Evolutionary Cognition, 6 credits

Evolutionär kognition, 6 hp


Main field of study

Cognitive Science

Course level

Second cycle

Course type

Single subject and programme course


Fredrik Stjernberg

Course coordinator

Fredrik Stjernberg

Director of studies or equivalent

Martin Berzell
ECV = Elective / Compulsory / Voluntary
Course offered for Semester Weeks Language Campus ECV
F7MKS Master Programme in Cognitive Science 1 (Autumn 2019) 201934-201943 Swedish Linköping, Valla E
F7MKS Master Programme in Cognitive Science 3 (Autumn 2019) 201934-201943 Swedish Linköping, Valla E

Main field of study

Cognitive Science

Course level

Second cycle

Advancement level


Course offered for

  • Master Programme in Cognitive Science

Entry requirements

For admission to the course, admission to the Master's Programme in Cognitive Science, or the equivalent, is required.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • apply the most important concepts and the perspectives that are used in the study of cognition from an evolutionary perspective
  • be familiar with central research results in the area,
  • explain how these theories are linked to basic conceptions of the human cognition as at least partly a product of evolutionary factors
  • account for how such a perspective may have relevance for other disciplines within the cognitive science field, such as philosophy, linguistics, psychology and neuroscience.

Course content

Consciousness and cognition can be studied in several different ways. Cognition can be studied as a structural phenomenon:

  • How is cognition disposed? Cognition can be studied as a formal phenomenon: according to what rules does the cognitive system operate? Cognition can be studied from an implementation perspective
  • How does the brain work to be able to read cognitive information?

This course studies cognition from an evolutionary perspective

  • If our basis is that the natural cognitive systems (for example human cognition) we see around us today are the results of an evolutionary development, what are the consequences for our understanding of cognition?

The course will therefore begin with a shorter overview of the theory of evolution, to then specialise in what relevance an evolutionary perspective may have on the understanding of human cognition. In the course, we will study the cognition of other species, which means that questions about the cognitive abilities (and inabilities) of animals will be relevant. We will also have a comparative perspective on human cognition, which, for example, means that anthropological and archaeological results will be studied. The question if the evolutionary perspective has any direct relevance for different philosophic theories about the consciousness will also be addressed.

Teaching and working methods

The teaching takes the form of lectures and compulsory seminars. Part of the teaching may take place as distance education.


The course is examined through oral assignments that are presented in seminars, written assignments and a written examination. The seminars are compulsory and constitute part of the examination. Active participation in the seminars is required. Detailed information can be found in the study guide.

Students failing an exam covering either the entire course or part of the course twice are entitled to have a new examiner appointed for the reexamination.

Students who have passed an examination may not retake it in order to improve their grades.


Three-grade scale, U, G, VG

Other information

Planning and implementation of a course must take its starting point in the wording of the syllabus. The course evaluation included in each course must therefore take up the question how well the course agrees with the syllabus. 

The course is carried out in such a way that both men´s and women´s experience and knowledge is made visible and developed.


Institutionen för kultur och kommunikation
Code Name Scope Grading scale
EXAM Examination 6 credits U, G, VG



This tab contains public material from the course room in Lisam. The information published here is not legally binding, such material can be found under the other tabs on this page.

There are no files available for this course.