SCQF Level: 10
Module Code: PSY406
Credit Value: 20
Term: Term 2
School: School of Social and Health Sciences
This module builds on the content from PSY301. It will offer a general introduction to the field of cognitive neuroscience but also specialist insights into current research topics. The theoretical and methodological foundations of cognitive neuroscience will be comprehensively reviewed and students will develop key skills to understand and report cognitive neuroscience research via individual and group work.
This module will provide the student with knowledge and understanding of key principles of cognitive neuroscience; philosophical issues involved in mind/brain studies; advantages and limitations of the available techniques; experimental design principles; specialist research areas.
By the end of this module the student should be able to:
1. Understand the basic ideas, principles and issues underlying cognitive neuroscience.
2. Evaluate the advantages and the limitations of different techniques used in mind/brain studies.
3. Critically evaluate the design of experiments on the relationship between mind and brain.
4. Identify suitable research questions and designs in cognitive neuroscience.
5. Understand, interpret and accurately report cognitive neuroscience research findings as presented in primary sources.
1 Introductory concepts
Cognitive Neuroscience: history, definitions, themes, approaches and issues.
2 Methodological and design principles
Methodological and design principles: differences and common issues in psychology and cognitive neuroscience.
3 Available techniques
Series of lectures on the techniques that are currently available in cognitive neuroscience, broadly divided in measurement and manipulation techniques.
4 Specialist areas
Series of lectures on specialist areas - these may vary from year to year and may be selected from the following (non-exhaustive) list: perception; action; attention; attentional control; memory; emotion; social cognition; language; numerical cognition; executive functions; decision making.
5 Identifying, reading and reporting primary sources
Students will be guided in searching for suitable primary sources and understanding cognitive neuroscience research reports. They will also be required to engage in supervised presentations of research papers followed by discussions with the class.
Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment
Taking into account the optional and relatively advanced character of the module, presentation of the materials will link teaching content to the students' knowledge background and will emphasise interactive dialogue and discussion in class. The assessments will focus both on the content and notions delivered in the lectures (which are necessary conditions to develop intellectual and professional attributes) and on individual public speaking, problem solving skills and the ability to connect the academic discourse to real world issues. This will encourage students to tackle topics with social relevance and grow as flexible, person-focused, ethically-minded enquirers and citizens.
Teaching and Learning Work Loads
|Supervised Practical Activity||8|
|Unsupervised Practical Activity||6|
Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.