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Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Advanced

Unit aim

Provides a thorough understanding of gross brain anatomy, neural functioning, and sensory processing for the professional or academic psychologist. This knowledge is supplemented with consideration of the neural mechanisms of memory and learning, communication, and behaviour. In addition, students will engage with aspects of recent research findings and write a research report related to these areas.

Unit content

Structures and functions of the nervous system - Psychopharmacology – Neural development - Vision - Audition - The chemical senses – Learning, memory, and neural plasticity - Emotion - Human communication – Critical analysis and interpretation of original data relating to these topics and communication of these ideas in a form appropriate to the discipline.

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: Intellectual rigour, GA2: Creativity, GA3: Ethical practice, GA4: Knowledge of a discipline, GA5: Lifelong learning, GA6: Communication and social skills, GA7: Cultural competence
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 describe and discuss the fundamental theories and systems most relevant to psychobiological processes Knowledge of a discipline Communication and social skills
2 describe the basic anatomy and processes of the central nervous system Knowledge of a discipline
3 describe the processes that form the basis of neural functioning and the contributions made to behaviours by chemicals Knowledge of a discipline
4 relate neural phenomena and the functioning of sensory systems to their roles in human experience Ethical practice
5 critically analyse experimental data and report on conclusions Ethical practice Communication and social skills
6 communicate the substance of psychological explanations in a format consistent with accepted practice in psychology. Ethical practice Communication and social skills

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. describe and discuss the fundamental theories and systems most relevant to psychobiological processes
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA6: Communication and social skills
  2. describe the basic anatomy and processes of the central nervous system
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  3. describe the processes that form the basis of neural functioning and the contributions made to behaviours by chemicals
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  4. relate neural phenomena and the functioning of sensory systems to their roles in human experience
    • GA3: Ethical practice
  5. critically analyse experimental data and report on conclusions
    • GA3: Ethical practice
    • GA6: Communication and social skills
  6. communicate the substance of psychological explanations in a format consistent with accepted practice in psychology.
    • GA3: Ethical practice
    • GA6: Communication and social skills

Prescribed texts

  • Pinel, J, 2010, Biopsychology, 8th edn (International Edition), Pearson, Boston. ISBN: 9780205030996.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.