PY3CAN-Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: PY2RM Research Methods and Data Analysis
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Tom Johnstone


Summary module description:
Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

To enable students to study the neural mechanisms supporting a range of cognitive and affective processes; to further develop the ability to seek out and critically evaluate published scientific reports of current research being undertaken in the topic.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module the student will be able to
1.Identify and critically examine key brain circuits, neurotransmitters and cognitive mechanisms involved in fear, anxiety and their behavioural and physiological manifestations
2. Critically evaluate research in affective neuroscience, identifying theoretical, methodological and analytical strengths and weaknesses in published studies
3. Critically discuss how specific subcortical and cortical neural networks and associated neurotransmitters give rise to, and regulate, fear and anxiety

Additional outcomes:
Students will gain experience from participating in evaluative discussions of research and theory in large and small groups.

Outline content:
The module comprises seven two-hour seminars.

Fear and anxiety are fundamental emotions that serve to avoid danger and harm, yet they can also be disruptive if not adaptively regulated. This module is focused on the neurobiological basis for fear and anxiety, and how these emotions are regulated. Students will gain a knowledge of the core neural systems involved in fear and anxiety and will critically evaluate human and animal neuroscience research that underpins our understanding of these emotions.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Seminars involve lectures and interactive discussions. Lectures will lead on to interactive debate and discussion on current research that addresses the questions of interest. Students will be expected to prepare for the seminars by reading current scientific literature and will contribute to critical and evaluative class discussion of the research.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 14
Guided independent study 86
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 75
Set exercise 25

Other information on summative assessment:
This module is assessed through coursework (25%) and a final exam (75%).
The 1.5-hour Summer Exam will require students to answer 1 essay question on topics covered in the module.
Coursework will comprise weekly online assessments which require critical evaluation of the material covered on the course.

Formative assessment methods:
Students have the opportunity to provide the module convenor with up to two essay plans for comment and feedback in preparation for the exam.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    1.5 hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment is by re-examination in August/September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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