Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Leslie B Cohen

Professor EmeritusPh.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Leslie B Cohen



Perception, memory and cognition in infants


Les Cohen was Professor of Psychology in the Developmental area and the Cognitive Systems area at UT until his retirement in 2010. He was the founding editor of the journal Infancy, published by the International Society on Infant Studies. Dr. Cohen was elected President of ISIS for the years 2006 to 2008.

Dr. Cohen received his Ph.D. from UCLA in Developmental Psychology. His primary research interests are in perception, memory, and cognition of infants. In general he and his students in the Infant Cognition Laboratory have been examining how infants process and integrate visual and auditory information from their environment. Most research projects involve some variation of a visual habituation paradigm which Dr. Cohen developed for use in infant research. In this paradigm infants' looking times are recorded while they are repeatedly shown either a single stimulus or multiple stimuli and are then tested with familiar versus novel stimuli. Most of the stimuli are actual events generated through sophisticated computer animation techniques or videotaped and then presented to the infants. Recently the laboratory has also developed Habit 2000, a multipurpose software program for testing infant perception and cognition. Habit 2000 is currently being used by more than 30 infant laboratories around the world.

Some of the specific research questions being investigated by Dr. Cohen are:
1. How do infants come to understand concepts and categories?
2. What principles govern infants' early language?
3. How do infants process causal relations and other visual events?
4. At what age do infants perceive both the form and function of objects with which they interact?


Cohen, L.B. & Cashon, C.H. (2000, July). A puzzle in infant face perception. Poster presented at International Conference on Infant Studies, Brighton, England.

Marks, K.S. & Cohen, L.B. (2000, July). Infants' reaction to addition and subtraction events.  Poster presented at International Conference on Infant Studies, Brighton, England.

Cashon, C.H. & Cohen, L.B. (2001, April). Developmental changes in infants' processing of faces. Symposium paper presented at the Society for Research in Child Development Meeting, Minneapolis.

Cohen, L.B. (2001, April). Uses and Misuses of Habituation: A Theoretical and Methodological Analysis. Symposium paper presented at the Society for Research in Child Development Meeting, Minneapolis.

Chaput, H. H. & Cohen, L. B. (2001, August). A model of infant causal perception and its development.  Poster presented at Cognitive Science Society Meeting, Edinburgh.

Cohen, L.B. (2002, April). Can infants really add and subtract? Invited debate presented at International Conference on Infant Studies, Toronto.

Cashon, C.H. & Cohen, L.B. (2002, April). U-Shaped Development in Infants' Processing of Faces. Poster presented at International Conference on Infant Studies, Toronto.

Cohen, L.B. & Chaput, H.H. (2002, April). Modeling the Development of Infant Causal Perception. Symposium paper presented at International Conference on Infant Studies, Toronto.

Cohen, L.B. & Cashon, C.H. (2003, April). An Information Processing Approach to Infant Face Perception.Symposium paper presented at Society for Research in Child Development Meeting, Tampa.

Cashon, C.H., Cohen, L.B. & Gora, K. (2003, April).Evidence for infants' categorical perception of face orientation. Poster presented at Society for Research in Child Development Meeting, Tampa.

Cohen, L.B.(2004, May). The Development of Infants' Perception of Causal Events. Symposium paper presented at International Conference on Infant Studies, Chicago.

Cohen, L.B., Cashon, C.H. & Rundell, L. (2004, May).Infants' Developing Knowledge of a Causal Agent.Poster presented at International Conference on Infant Studies, Chicago.


PSY 418 • Statistics & Research Design-W

43815-43820 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 930-1100 NOA 1.116

Psychology 418-Spring 2010
Statistics and Methods in Psychology

Unique #s:    43815, 43820    Instructor:     Dr. Les Cohen
Time:        T, Th  9:30 -11:00    Office:     SEA 4.238
Room:          NOA 1.116    Office Hrs:     T, Th 8:00 - 9:15, by appt.

TA#1:  Wendy Smith         TA #2:  Grant Baldwin

Lab:   W 9:00 - 11:00, SEA 2.122    Lab   W 9:00 - 11:00, SEA 2.124
Office:             Office:    
Office Hrs:        Office Hrs:   
Email:    Email:                           
Required Reading:  

(Jackson)  Jackson, S. L. (2009). Research Methods and Statistics: A Critical Thinking Approach  (3rd Edition).  Belmont, CA, Thomson/Wadsworth

Caution: The Psychology Department will drop all students who do not meet the following prerequisites: PSY 301 with a C or better; Math 302 or a higher--level mathematics course; and a major in Psychology.

Course Requirements:

1. Papers:   Two papers are required for the course.  Each paper should be approximately 10 typewritten, double-spaced pages.  Since the course fulfills a "substantial writing requirement", your papers will be evaluated for both content and clarity of style, and you will receive helpful feedback so that your writing will improve.  The style of each paper should conform to APA guidelines as described in Jackson.  More details will be provided soon.

2.    Exams:  There will be three one-hour examinations.  Each will contain a number of multiple choice and a few short answer questions, and each exam will cover 1/3 of the course.  A few questions will require some calculations, so an inexpensive calculator (with a square root key) will be necessary.

3.    Helpful Hint: Attend all classes and labs!  At least 75% of the material on the exams will be covered in these classes!  Much of that material will be an extension of the information presented in Jackson and will not be in the book per se, but you are still required to learn it.

