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    Learning and cognitive processes in different species.

    PSYC319 is a course aimed at teaching you critical thinking skills, skills that you will carry with you and use throughout your life. You will be taught how to challenge dogma and think outside the box. The course is designed around the concept of “find the flaw with the study”. As a backdrop to learning critical thinking skills we will discuss animal cognition studies that explore how animals remember, communicate, form concepts, recognize themselves in a mirror, plan, and mental time travel. Everyone wants to believe that their pets (and animals in general) can do amazing things, but in this course you will be taught how to critically evaluate information and “find the flaw with the study”. If you like challenging yourself, solving problems, and want to develop those critical thinking skills, you might consider taking PSYC319.

    About this paper

    Paper title Comparative Cognition
    Subject Psychology
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    PSYC 210 and PSYC 211 and PSYC 212
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music, Science
    For students with a major or minor in Neuroscience the prerequisite is PSYC211.

    With departmental approval, a student who has achieved a grade of at least B+ in each of PSYC 210 and 212 may take no more than one of PSYC 313-328 concurrently with PSYC 211.

    With departmental approval, a student who has achieved a grade of at least B+ in PSYC 211 may take no more than one of PSYC 313-328 concurrently with PSYC 210 and 212.


    Teaching staff
    Professor Mike Colombo
    Paper Structure
    A large component of the class centres on class discussion of current topics in comparative animal cognition, such as:
    • Conceptual behaviour
    • Numerical competence
    • Theory of mind
    • Self-recognition
    • Memory
    • Mental time travel
    50% of the final grade will be based on internal assessments and 50% will be from the final exam.
    Teaching Arrangements
    One 50-minute and one 2-hour lecture per week.

    Textbooks are not required for this paper.

    Original articles will be made available.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes
    Students will be presented with published findings and asked to challenge the design and interpretation of the data. Learning outcomes focus on the development of critical thinking and clear communication skills.


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Wednesday 09:00-09:50 9-13, 15-22
    Friday 13:00-14:50 9-12, 15-22
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