BIMMM16-Mind as Motion

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Slawomir Nasuto

Email: s.j.nasuto@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

the course introduces the elements of nonlinear dynamics as an overarching framework to model and analyse the nervous system and cognition. Nonlinear dynamical system is an interdisciplinary area which aims at providing qualitative understanding of the evolution of nonlinear systems. It is particularly useful for complex systems models of which are too difficult or even impossible to solve analytically. The module introduces fundamental concepts using examples from computational neuroscience and cognition and going across scales from single neuron, to neural interactions, cognitive functions and finally touching upon the implications of using such a framwork to explain the funamental properties of cognition and mind.


Aims:
The course aims to provide students with a conceptual framework of non-linear dynamical systems as a unifying view of the processes taking place in the brain across many system levels. The course will cover both the dynamics on the level of interneuronal interactions as well as on the cognitive level.

Assessable learning outcomes:
It is expected that students will acquire an integrated perspective on the processes in the brain. They will be able to extend the dynamical models of processes to cover situations of interest. Students are also to be expected to acquire skills in analysing such systems using the tools from nonlinear dynamics theory. Students will be able to examine the asumptions underlying various theories of cognition and understand variety of generic critiques of formalist theories of mind.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:
Introduction to Neurodynamics: Key concepts from neuroscience will be reviewed and discussed in an order of increasing levels of complexity. The key concepts of non-linear dynamics will be covered in the context of modelling various aspects of brain function. The material will move progressively from simpler to more difficult concepts in dynamics, however mainly stressing intuitive understanding rather than mathematical formalism. Topics covered include: Linear systems. Non-linear neurodynamics and bifurcations. Non-linear oscillations and limit cycles. Generation of action potentials (Hodgkin-Huxley model). Neural adaptation.
Dynamics of Cognition: A conceptual and historical overview of the modern 'Dynamical' approach to cognition; Cognitive processes as non-linear dynamical systems; Embodied Cognition; Dynamic representations and decision making.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module comprises 2 lectures per week, assignments and student presentations.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study 80
       
Total hours by term 100.00
       
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Set exercise 30

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy.
The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:

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;
where the piece of work is submitted more than one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
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.
(Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guideUG.aspx)
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:
Two hours

Requirements for a pass:
MEng 50% overall module mark
MSc 50% overall module mark

Reassessment arrangements:
Examination only.
One 2-hour examination paper 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: 31 March 2017

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