4. Homework:  In addition to the papers and examinations there will be weekly homework problems.  Most of these problems will be given out in your lab each Tuesday to be turned in and discussed the following Tuesday.  Some will be illustrations of statistical methods or design problems that have been discussed during the week.  Others will be more directly related to the research projects you will be conducting for the class. Many homework assignments will also involve some writing.  Homework assignments must be picked up and turned in at the appropriate time or they will not receive full credit.

5.  Policies:  Students who miss an examination without making prior arrangements will be given a zero for that exam.  Late papers will be accepted but will be graded more stringently than those turned in on time.  Cheating on exams, plagiarism, or unauthorized tutoring on papers will result in an F for the course. The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities.  For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-4641 TTY.

6. Grading:  Grading will not be on a curve so it is theoretically possible for everyone to receive an A.  It is possible to earn a total of 100 points.  The points for each requirement and grade distributions are shown below:

1st Paper     20     A      = 92  - 100   (90-91 =A-)
2nd Paper     25    B     = 82  - 87    (80-81 = B-; 88-89=B+)
1st Exam     15        C    = 72  - 77    (70-71 = C-; 78-79=C+)
2nd Exam     15        D    = 62  - 67    (60-61 = D-; 68-69=D+)
3rd Exam     15        F    = below 60
Homework     10
          In addition, students will have the opportunity to earn 1 to 2 extra credit points for a good (or great) oral presentation to the class.  Note:  The oral report is your fudge factor.  There will be no changing of grades if your total number of points comes “close”, but does not reach the next highest grade.

Psychology 418

Course Outline

DATES            TOPICS            READING

 1/19 - 1/21        Introduction/Nature of Science            Jackson, Ch. 1       

1/26 - 1/28        Getting Started on Research            Jackson, Ch. 2   

 2/2- 2/4            Understanding Variables            Jackson, Ch. 3

 2/9 - 2/11        Descriptive Methods & Surveys            Jackson, Ch. 4   

2/16 - 2/18        Writing a Paper                Jackson, Ch. 14*

 2/18            FIRST EXAMINATION

2/23 – 2/25        Centers, Variations, Z-scores             Jackson, Ch. 5

3/2 - 3/4            Correlations                Jackson, Ch. 6

3/9 - 3/11          Probability                 Class Notes

3/11            FIRST PAPER DUE

3/15 - 3/20        SPRING BREAK

3/23 - 3/25        Hypothesis Testing                Jackson, Ch. 7

3/30 - 4/1        Experimental Designs                Jackson, Ch. 8


4/6 - 4/8            One and Two Sample Designs            Jackson, Ch.  9

413 - 4/15        One Way Anovas                Jackson, Ch. 10

4/20- 4/22        Factorial Designs                Jackson, Ch. 11

4/27 - 4/29         Chi Square Statistic, etc.             Jackson, Ch. 13

5/4 – 5/6            Quasi Experimental Designs            Jackson, Ch. 12*

5/4 - 5/6        PRESENTATION OF GROUP EXPERIMENT 2           

 5/7            SECOND PAPER DUE

 5/13            THIRD EXAMINATION (9:00 - 11:00 AM)

*Chapters 12 and 14 will be discussed mainly in Lab meetings

PSY 394U • Fundmntls Early Perceptn & Cog

44180 • Spring 2010
Meets M 100pm-400pm SEA 1.332

Seminars in Cognitive and Perceptual Systems. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

PSY 394U • Fundmntls Early Perceptn & Cog

44330 • Fall 2009
Meets M 100pm-400pm SEA 1.332

Seminars in Cognitive and Perceptual Systems. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

PSY 418 • Statistics & Research Design-W

43045-43050 • Spring 2009
Meets TTH 930-1100 NOA 1.116

Students may not enroll in Psychology 418 more than twice. Survey of statistics, including central tendency, variability and inference, and scientific methodology used in psychological research. Three lecture hours and two discussion hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Psychology 301 with a grade of at least C, a major in psychology, and credit for one of the following: Mathematics 302, 303D, 305G, 408C, 408D, 408K (or 308K), 408L (or 308L), 408M (or 308M), 316.


Cashon C. & Cohen L.(2004) Beyond U-Shaped Development in Infants. Cognition and Development, 5, 59-80.

Cohen.L., Atkinson, D. & Chaput, H. (2004) A new program for obtaining and organizing data in infant perception and cognition studies, (Version 1.0).. University of Texas University of Texas

Cohen.L., Casasola, M. & Chiarello, E. (2003) Six-month-old infants' categorization of containment spatial relations. Child Development

Cashon C. & Cohen L. (2003) The construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction of infant face perception.. Nova Science.

Cohen.L. (2003) Unresolved issues in infant categorization. Oxford University Press. (pp 193-209).

Cohen.L. & Cashon, C. (2003) Infant perception and cognition. In R. Lerner, A. Easterbrooks, and J. Mistry (Eds.), Comprehensive handbook of psychology.Volume 6, Developmental Psychology. II. Infancy.(pp 65-89)   New York: Wiley and Sons.

Casasola M. & Cohen L. (2002) Infant categorization of containment, support and tight-fit spatial relationships. Developmental Science, 5, 247-264.

Cohen.L. & Chaput, H. (2002) Connectionist models of infant perceptual and cognitive development. Developmental Science, 5, 173-175.

Cohen.L. & Marks, K. (2002) How infants process addition and subtraction events. Developmental Science, 5, 186-201.

Cohen.L. & Chaput, H. (2001) A model of infant causal perception and its development. Proceedings of the Twenth-Third Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society,(pp182-187). Mahway: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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    The University of Texas at Austin
    SEA 4.208
    108 E. Dean Keeton Stop A8000
    Austin, TX 78712-1043