Body, Senses and Existence

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Sunday 17 January 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
01 June 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC C800JS Psychology,
BSC C800NS Psychology

Module description

This module builds on the core 2nd year module (PS411, Brain & Behaviour) in order to provide a greater understanding of how the brain affects behaviour and how this is intrinsically linked with the workings of the body. Several different aspects of brain-body-behavioural interactions are covered by different experts in the field. These topics range from basic bodily functions to high-order existential concerns and include: psychopharmacology; lifestyle, diet and well-being; the enteric nervous system and the microbiome; psychoneuroimmunology; social touch; infant development; the chemical senses; multisensory processes; physical and social pain; existential neuroscience.

Module aims

The aim of this module is to provide Final Year students with a deep understanding of the way the brain and body interact to control behaviour. Students will be presented with the wide range of experimental methods within Psychology and Neuroscience. They will be encouraged to think critically about what experimental findings can tell us about the connection between the mind and body.

Module learning outcomes

Students will develop a deep understanding of the way the brain and body interact to control behaviour and be able to explain this to others. At the end of the module students should be able to:

1. Understand the biological psychological processes behind and consequences of various lifestyle choices (e.g. diet, exercise, recreational drugs); how embodiment affects brain and behaviour (via the enteric nervous system, social touch and development).
2. Understand the psychological theory of how the senses interact to provide the experience of sensation and perception.
3. Critically evaluate whether and how experimental findings inform the link between the brain and the body.
4. Develop knowledge into the new neuroscientific findings that are providing insight into areas of deep philosophical intrigue (such as the putative link between physical and social pain, and how an awareness of death can influence cognition and behaviour).
5. Know how to communicate their new knowledge effectively to others in an educationally useful way.

Module information

Lectures start on the hour. Please arrive promptly to avoid disrupting the class. There will be a short break halfway through the class. Please ask questions during class if there is anything that is unclear. Additionally, a question and answer forum will be provided on Moodle. You will be expected to participate in classroom activities designed to support your learning.

Learning and teaching methods

There will be ten 2-hour lectures (each with a 10 minute break in the middle). There will also be two 2-hour seminars related to the oral presentations (coursework 1). The first will be a drop-in session for people seeking help and guidance with their presentation. The other 1 or 2 (depending on student numbers) will be the sessions for the actual oral presentations. There will also be one 2-hour seminar on how to develop learning materials (coursework 2). This module will be taught by blended learning. This will combine online material and face to face sessions where appropriate.


This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Oral Presentation    30% 
Coursework   Design Learning Materials    70% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Nicholas Cooper, email:
Dr Steffan Kennett, email:
Dr Nick Cooper, Dr Steffan Kennett, Dr Helge Gillmeister, S.Rigato and Dr Elia Valentini
Dr Cooper: Dr Kennett:



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 36 hours, 36 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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