Teaching Interests

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Teaching Experience

Language & Thought (Graduate Level)

What is the relation between language and other cognitive processes? Does language influence the way we think? Or does learning a language relate only to expressing thoughts with words and the grammar of a specific language? In this course, we aim to examine the interface of language and thought from various perspectives, focusing on some of the specific cases.

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Cognitive Development

How do infants and young children acquire knowledge about the world? In this course, we will examine developmental change across several major areas of cognitive functioning during infancy and childhood. After examining main developmental theories on cognitive development, we will focus on five major topics in cognitive development (attention, memory, language, spatial cognition, conceptual development). During this course, we will also examine methods related to each topic as well as the brain-behavior relationship. The implications for education and social issues will also be discussed.

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Selected Topics in Psychology: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

This seminar will provide an overview of the current research questions, methodologies, and findings from the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience. Some of the questions that will be considered in the course are: What is the nature of developmental change? How does the developing brain support underlying emergent behavior? What are the consequences of early brain injury on cognitive functions? What are the links between various cognitive functions and neurobiological substrates in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and Williams syndrome? During this course, special emphasis will be given to major methods used in this area, the relation of developmental cognitive neuroscience to broader scientific issues such as critical periods of development, plasticity, the modularity arguments in development, and nature-nurture debate. The implications for education and social issues will also be discussed.

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Topics in Psychology: Language Development

Learning language is one of the milestones in children’s development. Infants produce their first words by the end of the first year. In their second year, they talk in short sentences. We usually take language for granted. However, language learning is a tough task if you think about learning a second language as adults. Then, how do infants achieve this task? The aim of this course is to explore language development closely through a variety of theories and research findings. You will become familiar with different theories concerning language development, and develop an understanding of relevant issues, theoretical positions, and relevant methodologies in language development. In this course, we will discuss and analyze language development critically. You will also have the opportunity to evaluate research with respect to language development.

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Developmental Psychology

This course focuses upon development across the lifespan. During the semester we will discuss the nature of physical, social and cognitive development across the periods of life. Early in the semester we will consider methods used to study development and theories designed to explain how and why development takes place. Throughout the semester we will examine how humans in infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood change in the manner in which they think, feel and relate to others. During the term we will also look for opportunities to apply information from research on development to common social issues and problems.

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Research Methods

This course covers the research process in behavioral and social sciences from question generation to presenting research outcome. We will give particular emphasis on designing research and the analyses of data using inferential statistics. We have two mains aims: (1) providing the fundamentals of research and (2) providing hands-on research experience in addition to the coverage of various research topics and examples of research. In this course students develop a number of skills. At the end of this course, students will be able to think critically, scientifically, and systematically about research; learn and evaluate psychological research; gain hands-on experience on conducting research on each level from conception of ideas to designing a study, data collection, data analysis, writing research report, and explaining your research to others; and be able to think alternative designs, methods, and analyses for research questions that contribute to creative problem solving skills.

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