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Undergraduate Programs

BCSC 310: Syllabus

Fall 2021

Time & Location

Mondays & Wednesdays, 9:00 – 10:15 AM
Meliora Hall 269


Instructor: Professor Manuel Gomez-Ramirez

Office hours: By appointment

Course Objectives

  1. Provide students with experience in evaluating and presenting articles related to Cognitive Science and Neuroscience research.
  2. Help students develop a plan for pursuing a career in the Cognitive Sciences or Neuroscience

Attendance Policy

Class participation is an important part of this course and comprises 10% of your final grade. Your participation grade will be based on both attendance and involvement in class discussions (e.g., asking questions, and providing helpful feedback to peers after student presentations). If you miss a class due to an excusable reason, you must notify the instructor via email 24- hours in advance, and provide documentation. Failure to notify the instructor in advance of an absence will result in a 2% deduction of your final grade for each class missed. If you are unable to attend class due to sudden illness or a medical emergency, you must provide a note from a physician later to avoid deduction.


There will be three reading assignments. Assigned readings will be posted on the Blackboard site.

For each assigned reading, students will be expected to submit answers to the following questions:

  1. What was the question(s) the article set out to answer?
  2. What was the hypothesis (or hypotheses)?
  3. What method(s) was used to test the hypothesis (or hypotheses)?
  4. Are the conclusions supported by the data?
  5. What was new or important about the paper?

Students’ evaluations of each assigned reading will only be accepted prior to the start of each class via blackboard. Evaluations submitted past the deadline will be penalized 10% for each day they are past due.

We will discuss the assigned paper at the beginning of each class. Your involvement in the discussion will count towards your class participation grade.


Each student will give a 45-minutes presentation. The student will choose the research article to present with the approval of the instructor. The article for presentation needs to be emailed to the instructor at least two weeks prior to the presentation day.

A panel of 3 to 4 students will deliberate for 10 minutes outside of class, and provide feedback to the presenter regarding the clarity and content of the presentation.


All students will be required to submit a “Statement of Interest” and Curriculum Vitae (CV) used for applying to graduate school.

Students will gather in groups of 3 or 4, and will provide feedback to their peers on the Statement of Interest and CV organization and clarity. Your involvement in the discussion/feedback will count towards your class participation grade.

The final Statement of Interest and CV are due by 11:59pm Friday October 15th . Documents should be submitted to Blackboard. Documents submitted past the deadline will be penalized 10% for each day they are past due.

Students will also have to write an evaluation of a paper as though writing a critique for a peer-reviewed journal article. The article will be assigned by the instructor. The critique will be due the last day of class (December 8th 2021), and should be submitted to Blackboard. Documents submitted past the deadline will be penalized 10% for each day they are past due.


Grades will be assigned based on the student’s presentation, paper evaluation, discussion and participation, and writing skills.

  • Reading assignment evaluations 15%
  • Peer-review journal article critique 20%
  • Student presentation 30%
  • Statement of Interest 20%
  • CV 5%
  • Class participation 10%
  • Quiz 5% (extra credit)

Email List

You can post messages to the class in Blackboard’s Discussion Board.

Academic Honesty

Any student suspected of cheating on a presentation or written assignment will be referred to the Board on Academic Honesty for investigation and possible penalties. Any evidence of duplication or plagiarism (e.g., copying someone else’s writing, or failing to cite the work, ideas, or writings of someone else, and presenting it as your own) will be referred to the Board on Academic Honesty.

Learning Assistance

Students who require assistance in learning should contact Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), located at 1-154 Dewey Hall. Call them at (585) 275-9049, email at , or visit the website.

Writing Assistance

Students who need assistance with writing can make an appointment with a writing consultant or fellow at the Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program. For more information, visit their website, call them at (585) 273-3577, or email them at .