Module Information

Module Identifier
PS20120
Module Title
Behavioural Neuroscience
Academic Year
2018/2019
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1
Pre-Requisite
Reading List
External Examiners
  • Dr Jane Morgan (Principal Lecturer - Sheffield Hallam University)
  • Dr Jelena Havelka (Lecturer - University of Leeds)
 

Course Delivery

 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Coursework essay (2000 words)  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   written exam  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   written exam  If students fail the module overall, any failed component must be re-sat or determined as the Examination Board sees fit.  50%
Supplementary Assessment Coursework essay (2000 words)  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research methods used in behavioural neuroscience.
2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of components of the central and peripheral nervous systems, including neurons and synapses, neurotransmitters, specific brain regions and the spinal cord.
3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how specific brain regions and processes regulate normal functions such as movement, appetite, sleep, learning, memory and emotion.
4. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of what brain damage and dysfunction can tell us about normal behaviour in both human and non-human subjects.
5. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how brain damage and dysfunction may be responsible for abnormal functions such as mood disorders, addiction and psychiatric conditions.
6. Discuss contemporary issues in behavioural neuroscience, for example the role of the addict in addiction and the medicalisation of depression.
7. Discuss the applications of behavioural neuroscience in enhancing human wellbeing and understanding.

Brochure Text

Psychology seeks to understand and explain human behaviour from various perspectives; the structure and function of the brain and associated nervous and endocrine systems is central to any examination of human psychology. Knowledge of brain structure and function is necessary to appreciate complex phenomena such as mental illness, drug addiction and movement. Reductionist biological approaches are complemented by different learning theories which examine how behaviours are acquired and maintained.

Aims

The aims of this module are to:
  • Explore the relationship between nervous system function and behaviour and the factors controlling the acquisition and expression of behaviour.
  • To help the student understand and appreciate the actual and potential applications of neuropsychology in arrange of settings.

Brief description

The module covers the organization and structure of the brain. The role of the brain in controlling aspects of behaviour such as movement, language, emotions and the association between learning and reward mechanisms are explored. Both normal functioning and abnormal functioning are considered and the biological and learning components of a range of physical and mental health disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and drug addiction are examined.

Content

  • Fundamental aspects of neuroscience (e.g. neurophysiology, neurotransmission, organisation of the nervous system, brain structures and their functions)
  • Neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration
  • Control of normal human function and behaviour (e.g. movement, appetite, emotion, communication)
  • Psychophysiological processes (e.g. sensory systems, perception of pain, fear, stress)
  • Neurological disorders (e.g. Alzheimer's disease, autism)
  • Psychiatric disorders (e.g. schizophrenia, depression)

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Not directly applicable although students will be expected to understand the key concepts of statistical analysis through the examination of research designs.
Communication Students will demonstrate competence in both verbal and written communication and literacy. In seminars students will be expected to present their ideas verbally and to support these ideas with reasonable and logical arguments, either based on research evidence or on a reasonable interpretation of theory. They will be expected to demonstrate use of the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to the best advantage. In coursework and examination work, students will be expected to demonstrate the effective expression of ideas and similarly effective use of language in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the facilitator and the fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their essay and examination topics.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Web of Science, Primo).
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students’ verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning a poster and a presentation, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing through to completion will contribute towards their portfolio of transferable skills
Problem solving Problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view and estimate an answer to the problem; consider case studies; reason logically; apply theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems. A final examination will demonstrate the student’s ability to problem solve.
Research skills The requirement to locate appropriate information resources and write up the results of such searches appropriately will demonstrate research skills and information literacy skills. Research preparation for a seminar presentation will also enable the student to develop independent project skills. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of the student’s ability to work alone can be undertaken.
Subject Specific Skills Students will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of subject specific skills that will help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and research publications presented on the module. These subject specific skills include: * Assessment of scientific methods in behavioural neurophysiology. * Differentiation between animal and human models and identification of appropriate research methods. * Demonstration of a familiarity with the techniques required for literature searches. * Appreciation of the complex interactions and diverse influences on human behaviour.
Team work N/A

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 5