Auxiliary Courses, Year 1 - Semester 1

Updated for 2023/2024: These units are suggested as possible options but do not form a closed list, being viable others from ULisboa, suggested by the students, provided they are relevant for the goals defined for the program and validated by the Scientific Commission. These units are not exclusive for students of the Cognitive Science program and may have limited capacity, and be taught only in Portuguese. For timetables and further details, please check courses web pages or inquire the corresponding department. N.B.: The auxiliary course 1 is worth exactly 6 ECTS.

Department of Philosophy

The students are expected to grasp and master a set of basic concepts, principles and techniques methods that are central to the following segments of modern formal logic: propositional logic, quantification theory and identity theory. We consider the following aspects of these logical theories: (a) the semantics for the logical constants involved therein - truth-functional sentence operators, quantifiers and the identity predicate - and a semantic notion of validity for the associated inferences; (b) the natural deduction rules - introduction and elimination rules - for those logical constants and a syntactic notion of validity for the associated inferences.

Philosophy of Science
Department of Philosophy

This course addresses central issues in the philosophy of science from the perspective of the debate between scientific realism and anti-realism. We begin by studying the history of the modern debate starting with Hume’s inductive scepticism and Kant’s solution to Humes’s riddle, followed by the logical positivist response to Kant’s metaphysics. Other topics to be covered include the Popper vs. Kuhn debate, the Duhem-Quine thesis, the problem of perception, the demarcation problem, and the paradoxes of confirmation.

Philosophy of Language, Logic and Mind (advanced)
Department of Philosophy

The course will be taught in three distinct modules. In the first module, we will present an overview of some central themes of the philosophy of language and logic in the analytic tradition. We will begin with the foundations of Frege's system, which laid the foundation for the development of modern logic and the philosophy of language. We will focus on the notions of meaning, truth and logical form, addressing questions about naïve references and proper names; Russell's theory of descriptions; conditions of truth and propositions; how logical forms relate to meaning; and the role of logical forms in logical inferences and consequences. In the second module, we will study some of the major contributions of contemporary philosophy of the last four decades on the nature of fictions, in literature, film and other media; on the role of imagination in the creation and understanding of fictions; about truth in fiction and the possibility of acquiring knowledge about the real world from fiction; and about how reference in fiction works, whether fictional characters exist and what kind of entities they are. In the third module, we will explore important topics of contemporary philosophy of mind. What is a state of mind? Are mental states fundamentally representational/intentional? Is consciousness the hallmark of the mental? What is the relationship between intentionality and consciousness? How does this illuminate in specific types of mental states, such as belief, perception, desire, and emotion? What is the place of emotion in the mind? We will begin by presenting the main theoretical tools of the philosophy of mind to address fundamental questions, such as the nature of representation and its relationship to consciousness. We will illustrate these issues by exploring specific debates, such as the content of perception, the division between perception and cognition, and the contrast between belief and desire. The module culminates with recent developments in the philosophy of emotion, implicit cognition and self-delusion.

Programing Fundamentals
Department of Informatics

This course aims at providing students with the skills to program in an imperative language, Python, in a way that it can be used as a tool to program solutions to small yet everyday relevant problems.

First Order Logic
Department of Mathematics

This is an introductory logic course. It focuses on the relation between formal languages and their interpretations. The aims are: (1) to introduce formal languages – via first-order languages – and discuss their syntax; (2) to interpret the formal languages (including the formalization of informal assertions) and to teach the deductive way of thinking (both formal and informal); (3) to teach some basic logical notions and techniques pertaining to Computer Science, like Horn sentences, resolution, unification, etc.

