John Limber, 108 Conant Hall. My phone is 2-3175 and e-mail address is Students can also access my computer files on cognition, language, and primates on Christa using lynx; at the prompt type :


Move "down" and then "right arrow" at "cognition" Note the key before jel, ~, is a tilde not a quote.

office hours (tentatively) 12:15 M, 1pm W, and appointment

course description

This semester the course will explore the complex mental activities that all seem to have a common concern with generating new ideas or creative, novel behavior. Topics might include associative processes, consciousness, creativity, dreaming, "mentalese" , writing, speech production, problem-solving, thinking, analogy, metaphor, cognitive development, concept formation, innate ideas, and anything else that is typically ignored or glossed over in psychology as a product of "generalization" or "induction" or "history of reinforcement."

Anyone expecting definitive answers should seek another course. I do expect that you will come to see some common elements in these issues, realize the problems with generalization, induction, history of reinforcement-- and perhaps gain some useful information on these fundamental mental processes.


Students must have taken Psychology 513 or comparable Cognition course in addition to Research Methods (502).

Everyone is expected to attend all classes and present a review of research on one or more topics to the class.


Tentatively, you will be graded on the basis of class participation including presentations, short written assignments, two essay exams, and a final research report. (Honors students must complete some empirical research project.)



Smith, S. M., Ward, T. B., & Finke, R. A (1995). The creative cognition approach. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

A number of readings will be on reserve.

first written assignment (1-2 pages) due Friday. 9/01

Write me a short typed paper about yourself and your interests. Include the following information.

cognition text(s)

What book(s) did you use in Psych. 513 or equivalent?

interests: general, psychological, cognitive?
where do you get your "ideas"?
what do you do--if anything-- to stimulate or enhance those ideas?

first reading assignments

Limber, J Dream and language notes, 9/19/94. Two copies will be on reserve, one copy will be in a folder by the coffee machine in the psychology lounge, and it will be on Christa readable using lynx. somewhere in the "cognition" section.

Mandler, G. (1995). Origins and consequences of novelty in Smith, Ward, & Finke (eds.) The creative cognition approach., pp. 9-25.

Everyone should at least scan the Internet WWW sources on dreaming and related topics, starting at my cognition page.