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[SI0219] - Learning, Biology and Cognition

Module Code: SI0219
Module Leader: Michael Arribas-Ayllon
Year: 2
Semester: Both
Number of Credits: 20
Recommended 1st Year Modules: SI0197

Teaching Method: Lectures and seminars. Students will have the opportunity to conduct their own cognitive psychology study and present their findings to their peers as a poster presentation.
Assessment: Coursework (essays) 2500 words (30%) - Autumn Semester; Groupwork (report) (30%), Written examination 1 hour (40%) - Spring Semester
Degree Schemes: Education, Social Science, BPS Pathways


Module Aims

To critically examine key issues relating to the cognitive and biological aspects of neuropsychology, including perception, memory, emotions, language, learning, reasoning, problem-solving and creativity.


Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Comprehension

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the key concepts principles, and theoretical approaches within cognitive science and neuropsychology.
  • Identify and describe different approaches taken within the study of neuropsychology.
  • Critically evaluate the contribution of cognitive and biological approaches to psychology.
  • Critically evaluate the relationship between biology, culture and cognition.

Skills (Application and Analysis)

  • Critically evaluate and comment upon theoretical debates within core areas of cognitive and biological neuropsychology.
  • Gain an understanding of how technical and theoretical advances within the field translate in applied settings.

Understanding (Synthesis and Evaluation)

  • Compare and contrast different frameworks for the study of cognition.
  • Critically evaluate the contribution of biology within psychological and cultural processes.
  • Compare and contrast different conceptual models.
  • Situate cognitive and biological psychology within the broader context of the Social Sciences.

Transferable Skills

Students will gain experience of group work and oral presentation skills by conducting a small scale group based project.

Synopsis of Module Content

The module examines key issues in cognitive and biological neuropsychology. The first semester focuses on  core aspects of cognitive psychology (i.e. perception, attention, reasoning, problem solving, and
creativity) while the second semester introduces the neuroscience of learning, memory, and emotion. The module will challenge students to think critically about current theories in cognitive and biological psychology and evaluate their cultural implications in applied social settings.


Opportunities for Formative Assessment

Feedback for first assignment (see below) and briefing for the second assessment is given in seminars.


Arrangements for Feedback on Work

Feedback for the coursework assignment and practical groupwork is given in the form of individual written feedback and generic oral feedback during lecture time.

Exam feedback will be given in the form of generic written comment which will be posted on Learning Central.


Indicative Reading

Damasio, A.R. (1994). Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain. HarperCollins: NY.

Goldstein, B.E. (2011). Cognitive Psychology (3rd Ed). Wadsworth

Harré, R. (2000). Cognitive Science: A Philosophical Introduction. Sage: London.

Martin, N.G. (2006). Human Neuropsychology (2nd Ed). Pearson: Prentice Hall.

Sternberg, R.J. (2009). Cognitive Psychology (5th Ed). Wadsworth.

Toates, F. (2011). Biological Psychology (3rd Ed). Prentice Hall.