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Brain, Behaviour and Cognition

  • Module code: PS5003
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 5
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

This module will cover major topics within the field of cognitive psychology, and will examine the relationship between brain function and our understanding of cognition and behaviour. The module will introduce key theoretical explanations proposed to account for human cognition and introduce students to some real-life applications of cognitive psychology. The module will also introduce students to the structure and function of the nervous system before examining the contribution of specialised brain structures to cognitive functions such as perception, attention, language, memory and decision making, and behaviours such as motivation, eating, emotion and sleep. Finally the module will examine the effect of hormones, drugs and neurological dysfunction on cognition and behaviour.

Aims

  • To introduce students to key domains of research within cognitive psychology;
  • To introduce students to the structure and function of the nervous and endocrine systems;
  • To examine how theory and evidence from cognitive psychology can be applied in real world situations;
  • To examine the neural mechanisms that mediate cognitive processes and behaviour.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of cognitive and neuropsychological theory and research;
  • Describe theories and evidence from cognitive psychology;
  • Recognise strategies and methods utilised by biological and cognitive psychologists;
  • Critically evaluate the relationships between brain, behaviour and cognition.

Curriculum content

Topics covered will include:

  • Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
  • Introduction to the Nervous System
  • Methods and Strategies in Cognitive and Brain Research
  • How drugs affect the brain
  • Sensation, Perception and Attention
  • Learning and memory
  • Thinking Decision making
  • Language
  • Emotion
  • Neurological disorders
  • Sleep
  • Hormones and Behaviour
  • Feeding behaviour

Teaching and learning strategy

There will be 22 one-hour weekly keynote lectures followed by 22 one-hour interactive lectures. The lectures will present the core materials and also allow for student discussion of reading associated with each lecture. In addition there will be six workshops to illustrate core methods in biopsychology. Formative multiple-choice questions will be posted on StudySpace each week for students to check their learning progress and to direct them to key parts of the main topics.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Keynote and interactive lectures Interactive Workshops 44 6
Guided independent study Independent study 250
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The module will be summatively assessed by a 1,000-word literature review and a two-hour unseen exam. The literature review will allow the students to demonstrate a critical appreciation and understanding of specific aspects of the module. The exam will encourage students to acquire much of the key information required to develop their understanding of the material. They will also assess knowledge of the material and the students' capacity to integrate key information across the module. Formative assessment will include feedback on activities during the interactive lectures.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Demonstrate knowledge of cognitive and neuropsychological theory and research Formatively through lecture activities and summatively through literature review and exam
Describe theories and evidence from cognitive psychology; Formatively through lecture activities and summatively through literature review and exam
Recognise strategies and methods utilised by biological and cognitive psychologists; Formatively through lecture activities and workshops and summatively through literature review and exam
Critically evaluate the relationships between brain, behaviour and cognition. Formatively through lecture activities and workshops and summatively through literature review and exam

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK Literature Review 40
EXWR Two hour unseen examination 60
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Carlson, N. R. (2012). Physiology of behaviour (11th ed.). Boston; London: Allyn & Bacon.

 Matlin, M.W. (2008). Cognitive psychology: International student version (7th ed.). John Wiley & Sons. ISBN: 978-0-470-40947-3

Bibliography recommended reading

Eysenck M.W. (2006). Fundamentals of Cognition. Hove: Psychology Press.

Kolb, B., & Wishaw, J. Q. (2003). Fundamentals of human neuropsychology (5th ed.). New York: Worth Publishers.

Toates, F. (2011). Biological psychology (3rd ed.). Harlow: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Recommended journals:

Behavioral and Brain Sciences;  Cognition; Cognitive Psychology; Cognitive Science;  Journal of Experiment Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition; Biological Psychology; Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews; Trends in Cognitive Sciences; Trends in Neuroscience

 

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