PY3CNWM-Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention and Working Memory

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: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Eva Feredoes


Summary module description:
This module will explore the brain mechanisms underlying attention and working memory. The topics covered will include a historical background to the cognitive neuroscience of attention and working memory, the latest theories and research in these areas, and how attention and working memory relate to and interact with other cognitive functions. The format will consist of lectures, group discussions and student presentations.

The aims of this module are:
- for students to become familiar with theories and research underlying the cognitive neuroscience of attention and working memory;
- to develop the ability of students to critically evaluate research and published scientific reports of research into this area;
- for students to develop the ability to study independently.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of this module students will be able to

1. Critically analyse empirical research on working memory and/or attention. 

2. Apply their understanding of the controversies in the field to their knowledge of key theoretical explanations.

Additional outcomes:

Students will gain experience from participating in evaluative discussions of research and theory in large and small groups. Weekly continuous assessment questions ensure material is regularly revisited to aid learning.

Outline content:

The module comprises 7 2-hour long seminars. We will explore how the brain supports attention and working memory, from fundamental neural mechanisms through to more complex interactions between these and other cognitive functions. In addition to the brain-related mechanisms of these functions, the range of methods to investigate them will also be covered, as well as current controversies in the fields.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Seminars involve lectures and interactive discussions.  Students are expected to come prepared to sessions, and to work independently in a self-directed manner.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 15
Guided independent study 85
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:

Coursework is assessed by weekly set exercises (Continuous Assessment Questions) 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. 

Formative assessment methods:
Students will be provided with feedback on their coursework essay by seminar tutors or on the content of their presentation by seminar tutors and peers. This feedback will help students prepare for the final 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 at least 40% overall

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

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

    Things to do now