Machine Learning
Department of Informatics

1. Fundamentals of machine learning; 2. Concept learning; 3. Tree models: decision trees; 4. Rule models: rule lists, rule sets; 5. Linear models: linear regression, perceptron and backpropagation; 6. Distance-based models: k-nearest neighbors classification, k-means and hierarchical clustering; 7. Probabilistic models: naive Bayes,; 8. Additional topics: feature construction and selection, model evaluation and selection, learning in imbalanced datasets, model ensembles; etc

Human Biology
Department of Biology

To know representative fossil species in human evolution. To understanding the anatomical changes during human evolution. To recognize the role of genetic environmental and cultural factors across human evolution. To identify skeletal bones. To relate bone morphology with sexual dimorphism, age and disease. To characterize stages of the human life cycle and postnatal growth. To identify the biological and environmental factors that regulates growth and maturation. To characterize the reproductive period and hormonal regulation. To make and interpret anthropometric measurements and indices considering international references. To explorer the influence of environmental factor and life styles on growth, nutritional status and menarche age. To understand differences of stages of the human life cycle across human evolution. To explore the biological changes and diseases prevalence with aging. To characterize the determinants of reproductive life span. To relate age and reproduction. To understand the influence of environmental factor and life styles on fertility/infertility. To explorer and discuss health disorders and biological and environmental factors.

Social Cognition
Faculty of Psychology, Leonel Garcia-Marques (

Syllabus includes: 1. Social Cognition and the formation of impression of personality: implicit personality theories; cognitive processes underlying impression formation. 2. The incongruency effect: processes of integrating expectancy-incongruent information; dissociation between heuristic and exhaustive retrieval modes; spontaneous trait inferences and face-based impression formation. 3. New advances in the study of impression formation: false memories, implicit theories of personality and the application of the DRM paradigm to Social Cognition.

Research Methods in Psychology: Basic Notions
Faculty of Psychology, Mário Ferreira (

The course aims to promote critical and argumentative thinking regarding the scientific method and ethical and deontological issues associated with research in Psychology. The student is expected to acquire basic skills in planning, monitoring and communication of a scientific research.

Cognitive Neuroscience of Reading
Faculty of Psychology, Tânia Fernandes (

The learning goals are: to develop critical reasoning and reflective thinking about the present cognitive research in the field of reading and visual word recognition; to promote analytic thinking and ability to interpret the results of research adopting behavioural experimental and neuroimaging techniques in the field of reading; to develop autonomous skills in research in cognitive science, especially in cognitive psychology and neuroscience, focusing in the study of the cognitive and neural processes underpinning visual word recognition.

Judgment and Decision Making Under Uncertainty
Faculty of Psychology, Mário Ferreira (

Focuses on the cognitive approaches to inference processes (judgment under uncertainty, decision making and problem solving). It aims the development of a critical and updated view on the research in this area and requires conducting a research work on central themes of social inference.

Department of Linguistics, Madalena Colaço,

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.

Department of Linguistics, Rui Marques,

This course provides an introduction to the study of meaning in natural languages, with emphasis on Portuguese. Students are expected to identify the key components of meaning at the sentence level and to understand how compositionality works, when constituents are combined. Some semantic systems will be analysed in greater detail. Our central concern will be to develop the students’ ability to analyse linguistic data, to describe relevant contrasts with adequate metalinguistic tools, to pinpoint grammatical anomalies and to discuss hypotheses for problematic issues.

Departament of Linguistics, Alina Villalva,

Knowledge: (i) properties of the lexicon of natural languages, its internal structure and its relationship to other components of the grammar; (ii) mental lexicon and lexical knowledge: history, development and usage (iii) critical appraisal of the following concepts: lexical unit, word, multi-word lexical units; (iv) properties of lexical units; (v) lexical relationships. Skills: analysis and description of the lexicon of natural languages and of Portuguese, in particular.

Department of Linguistics, Maria João Freitas

The following academic skills will be enhanced in the context of this curricular unit: (i) to understand how the sound structure of human languages is a multidimensional research object in the field of linguistics; (ii) to strengthen knowledge on the sound structure of languages previously acquired in other curricular units; (iii) to gather knowledge on the grammatical tools used for the description of the phonological properties of human languages; (iv) to study universal and idiosyncratic properties of the sound systems of the human languages; (v) to promote the analysis of phonological data from a comparative perspective; (vi) to describe segmental and syllabic aspects of the phonology of Portuguese; (vii) to practice the analysis of phonological sets of data.