PS495-6-AU-CO:
The Neuroscience of Human Nature

The details
2023/24
Psychology
Colchester Campus
Autumn
Undergraduate: Level 6
Current
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
15
16 November 2023

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

(none)

Key module for

BSC C806 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C808 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience,
BSC C809 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience (Including Placement Year),
BSC C813 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience (Including Foundation Year),
MSCIC999 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience,
MSCICA98 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience (Including Placement Year),
MSCICA99 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience (Including Year Abroad),
BENGH169 Neural Engineering with Psychology,
BENGH170 Neural Engineering with Psychology (including Placement Year),
BENGH171 Neural Engineering with Psychology (including Year Abroad),
BENGH172 Neural Engineering with Psychology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC H167 Neural Technology with Psychology,
BSC H168 Neural Technology with Psychology (including Year Abroad),
BSC H176 Neural Technology with Psychology (including Placement Year)

Module description

This module will cover the neural basis of some of the fundamental aspects of human nature. These include how we understand faces and bodies of others and the role of mirror neurons in action understanding.


We will also investigate the neural processes that allow us to control our voluntary actions. Finally, we will consider the functions of consciousness and the generation of the sense of agency and the sense of self. We will consider these phenomena both when functioning normally, as well as how their dysfunction can contribute to various symptoms in disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. An important aspect of the course will be to help develop critical insight into how modern neuroscientific techniques can be used to inform questions about the nature of human mind and behaviour.

Module aims

The aim of this module is:



  • To help develop critical insight into how modern neuroscientific techniques can be used to inform questions about the nature of human mind and behaviour.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:



  1. Describe the brain mechanisms underpinning the major aspects of human nature such as emotion recognition, empathy, volition, agency, consciousness and self.

  2. Be able to relate these mechanisms to their dysfunction, and the symptoms observed in various psychopathologies.

  3. To be aware of the controversies in the field, and critique the evidence pertaining to these controversies.

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.


Questions can also be posted on moodle. You will be expected to participate in classroom activities designed to support your learning.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour lecture per week.

Students will be encouraged to participate by asking questions in session. Electronic voting and other digital interactive platforms will also be used during class. The will be used to aid and track understanding, and also to show how research findings inform theoretical debate.

Bibliography

This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Assessment worth 40%    40% 
Coursework   Assessment worth 60%    60% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Gethin Hughes, email: ghughes@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Gethin Hughes
email: ghughes@essex.ac.uk

 

Availability
Yes
Yes
No

External examiner

Dr Paula Miles
University of St Andrews
Director of Teaching, Senior Lecturer
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 26 hours, 23 (88.5%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
3 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.

 

Further information
Psychology

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