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Cognition and Biological Psychology

  • Module code: PS7004
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 7
  • Credits: 30
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

This module provides a broad overview of the key areas that comprise contemporary cognitive psychology and looks at the relationship between physiology and behaviour. It includes memory, attention, language, reasoning, cognitive neuropsychology and introduces the principles of perceptual processes. The module also introduces the neuroanatomical structures and physiological functions that are considered important in regulating behaviour, and then moves on to examine in detail the ways in which such biological substrates contribute to specific psychological processes and behaviours. In addition the module will consider the ways in which various kinds of physiological dysfunction can impact on behaviour and cognition, and the biological bases of perception and motivation (e.g. eating). Topics and issues that are currently attracting considerable research interest will be explored in detail.

Aims

  • To provide a detailed overview of different topics within cognitive psychology and examine the biological basis of behaviours and psychological processes;
  • To develop a critical understanding of current theoretical and methodological perspectives in cognitive and biological psychology;
  • To show how cognitive psychology can be applied to practice;
  • To explain the structure and function of the nervous system and the endocrine system (where relevant to behaviour).

Learning outcomes

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

  • Define and discuss a range of topics within cognitive psychology, biological psychology and neuropsychology;
  • Appraise theories, methods and findings within cognitive psychology, biological psychology and neuropsychology;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how the nervous system and the endocrine system operate;
  • Assess ways in which biological processes can affect perception, cognition, motivation and behaviour.

Curriculum content

  • The nature of cognitive psychology
  • Historical developments in the study of cognition
  • Neuropsychology and neuroimaging
  • Perception and attention
  • Language
  • Thinking and decision making
  • Memory and learning
  • The structure and function of the nervous system
  • Strategies and methods used in biological psychology
  • Sensory systems
  • Hormones and behaviour
  • Eating and drinking
  • Reward systems and addiction

 

Teaching and learning strategy

This module will be delivered through 22 one-hour keynote lectures and 22 one-hour interactive lectures. Keynote lectures will introduce key topics and debates. Interactive lectures will allow for the consolidation of the lecture materials and may involve reviewing key articles, completing worksheets, discussing theoretical and methodological issues and debates or practical tasks.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Lectures 44
Guided independent study Guided Independent Study 254
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

Learning will be assessed summatively through one 2,000-word essay, worth 40% of the final mark and a two-hour examination, worth 60% of the final mark. The essay assessment will allow the students to demonstrate a critical appreciation and understanding of specific aspects of the module. The two-hour examination will encourage students to acquire much of the key information required to develop their understanding of the material. They will also assess broad knowledge of the material and the students' capacity to integrate key information across the module.

A range of formative assessments undertaken during the interactive lectures and independent study will be set on content related to the keynote lectures and readings. These will provide regular feedback to the students so they can monitor their understanding and progress, identify their strengths and address their weaknesses.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Define and discuss a range of topics within cognitive psychology, biological psychology and neuropsychology Formatively through the interactive lectures and summatively through the exam.
Appraise theories, methods and findings within cognitive psychology, biological psychology and neuropsychology Formatively through the interactive lectures and summatively through the essay.
Demonstrate an understanding of how the nervous system and the endocrine system operate Formatively through the interactive lectures and summatively through the exam.
Assess ways in which biological processes can affect perception, cognition, motivation and behaviour Formatively through the interactive lectures and summatively through the essay and exam.

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
CWK 2000 Word Essay 40
EXWR 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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