Auxiliary Courses, Year 1 - Semester 2

Updated for 2022/2023: These units are not exclusive for students of the Cognitive Science program and may have limited capacity. For timetables, please check courses web pages or inquire the corresponding department. To know whether a given unit is taught to international students in English, please check with the coordinating teacher. The Auxiliary Course 2 must be completed with a curricular unit that is planned for 6 ECTS units (to take units with a superior number of units, please check viability first with students' office).

Introduction to Probabilities and Statistics
Faculty of Sciences

It is intended that, at the end of the course, the student will have acquired knowledge about the most used models in probability and about the methods of descriptive statistics to organize and summarize the information provided by a sample of statistical data, and also know how to use fundamental statistical inference techniques, namely confidence intervals and hypothesis tests for the mean value and for a proportion, and tests for the difference in mean values and difference in proportions.

Coordinator: Fernando Sequeira (

Faculty of Sciences

The course aims to develop in the students the ability to 'think' in evolutionary terms, to understand the importance of evolution for society and scientific thought, how evolutionary hypotheses are formulated and tested, how the diversity of life is understood in the light of the analysis of evolutionary processes and patterns. To achieve these objectives, an integrated perspective of the mechanisms that generate variability, processes and adaptive responses of organisms will be presented, in the light of evolutionary theories and current studies, as well as different methods of reconstructing evolutionary history (phylogeny) and relevant evolutionary concepts. Being a basic course, students develop generic skills in various themes and fundamental concepts, which are demonstrated and discussed in the theoretical-practical component through group work, debates and simulation exercises.

Coordinator: Margarida Pacheco de Matos (

Topics of Memory
Faculty of Psychology

Representation and memory; episodic memory and recognition memory; semantic memory and knowledge structures; autobiographical memory; working memory; implicit processes; memory illusions; collaborative memory.

Coordinator: Mário Ferreira (

Statistics Applied to Psychology
Faculty of Psychology

1. To learn and apply the most common methods of statistical analyses for parametric and non-parametric data. 2. To learn and apply the assumptions for parametric analyses. 3. To interpret the results of data analyses. 4. To use the statistical software SPSS.

Coordinator: Ana Luísa Raposo (

Situated Cognition
Faculty of Psychology

The Situated Cognition questions the individualistic conceptions of Social Cognition, defending the situated character of cognition and, consequently, of action. By retaking and reformulating some past ideas of Social Psychology, situated cognition promotes the redefinition and reframing of the investigation and analysis of cognition and human action. From this new conception, the following assumptions emerge: 1) cognition is functional; 2) cognition is permeable to different situations and contexts; 3) cognition is distributed across objects and persons; 4) cognition draws on sensory and motor systems (i.e., is embodied).

In this UC will be discussed each one of the assumptions mentioned above, the empirical evidence that supports them as well as their main theoretical models. Will also be addressed and discussed some of the criticisms commonly made to situated cognition, as well as their contributions to the understanding of psychological processes.

The primary objective of this UC is to provide students with the opportunity to get in touch and/or deepen their knowledge with the approach of Situated Cognition, and with some of the central themes in which it has focused. This UC seeks to complement the knowledge acquired within the scope of the UC of Social Cognition.

Coordinator: Tomás Palma (

Experimental Approaches to Child Language
Department of Linguistics

Experimental paradigms in language development research, with a major focus on early speech perception and comprehension. Non-nutritive sucking, preferential looking, head-turn preference procedure, habituation paradigms, pointing task. The use of eye-tracking, EEG-ERPs and brain imaging. How babies perceive sound patterns, recognise words, identify word categories and word meanings, and start producing speech. Beyond human babies: the biological foundations of language. Early predictors and measures of language development.

Coordinator: Sónia Frota (

Linguistic Acquisition and Development
Department of Linguistics

This curricular unit aims at discussing the main current hypotheses concerning language acquisition, considering different acquisition situations (L1, L2, monolingual and bilingual acquisition). Cases of Developmental Language Disorders will also be considered. In addition, special attention will be given to the relation between linguistic development and linguistic awareness in the early years of schooling. We aim at developing knowledge about the main aspects which characterize typical (and in some cases atypical) linguistic development, particularly considering phonological, morphological, syntactic, and lexical development. Portuguese will be particularly explored, even though in contrast with other languages (considering both corpus data and the results of experimental research).

