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Introduction to Neuroscience


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 4
  • Convenor: Professor Elisa Raffaella Ferre
  • Assessment: a one-hour written examination (50%) and coursework of 1500 words (50%)

Module description

In this module we introduce the principles of neuronal and synaptic conduction in relation to information processing, and to the overall organisation of the brain and nervous system. We will consider the distribution of behavioural functions within brain structures and pathways, and the role of brain function in relation to psychological disorders. We will also describe the interplay of cognitive and physiological factors in the stress response.

Further topics covered in detail include:

  • language
  • hemisphere asymmetries
  • amnesia
  • emotion
  • stress
  • psychopathology
  • sensory processes (mainly vision).

Learning objectives

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

    • describe methods of information transmission in the nervous system
    • present, understand and evaluate evidence on the organisation of such functions as language, memory and visuo-spatial ability in the brain
    • understand the role of biological approaches such as neurotransmitters in explaining disorders such as schizophrenia
    • describe the relative roles of cognition and physiological arousal in states of stress
    • understand the basic principles of visual processing in the brain.