Introduction to Basic Cognitive Processes

By Prof. Ark Verma   |   IIT Kanpur
Learners enrolled: 1019
Introduction to Basic Cognitive Processes is an introductory course in Cognitive Psychology. As opposed to the behaviorist tradition in psychology that concerns itself with only the observable behaviours of the individual, Cognitive Psychology focuses on the internal mental processes. The approach adopted in this course will look at human behaviour at large as made up of many component mental processes such as sensation, perception, attention, memory, language, imagery, decision making, problem solving, emotion and others.

In the current course, I will first introduce the students to the field of cognitive psychology. I will then move on to talking about the historical developments in Cognitive Psychology. I will spend some time elaborating the fundamental assumptions in cognitive psychology. Also, I will talk about sister disciplines like Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive Neuropsychology and how they help us to understand the mental processes in question. I will then spend some more time talking about methods used in Cognitive Psychology before moving on to talk about the basic mental processes such as sensation, perception, attention and memory. Other cognitive functions like language, imagery, decision making etc. will be taken up in the next part of the course named Introduction to Advanced Cognitive Processes.

  The course will be beneficial to both UG and PG students interested in Psychology. Also, Masters & PhD students studying Cognitive Psychology and/or with any of the basic mental processes as mentioned above. Professionals working with human factors, user – interface designs etc. will also find the insights from the course as useful.

INDUSTRY SUPPORT   : All industries engaging with human resources, user – interface design & consumer oriented goods may benefit from this course.
Course Status : Ongoing
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 8 weeks
Start Date : 25 Jul 2022
End Date : 16 Sep 2022
Exam Date : 25 Sep 2022 IST
Enrollment Ends : 08 Aug 2022
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Faculty Domain - Fundamental
Credit Points : 2
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology, History and Foundations of Cognitive Psychology.

Week 2: Approaches towards studying Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience.

Week 3: Research Methods in Cognitive Psychology. Sensation. Psychophysics and Signal Detection Theory.

Week 4: Physiology of Visual Perception, Representation in Perception and Approaches to Perception.

Week 5: Theories of Object Recognition, Perception and Action, Attention.

Week 6: Attention, Concept of Memory, Sensory Memory, Short Term Memory.

Week 7: Long Term Memory, Errors in Memory, Improving Memory.

Week 8: Memory and other topics.

Books and references

  1. Goldstein, B. E. (2010). Cognitive Psychology: Connecting Mind, Research and Everyday Experience. 3rd Ed. Cengage Learning Inc.
  2. Quinlan, P. and Dyson B. (2008). Cognitive Psychology. 1st Ed.Pearson Education Ltd.
  3. Braisby, N. and Gellatly, A. (2005). Cognitive Psychology. 1st Ed. Oxford University Press.
  4. Groome, D. (2014). An Introduction to Cognitive Psychology: Processes and Disorders. 3rd Ed. Psychology Press.

Instructor bio

Prof. Ark Verma

IIT Kanpur
I have done my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology & English Literature from the University of Allahabad in 2007. After that I did my Master’s Degree in Cognitive Science at the Centre of Behavioral & Cognitive Sciences, University of Allahabad in 2009. I joined the PhD program in the Department of Experimental Psychology at Ghent University, Belgium in January 2010 & was awarded my PhD in 2014. I joined IIT Kanpur as an Assistant Professor of Psychology in May 2015.
My research lies in the field of Cognitive Psychology (Lateralisation, Symmetry Detection, Attention) & Psycholinguistics (Visual Word Recognition & Bilingualism).

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 25 September 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 6 assignments out of the total 8 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kanpur .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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