Course Number

PSYC 355/NEUR 355

Course Title

Language and Thought

Course Date

Spring 2019

Course Level


Professor or Professors' Departmental/Program Affiliation

Spencer Kelly, Psychology, Neuroscience

Document Type



Psychology, Neuroscience


Language is arguably the most powerful tool on the planet. Think of any product of human culture—all of it was influenced by language. This course asks four big questions about this unique device: What is language? Where did it come from? Is the brain designed for language? How does language affect thought? We will approach these questions from multiple perspectives, from linguistics to anthropology, neuroscience to philosophy and cognitive science to developmental psychology. In addition, you will become competent in the varied ways researchers attempt to answer these questions, with the ultimate goal of asking your own empirical questions about this distinctly human capacity.


The syllabus may not be applicable to the current semester. Be sure to verify content with the professor(s) listed in the document.