The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 18, 1998 - 5
*New cognitive science
By Jewel Gopwanl
For the Daily
0 Students involved in the Cognition
and Perception Graduate program
will soon be learning to read minds
"It's a program that focuses on the
relationship between cognitive
processes like short-term memory
and selective intention and the brain,"
said psychology Prof. Ed Smith, co-
director of Cognitive Science
Cognitive Neuroscience (CSCN) pro-
Ogram, a curriculum within the cogni-
ion and perception program.
With the start of the program this
month, Smith hopes to give graduate
students more exposure to the grow-
ing field of cognitive neuroscience.
"Traditionally, people studying
cognition used behavioral experi-
ments," said psychology assistant
Prof. Thad Polk, CSCN co-director.
"More recently, there's been a grow-
*ng interest in how cognition is imple-
mented in the brain, which has given
rise .to the new field of cognitive neu-
Cognitive sciences, Polk said, offer
an alternative explanation for previ-
ously accepted theories of behavior.
"Mind and brain work is a tremen-
dously booming research field,"
Smith said. "We are trying to attract
students from psychology, neuro-
science and other fields."
The program is geared specifically
toward graduate students pursuing a
Ph.D. Requirements to complete the
program include laboratory research
in the psychology department or at
the Medical School, four required
classes and three electives in cogni-
tive science and neuroscience.
Students who complete the program
receive certificates citing their CSCN
With the help of technological
advances used for studying the brain,
cognitive neuroscience is a rapidly
expanding field. For example, the
University uses a Positron Emission
Tomography Center and Function
Magnetic Resource Imagery, ways to
view brain images conceived in the
past few years.
Smith said the advancements made
in the past 15 years have been among
the most important in this field of
study. "These developments are
exploding the field of cognitive neu-
roscience," Smith said.
Students involved in the program
will learn to analyze cognition
through the use of computers.
"Another major thrust of cognitive
science research has been in develop-
ing computer simulations of cogni-
tion," Polk said.
"One major theme is to give gradu-
ate students training in cognitive neu-
roscience and in computational
approaches to cognition."
Students enrolled in CSCN gener-
ally pursue careers in university
research. CSCN offers advantages to
its students by allowing them to
explore new territory.
"The program will make it easier
for students to get formal training in
the topics and methods that are cen-
tral to the field right now," said
Christy Marcheutz, a student in
CSCN and the Cognition and
Perception Graduate Program.
The advantages are apparent to
"CSCN is a fairly new structural
program, and it will provide addition-
al job opportunities that otherwise
would not be available," said Trey
Hedden, a student in CSCN and a
graduate student of psychology.
. CSCN is Smith's brainchild. With
input from Polk and other psychology
faculty members, Smith wrote a pro-
posal outlining the program, which
the Rackham Executive Board
approved last spring.
"We've had a lot of students
express an interest in the program,
Police officer Brian Spagna watches as shepherd Joshua Moody and one of his dogs chase down part of a flock of sheep in
New Hampshire. The shepherd was hired to have his herd of 500 sheep eat away vegetation along power lines.
*State senator: Pols should
report all contributions
LANSING, (AP) Public officials should be penal-
ized for flouting state campaign finance laws, a state
senator said yesterday as he unveiled a proposal to
*toughen finance reporting laws.
"We're all pledged to the law," said Sen. Michael
Bouchard (R-Birmingham). "Public officials should be
held to the same standard as everyone else."
Under Bouchard's proposal, which is backed by
Secretary of State Candice Miller, a candidate would be
barred from running for office if they were delinquent
in filing campaign finance statements.
And public officials would forfeit their salary per-
rmanently, with no retroactive salary payment - until
they filed the required papers. Now, there is a fine of
25 a day, up to a maximum of $500, for late filing,
Finally, lists of delinquent candidates would be made
available to the public, "to let the whole world know
who is delinquent."
"The public has a right to know and a right to know
on a timely basis," Bouchard said. "You pay a late fee
when you bring a book back late to the library."
Bouchard's proposal came about two webks after it
was revealed that Rep. Mary Lou Parks, the Democratic
candidate for secretary of state, has paid more than
$1,920 in penalties for filing late campaign finance
Parks, who sent her checks to the same office she's
seeking, has also been cited for erroneously completing
campaign finance forms during her 1994 and 1996 elec-
tions, according to records kept by the secretary of
Fl U1JJSIHING, Mich (AP)
Children in this Genesee County school
district soon may be attending monthly
religion classes during the school day, if
their parents allow it.
Parents of elementary and middle
school students are being asked to let
their children attend the classes at a
The nearby Montrose district
already allows such an arrangement,
called "released time."
"People who attend church see the
importance of a well-rounded educa-
tion, including the Bible," Rob Beery, a
missionary from the Kalamazoo-based
RBM Ministries who teaches the
monthly course in Montrose and in
about 25 districts in Saginaw and
Released time is a voluntary program
in which the state allows students to
receive up to two hours of religious
instruction per week. Their parents
Montrose has been offering the off-
campus class for years; Flushing's pro-
gram could start as early as next month,
The Flint Journal reported. Like the
Montrose program, Flushing students
would take a private bus to First Baptist
Church once a month for a Bible-based
religious education class.
"For years, we've been prohibited
from teaching religion in the schools,"
said the Rev. Kevin Prevett, pastor of
the Flushing church. "What we want to
do is give the children an alternative
and help them learn more about what
the Bible teaches them."
Flushing parents learned about the
program through fliers sent home with
Superintendent William ijunnicliffsaid
the Flushing district neither encoug
nor discourages the program.
"We can't support or oppose" hl
program, Thnnicliff said. "We wkild
just as soon not release the studenti
We'd prefer these classes be taught iia
the church proper."
State and school district oflic ia[
don't track released-time enrollmern
But RBM Ministries estimated its 14
missionaries provide religious instruc-
tion to about 8,000 students througlout
The Kearsley School District i1
still considering a proposal froilf
local religious leaders to offer.an
optional high school Bible course..
"Very rarely, if ever, is the Bible
brought up in our history courses,
said Bill Clark, a parent of twvo
Kearsley students and a supporter o
the Bible class.
We're looking for thinkers. Not just their diplomas.
It's all about making an impact.
Information presentations-Tuesday, September 22, 7:00 p.m. 1013 Dow, North Campus.
Thursdav Sentember 24 7-00 nm. KuPn7PI eRnnm Michinan l ninn