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Last updated:

December 9, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


This course is an introduction to cognitive development focusing on children’s understanding of objects, agents, and causality.

It develops a critical understanding of experimental design. The course discusses how developmental research might address philosophical questions about the origins of knowledge, appearance and reality, and the problem of other minds. It provides instruction and practice in written communication as needed for cognitive science research (including critical reviews of journal papers, a literature review and an original research proposal), as well as instruction and practice in oral communication in the form of a poster presentation of a journal paper.

Course Curriculum

  • Introduction—philosophical questions, psychological methods Unlimited
  • Theoretical perspectives in developmental psychology: Piaget Unlimited
  • Theoretical perspectives post-Piaget Unlimited
  • Methods (cont.) and perception Unlimited
  • Perception (cont.) and object knowledge Unlimited
  • Objects and number Unlimited
  • Statistical reasoning in infancy Unlimited
  • Computational models of cognitive development courtesy of Julian Jara-Ettinger Unlimited
  • Supplementary notes courtesy of Julian Jara-Ettinger Unlimited
  • Spatial navigation courtesy of Max Siegel Unlimited
  • Concepts: From definitions to features to theories Unlimited
  • Causal knowledge in infancy and early childhood Unlimited
  • The perception of agency and goal-directed action in infancy; agency and attachment Unlimited
  • Attachment (cont.) and representational theory of mind Unlimited
  • Theory of mind (cont.) and autism Unlimited
  • Word learning Unlimited
  • Language courtesy of Melissa Kline and Kim Scott Unlimited
  • Moral reasoning Unlimited

About the instructor

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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