James T. Townsend Lab
Department of Psychology
Home > Coursework and Student Training
Courses and Seminars, taught primarily at the graduate level:
1. Mathematical psychology, especially:
A. Signal detection theory including the statistical decision as well as the ideal observer accounts.
B. Multidimensional signal detection theory and general recognition theory.
C. Methodologies that identify mental mechanisms of cognitions and decision making based on response times including parallel vs. serial processing, counting models, diffusion models and probability mixtures, stopping rules, independence vs. dependence, and limited vs. limited vs. super capacity.
2. Dynamic systems theory:
A. Linear and nonlinear dynamic systems.
B. Stability theory.
C. Catastrophe theory.
D. Chaos theory.
E. Topological dynamics.
3. Foundational measurement:
A. Scale types.
B. Representation theorems.
C. Uniqueness theorems.
D. Conjoint measurement.
E. Interfaces with psychometrics, psychophysics, statistics, and mathematical modeling.
4. Differential geometry:
A. Curvature of spaces.
B. Geodesic distances.
C. Non-Euclidean metrics.
D. Tangent maps.
5. Seminars on:
A. Face and emotional expression perception.
B. Configural vs. non-configural cognition.
C. Advanced dynamics.
GRADUATE LABORATORY RESEARCH TRAINING AND MENTORING
Jim Townsend is the primary advisor for several graduate students in the areas of Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Science and on the faculty committees or serving as co-advisor for several students in Clinical Science. Clinical science graduate students and postdoctoral fellows regularly attend reading groups on quantitative modeling held in the Townsend Laboratory of Mathematical Psychology.
Townsend has been training students and postdocs since 1966, both as major advisor and co-advisor. His numerous Ph.D.s and postdoctoral fellows have assumed positions in academia and industry.
One of his early Ph.D.s, F. Gregory Ashby, is a leading figure in mathematical modeling, especially categorization and, more lately, in modeling neuropsychological processes in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's syndrome. He is currently Professor of Psychology at University of California, Santa Barbara.