Coordinator: Maria João Freitas (

Word Order and Meaning
Department of Linguistics

This UC develops contents and skills on Syntax and relates them with contents on the sentence informational and discourse structure. The syllabus focuses on different word order patterns in Portuguese sentences and their characterization and correlation with lexical, syntactic, semantic, and discursive features.

Coordinator: Ernestina Carrilho (

Department of Linguistics

This course provides an introduction to the study of meaning in natural languages, with an emphasis on Portuguese. Besides the introductory and general aspects of natural language semantics, the course syllabus focuses on some of the major semantic systems of Portuguese, as those centrally involved in nominal constructions (nominal reference, determination, quantification, modification), negation, tense and aspect (including Aktionsart, and temporal adjuncts).  Students are expected to identify the key components of meaning at the sentence level, to understand how compositionality works, when constituents are combined, and to develop the ability to analyse linguistic data and to describe relevant contrasts with adequate metalinguistic tools.

Coordinator: Rui Marques (

Departamento de Linguística

This course offers an introduction to the study of the principles of sentence formation in natural languages, with a particular focus on Portuguese. Students are expected to identify the way words combine inside sentences and phrases. Work will focus on the ability to analyze linguistic data, to describe relevant contrasts with an adequate metalanguage and to discuss hypotheses formulated to account for linguistic data.

Coordenador: Madalena Colaço (

Metaphysics of the Natural Sciences
Department of Philosophy

The metaphysics of science covers issues including: (1) metaphysical issues that arise in all sciences (such as the nature of laws, natural kinds, causality and properties); (2) metaphysics applied to specific sciences such as physics, chemistry, biology and psychology; and (3) issues concerning the relationship between sciences at different levels (emergence, grounding and reduction). We will cover a selection of these issues in the present course, focusing on laws and properties, the nature of causation, space and time, and the reduction / emergence debate as it applies to the relationship between the special sciences and physics.

Coordinator: David Yates (

Philosophy of Logic
Departament of Philosophy

This course covers a range of issues in logic and the philosophy of logic, including: (1) an introduction to classical propositional and predicate logic; (2) the logic of conditionals; (3) modal and temporal logics; (4) topics in the philosophy of time; (5) topics in the philosophy of modality; and (6) paradoxes and non-classical logics. This course will be taught in Portuguese.

Coordinator: Ricardo Santos (

Philosophy of Mathematics
Department of Philosophy

This course covers a range of issues in the philosophy of mathematics, including: (1) an introduction to the central questions of philosophy of mathematics; (2) Frege’s logicism and Russell’s class paradox; (3) formalism, finitism and Hilbert’s programme; (4) intuitionism and the revision of classical logic; and (5) mathematical structuralism. The course will be taught in three modules, two of them in Portuguese and one in English.

Coordinator: Ricardo Santos (

Philosophy of Language
Department of Philosophy

The students are expected to acquire the competences in the area of the Philosophy of Language, a discipline whose birth as such was at the beginning of the 20 th century. These competences involve grasping and mastering the concepts and fundamental problematics of the discipline.

Coordinator: Adriana Silva Graça (

Faculty of Medicine

Starting from the understanding of the fundamental processes of neuronal communication at the cellular and molecular level, the student should be able to identify the relevant targets and drugs 1) for the correction of dysfunctions in the functioning of the nervous system, 2) for the study of function and dysfunction neuronal, and 3) for a better understanding of the neurobiological bases of cognition. The students will be provided with solid knowledge on: 1) fundamentals of neuronal excitability; 2) main neurotransmitters and their receptors; 3) mechanisms of action of drugs that act on dysfunctions of the nervous system; 4) use of drugs as tools to understand the nervous system; 5) prospects for the development of new drugs for the study or control of nervous system disorders.

To know more about this curricular unit, please contact Professor Ana Sebastião (

Research and Clinical Assays in Neurosciences
Faculty of Medicine

Basics of clinical research in neurosciences; how to develop a population-based study; Case studies; Case-control studies; Cohort studies; how to develop, validate and apply questionnaires; diagnostic tests; drug development and pre-clinical development; clinical development of medicines; how to design a clinical trial; clinical results and biomarkers; safety of medicines and medical devices; therapeutic research with non-pharmacological therapeutic interventions; systematic reviews, meta-analyses and critical evaluation of clinical trial results; introduction to Pharmacoeconomics.

Schedule and other information: contact Instituto de Formação Avançada at FMUL ( or the teacher that coordinates the course, Professor Joaquim Ferreira (