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  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: Dr Raffaele Tucciarelli
  • Assessment: coursework of short-answer questions (50%) and a one-hour multiple-choice examination (50%)

Module description

In this module, we explore in depth the structure and function of the central nervous system and sensory systems in the body. We will study the biological basis of emotion and social cognition, and the way in which genes and environment influence brain development and are responsible for individual differences in brain development and behaviour. We will also investigate the contribution of evolutionary approaches and primate research to understanding the biological basis of human brain development and behaviour.

Indicative syllabus

  • The central nervous system
  • Sensory processing
  • Biological aspects of emotion and sleep
  • The neural basis of social cognition
  • Behaviour genetics
  • Evolutionary explanations of animal behaviour

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

    • describe the structure of the central nervous system and the process of information transmission in the nervous system
    • understand how sensory systems function and how they cooperate
    • understand and present evidence on the biological basis of emotion and social cognition in the brain
    • discuss how behavioural genetics has advanced our understanding of the causes of learning abilities and psychological disorders such as autism and ADHD
    • understand the interplay between genetics and environmental influences in causing variation in human behaviour
    • describe examples of evolutionary explantations of animal behaviour
    • understand the major methods applied in neuroscience and behaviour genetics.