuli, running participants in online and laboratory-based experiments, scheduling, and data entry.
Requirements: 3.0+ GPA, 3.3+ GPA preferred; junior or senior standing; interest in language / psycholinguistics; interest in cognitive electrophysiology. Research Assistants should be motivated, independent, and responsible. Minimum 2 quarter commitment.
Speech Production Adaptation to Individual Speakers
Lab: Language & Cognition Lab
Contact: Rachel Ostrand
When speaking to another person, we tailor our speech production based on information we know about that person: for example, you probably don't use the same vocabulary with a professor as you do with a 2-year-old. This project will investigate how specific this adaptation in the speech production system is. At what levels of speech (vocabulary, grammar, semantics) do speakers adapt for their listeners? Is this adaptation specific to a particular situation or does it extend to any context involving that person? How much experience does a speaker need to have with a particular listener to begin to adapt his/her speech for that individual? We are looking for outstanding undergraduates in Cognitive Science, Linguistics, Psychology, or neighboring disciplines interested in getting involved in learning more about speech adaptation and expectations built up by speakers about listeners, and how this learning affects future language production.
Requirements: Enthusiasm and motivation, and interest in language production. Minimum GPA of at least 3.0. Some upper-division language-related coursework preferred, but not required. You should be prepared to work with a high level of maturity and responsibility in a collaborative laboratory setting. We ask for a minimum two-quarter commitment to ensure that you see all stages of a project, from experimental design through running and data analysis.
Contact: Dr. Roger Levy
Computational Psycholinguistics Lab.
Language use is like walking: it seems effortless to us, but one when one studies it carefully it is remarkable how successful we are at it. We study how language comprehension and production unfold in real time through psycholinguistic experiments: how knowledge of one's native language's grammar, memory constraints, and fine-grained details of the physical and linguistic environment come together in language use. Duties include constructing experimental sentences, recruiting participants, running experiments (using eye-tracking and other methodologies), compiling results and assisting with data analysis. Training is provided on these tasks, and you will learn a lot about both the structure of language and human cognition. You will also learn a lot about what it is to conduct research, so if you are at all thinking about graduate school, this will be good preparation. Continuation in winter and/or spring quarters is possible, and paid positions may be available for interested undergraduates who perform well as 199s. Please include an unofficial transcript and a brief statement of your interests in language research when you contact us.
Requirements: Background in linguistics and/or cognitive science; Good English & people skills; Familiarity with Excel; Minimum GPA: 3.0; Programming skills a plus.
Research on Aging and Development Laboratory
Contact: Marissa Westerfield
EEG/ERP Studies of Sensory and Attentional Processing in Typical and Atypical Development. We are studying attention and sensory processing in children and adults with typical and atypical development (e.g., autism). Students will learn to design experiments and collect and analyze Event-Related Potential (ERP) data. Each quarter's emphasis will be slightly different. In the first quarter, students will learn how to apply electrodes, evaluate data quality, and collect data during experiments. In the following quarter(s), students will learn traditional, average-based analysis techniques as well as more advanced EEG-based analysis techniques. Contact: Marla Zinni, email@example.com or Marissa Westerfield, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requirements: 2 quarters minimum commitment, 10-12 hours/week, Junior standing (90 credits), 3.0+ GPA, familiarity with both Windows and UNIX a plus.