The Master of Science in Applied Cognition and Neuroscience (ACN) program is an applied multidisciplinary program which incorporates and integrates methodologies from such diverse fields as psychology, neuroscience, and computer science. The Computational Modeling/Intelligent Systems specialization area provides advanced training applicable to: (1) modeling the brain and behavior, (2) developing and evaluating algorithms for data analysis (e.g., brain-imaging data or behavioral data), and (3) analyzing and designing artificially intelligent systems. The Human Computer Interaction specialization area provides excellent preparation for work in areas involving human computer interactions such as usability engineering issues associated with the design and evaluation of user-friendly web-based systems. The Cognition and Neuroscience specialization area provides a flexible multidisciplinary curriculum for studying the mind and brain which is designed to be adaptable to the individual student’s interests. Students enrolling in the Cognition and Neuroscience specialization area with backgrounds in psychology and neuroscience will have the opportunity to gain the diverse skills needed to apply new technologies of collecting and interpreting behavioral and neurophysiological data. All three specialization areas provide excellent preparation for doctoral work in the Cognition and Neuroscience area.
In addition, to numerous individual faculty research labs, the Applied Cognition and Neuroscience Program utilizes several facilities which are shared among faculty and graduate students. The Computational Systems Laboratory consists of a network of more than a dozen SUN workstations which are used for computationally intensive models of perceptual, cognitive, and neural processes as well as high-volume data analyses. The Computational Systems Laboratory is located in Green Hall at the University of Texas at Dallas Richardson campus and can be accessed remotely by graduate students and faculty members. The Neuroscience Laboratory facilities are located in Green Hall and the Multipurpose Building at the Richardson campus as well. The Callier Center for Communication Disorders, located adjacent to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, provides access to brain imaging laboratories and speech, hearing, and language laboratories.
The University’s general admission requirements are discussed here.
Admission to the Applied Cognition and Neuroscience Program is based on a review of the applicant’s GPA, letters of recommendation, and narrative description of interests and career goals.
The University’s general degree requirements are discussed here.
All students in the program are required to regularly review their degree plans with their program advisor. In all areas of specialization students complete 6 hours of approved core courses, 6 hours of approved laboratory courses, 6 hours of approved advanced elective courses, 12 hours of coursework in an approved specialization area, and 6 hours of internship courses.
Select two advanced elective courses: These courses may be chosen from either the Graduate Program in Human Development and Communication Sciences or the Applied Cognition and Neuroscience Program or the courses may be chosen from outside the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences with approval from the ACN program head.
The following three specialization areas have been approved for the Applied Cognition and Neuroscience program but alternative specialization area proposals may be submitted for consideration to the Applied Cognition and Neuroscience program head.
Students selecting this specialization area will select all courses from the ACN program or the Cognition and Neuroscience Area of the Graduate Program in Human Development and Communication Sciences. In addition, students will take at least 6 but up to 12 hours of ACN core courses and at least 6 hours of approved ACN laboratory courses. Students selecting this specialization area will also take 6 hours of internship coursework.
Students selecting this specialization area will take ACN 6330 Cognitive Science I and either ACN 6346 or ACN 6345 Cognitive Science II to fulfill core course requirements. Students should take ACN 6313 Research Methods II and an additional laboratory course to fulfill the laboratory requirements. In addition, students in this area will take the following three courses: ACN 6341 Human Computer Interactions I, ACN 6342 Human Computer Interactions II, and ACN 6343 Human Computer Interactions Lab, the following two courses: CS 5343 Algorithm Analysis and Data Structures and CS 6354 Software Engineering, and at least two of the following courses: ACN 6332 Perception, ACN 6333 Memory, or ACN 6334 Attention. Note that CS 5303 Computer Science I and CS 5333 Discrete Structures are prerequisites for CS 5343.
Students concentrating in this area will satisfy the core course requirement by taking one core cognitive science course (either ACN 6330 Cognitive Science I or ACN 6345 Cognitive Science II) and one core neuroscience course (either ACN 6340 Cellular Neuroscience or ACN 6346 Integrative Neuroscience). Students concentrating in this area will also take two of the following courses to satisfy the ACN laboratory course requirement: ACN 5314 Cognitive and Neural Modeling Lab, ACN 7335 Computational Neuroscience, ACN 7367 Speech Perception Lab, and ACN 7322 Computational Models of Language Understanding. Students will satisfy the advanced elective requirement in this specialization area by taking the sequence: ACN 6346 Neural Net Mathematics, ACN 6347 Intelligent Systems Analysis and ACN 6349 Intelligent Systems Design. The remaining courses in this specialization area will be chosen in consultation with the ACN program head. Note that STAT 5351, linear algebra, and multivariable calculus are prerequisites for: ACN 6346, ACN 6347, and ACN 6349.