Every Cognitive Science major's work culminates with a year-long original research project called a senior thesis. Senior theses can address a wide variety of different issues and are intended to incorporate and integrate the diverse methodologies of Cognitive Science.
Examples of recent thesis topics include the following: memory for melody versus lyrics in popular songs; art perception as metaphorical interpretation; the syntactic abilities of five year-olds; and brain mechanisms underlying ADHD.
Work on Faculty Research Projects
In addition to working on their own independent study and senior thesis research, Cognitive Science students often work on faculty research projects through such programs as work-study during the academic year and the Undergraduate Research Summer Institute (URSI) during the summer. Some students have co-authored conference presentations with faculty. Here are several recent examples (the student's name is asterisked):
- Long, J.H. Jr., Lammert, A.C.*, Strother, J.* & M.J. McHenry. (2003). Biologically-inspired control of perception-action systems: helical klinotaxis in 2D robots. Proceedings of the 13th International Symposium on Unmanned Untethered Submersible Technology (UUST). No page numbers since electronically published.
- Long, J.H. Jr., Lammert, A.C.*, Pell, C.A., Kemp, M., Strother, J.*, Crenshaw, H.C. and M.J. McHenry (2004). A navigational primitive: biorobotic implementation of cycloptic helical klinotaxis in planar motion. IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering. In Press (July).
- Livingston, K., Andrews, J. K., and *Kuschner, E. (2002). Is concept formation an age-independent process? Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Andrews, J. K., Livingston, K., and *Shabalala, D. (1998). Learned categorical perception effects in neural networks. Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Alfaro, Peter & Livingston, Ken (2006). Emotion, memory, and religious concepts. Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society. Erlbaum, pp. 967-972.