Summer 2020

Summer 2020 CogSci Courses (check back for Fall 20 remote instruction info) 

These are the courses being offered during Summer Sessions 2020 through the CogSci program. All courses will be via remote instruction.

COGSCI N1: Introduction to Cognitive Science - Class #: 13101

Syllabus for COGSCI N1

Prerequisite / Lower Division Course for CogSci - Meets Social & Behavioral Sciences, L&S Breadth

  • 3 units

  • Taught by Linda Isaac 

  • Summer Session A: May 26 - July 2

  • TU, W, TH: 10:00 am - 12:29 pm

This course introduces the interdisciplinary field of cognitive science. Lectures and readings will survey research in such fields as artificial intelligence, psychology, linguistics, philosophy, and neuroscience, and will cover topics such as the nature of knowledge, thinking, remembering, vision, imagery, language, and consciousness. Sections will demonstrate some of the major methodologies. This course is a core prerequisite for the Cognitive Science major and therefore must be taken for a letter grade.

COGSCI 131: Computational Models of Cognition - Class #: 13103

Syllabus for COGSCI 131

Fulfills the Computational Modeling distribution or can count as an elective

  • 4 units 

  • Taught by Dr. Jose A. Ramirez

  • Summer Session C: June 22 - August 14

  • M, TU, W: 3:30 pm - 5:29 pm

This course will provide advanced students in cognitive science and computer science with the skills to develop computational models of human cognition, giving insight into how people solve challenging computational problems, as well as how to bring computers closer to human performance. The course will explore three ways in which researchers have attempted to formalize cognition -- symbolic approaches, neural networks, and probability and statistics -- considering the strengths and weaknesses of each.

COGSCI 170: Brain Damage - Class #: 15239

Syllabus for COGSCI 170

Fulfills the Cognitive Neuroscience distribution or can count as an elective

  • 3 units

  • Taught by Linda Isaac 

  • Summer Session A: May 26 - July 2

  • TU, W, TH: 1:30 pm - 3:59 pm

This course introduces students to the full range of brain damage causes, which are:  traumatic brain injury (TBI) - civilian vs. military, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), stroke, tumors, infections, hypoxia, addiction, neurological, and congenital conditions.   We understand how brain damage caused by each condition leads to localized and non-localized deficits in the key functions comprising cognition, emotion, physiology, social skills, behavior, and daily functioning capacity.  Key co-occurring disorders are covered that present due to the fundamental brain damage causes.

COGSCI 180: Mind, Brain, and Identity - Class #: 15308

Fulfills the Philosophy distribution or can count as an elective - Meets Philosophy & Values, L&S Breadth

  • 3 units

  • Instructor TBA 

  • Summer Session D: July 6 - August 14

  • M, TU, W, TH: 12:00 pm - 1:59 pm

Do you have a self or are you one?  How is the self related to brain structure and function?  Is the self, for example, identical to some part of the brain or part of the brain’s function?  Can you damage the self by damaging the brain?  In this course we will look at these questions from conceptual, psychological, and neuroscientific perspectives.  We will study both normal and injured brains to help shed light on what is a deeply philosophical and personal issue: What is the human self.  We will read various papers pertaining to these issues as well as the books listed under required reading.

COGSCI 181: The Cognitive Unconscious - Class #: 15310

Fulfills the Philosophy or Society, Culture, and Cognition distribution, or can count as an elective - Meets Philosophy & Values, L&S Breadth

  • 3 units 

  • Instructor TBA 

  • Summer Session D: July 6 - August 14

  • M, TU, W, TH: 4:00 pm - 5:59 pm

This class is on the cognitive unconsciousness. This is the unconscious mind from a cognitive science point of view rather than one from psychoanalysis (though we will briefly touch on the psychoanalytic notions of the unconscious to clarify the distinction). The basic guide will be asking whether there is explanatory value to explaining human behavior with mental states or events that are not conscious to the person who has them. We say, for example, that a person flinched because they felt pain. Pain is a mental state that can explain the behavior (the flinch) of the person. Are there good reasons to think that some behaviors are explained by unconscious mental states?

COGSCI 182: The Cognitive Psychology of Concept and Idea Formation - Class #: 15309

Fulfills the Cognitive Psychology distribution or can count as an elective

  • 3 units

  • Instructor TBA 

  • Summer Session A: May 26 - July 2

  • M, TU, W, TH: 4:30 pm - 6:29 pm

This class will explore cognitive psychology and some neurological processing related to cognition and the formation and use of “ideas” or “concepts.” We will discuss the modeling of idea and concept formation, the structures of memory, reasoning and problem solving, and meta-cognition, among others.

Summer FAQs

For more general logistics questions concerning Summer Sessions, visit 

Are all CogSci classes for Summer 2020 to be taught remotely?

Yes! All CogSci classes will be taught remotely in summer 2020. This means anyone, anywhere in the world, can sign up and take classes at the best public university on planet earth.

How do I sign up for a remote summer class?

Enrollment for remote classes is open to everyone ― current UCB students, other UC students, visitors from other US colleges, international students, newly admitted UCB transfer students and freshmen, high school students, and the community. Continuing Berkeley students can register for UC Berkeley Summer Sessions directly on their CalCentral Account. Others must apply for Berkeley Summer Sessions.

What’re the deadlines to enroll for summer remote classes? What dates are the different sessions?

All updated dates to enroll, drop classes, change grading options, and for the session dates, can be found here.

Can I get official UCB Credit?

UC Berkeley students will see their summer session courses directly on CalCentral and their official UCB transcript. Visiting students can order a transcript or request an Official Verification of Attendance and Degrees on the Office of the Registrar page.

Do I need a Visa if I am outside the United States?

The Berkeley International Office is NOT issuing initial I-20s for Summer Sessions 2020. Visit the Summer Sessions page for International Students for more information as it becomes available for remote and online summer courses.

I'm not currently in the Pacific Standard Time zone; can I take the class?

Yes! All of CogSci's summer instructors are teaching asynchronously this summer, so anyone anywhere in the world can take the classes and access the material.

Who is teaching the classes? Is it different from other summers?

Classes offered during summer are listed on the Berkeley Class Schedule. Courses will list all relevant information, such as a description of the course, class times, instructor, and materials. 

Due to the continuing complications associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, UC Berkeley has made the decision to continue remote delivery of instruction in place of face-to-face classes through Summer Sessions 2020. Instructors who had previously been scheduled to teach face-to-face classes have been instructed to begin adjusting their class content to be delivered remotely using Zoom, bCourses, and other tools. Additional courses may be added in the coming weeks. More updates can be found on the COVID-19 Info for Summer Sessions page.

Will there be office hours?

Remote classes will work just like they are a face-to-face course, but instruction will be remote. Instructors and GSIs will offer the same instruction and office hours as if the course was face-to-face during any other Summer Session. Asynchronous instruction means that live office hours will be made available at times that work for students anywhere in the world.

How will I contact my instructor?

Instructors will have their own individual preferences on communication with students, but most instructors can be contacted through their email, which can be found easily on their department page, or through bCourses, the main platform for the class.