Subject tests  

Subject tests

A special feature of the selection process for the master’s program Mind and Brain is the discipline-specific subject test.

Procedures leading to subject test

(1) After the applications have been processed, the 75 best applicants will be invited (see Selection process) to take the subject test.

Regarding deadlines for letters of invitation to take the test and information on the dates/locations for tests, see: Timeline applications

(2) Applicants living abroad take the subject test in their country of residence. Tests will be conducted in locations provided by the German Academic Exchange Service, Goethe institutes, or the nearest German embassy or consulate.

(3) Applicants living in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland will take the test in Berlin.

(4) Applicants take the test in the field of their first degree. The subject tests are divided into: (a) philosophy, (b) linguistics, and (c) for psychologists, biologists, neuroscientists and cognitive scientists.


Below, please find the outline of the main topics and formal requirements of the respective subject tests:

Philosophy

The subject test in philosophy gives applicants 240 minutes to compose a philosophical text in English in response to a concrete problem formulated from one of the following areas.

Areas: embodied cognition; free will; mechanistic explanations

Students will find guidance on the content and degree of knowledge required in the following texts, the reading of which is a prerequisite for participation in the test:

Embodied Cognition
Clark, Andy und David J. Chalmers (1998), “The Extended Mind”, Analysis 58, pp. 10–23.
Can be obtained at:
http://consc.net/papers/extended.html

Free Will
Frankfurt, Harry G. (1969), “Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility”, The Journal of Philosophy 64: pp. 828–39.
Can be obtained at:
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/dfwCompatFrankfurt.htm

Mechanistic Explanations
Machamer, Peter, Lindley Darden and Carl F. Craver (2000), “Thinking about Mechanisms”, Philosophy of Science 67, pp. 1–25.
Can be obtained at:
http://mechanism.ucsd.edu/teaching/w10/machamer.darden.craver.pdf

Linguistics

The subject test in linguistics requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge of the subject in the course of a 90-minute multiple choice test covering the following areas:

Basic knowledge of the structure of language: syntax, morphology; basic knowledge of logic (propositional logic), discrete mathematics (set theory, functions); basic knowledge of phonetics (language production); basic knowledge of language processing in the brain: relevant areas (e.g. Broca/Wernicke); EEG, event-related potential (ERP).

Students will find guidance on the content and degree of knowledge required in the following text, which we advise applicants to read in preparation for the test:

Kracht, Markus, “Introduction to Linguistics”, 2007.
Can be obtained at:
http://www.linguistics.ucla.edu/people/Kracht/courses/ling20-fall07/ling-intro.pdf
Exam questions will focus on lectures 1–4, 7–10, 14–16.

Fernández, Eva M. & Helen Smith Cairns, “Fundamentals of psycholinguistics”, Wiley-Blackwell 2010.
Exam questions will focus on chapters 4–7.
Can be found on Google Books.

Psychology, biology, neuroscience, cognitive science

The subject test for psychologists, biologists, neuroscientists and cognitive scientists requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge in the course of a 90-minute multiple choice test covering the following three areas:

(1) Neuroanatomy/neurophysiology: brain structures and functions (functional anatomy), physiology of perception (visual system, somatosensory system), neurophysiology (neurons, signal transmission), diseases and disorders; (2) Research Methods: psychophysiological methods (EEG/MEG), imaging methods (MRI/fMRI); (3) Cognitive neuroscience (perception, cognition, behavior, emotions).

Students will find guidance on the content and degree of knowledge required in the following text, which we advise applicants to read in preparation for the test:

Purves D., G. J. Augustine et al. (eds.), “Neuroscience”, Fifth Edition, Sunderland 2012, chapters 2 (p. 25–40), 5 (pp. 77–107), 6 (pp. 109–140), appendix (pp. 717–744).

Ward, J., “The Student’s Guide to Cognitive Neuroscience”, Third Edition, Hove/New York 2015, chapters 6 (pp. 107–134), 7 (pp. 135–164), 9 (pp. 195–230), 10 (pp. 231–258), 14 (pp. 345–372), 15 (373–406).

 

 
This page last updated on: 09 July 2018
 

Master’s program coordinator

Dr Dirk Mende
mb-education-please remove this text-@hu-berlin.de
Tel. +49 30 2093-1792

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Berlin School of Mind and Brain
10099 Berlin
Germany