Neuropsychology of Action: The Body in the Brain
This module examines the psychological and neural basis for the planning and control of human action. You will be introduced to scientific research through guided exploration of the neuropsychological bases for human action. You will experience the multi-disciplinary nature of research into human behaviour and, by the end of the module, will understand how a single issue can be addressed from multiple perspectives including: experimental psychology, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, neuropsychology, and functional brain-imaging.
Understanding Developmental Disorders
This module explores how psychologists study and understand disorders of cognitive development. The course focuses largely on disorders which include impairments in attention, memory and/or executive function. Disorders covered include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, reading disorders and Down Syndrome. List of lectures
1. General introduction and research methods
2. Typical development of attention/memory and executive function
5. Developmental Coordination Disorder
6. Fragile X Syndrome
7. Down Syndrome
8. Preterm Birth
Neuropsychology and Applied Neuroimaging
This module examines the deficits seen in individuals who have suffered brain damage. You will learn about the impairments of language, memory, perception, attention, motor control, executive control and emotion. This module evaluates both the clinical and theoretical aspects of these syndromes. In particular, this module will evaluate the implications regarding how the healthy brain functions.
The Visual Brain: Evolution, Development, Learning and Adaptation
The central theme of this module is to explore how the architecture and function of the visual brain has been designed and shaped by experiences over a range of timescales. The innate properties of the eye and visual brain that are present at birth have been designed over millions of years of evolution. The brain continues to physically change it structure and function within a lifetime a property termed brain plasticity. Over the years of development, brain plasticity is the driving force for the maturation of different visual brain functions. Even well into adulthood, plasticity is retained in the form of learning, which can optimise performance for certain visual tasks and be exploited for therapeutic uses. Another prominent form of plasticity in the visual brain is that caused by adaptation effects of visual experience over the preceding tens of milliseconds to minutes. The module will examine the consequences of evolution, development, learning and adaptation for visual brain function and perception.
Social Neuroscience Research
To provide students with an advanced understanding of current social and cognitive neuroscience topics, as well as an understanding of the methods and analyses required to test specific theories related to that topic, and guidance on the critical evaluation of research papers. Students will receive lectures on and study a specific social neuroscience issue in detail, and will devise ways to further research into that issue. The course will provide an introduction to neuroscience methods and will focus on current research and theory behind various aspects of human social interaction, speech communication and body perception from a neuroscience perspective. Complementary evidence from different branches of behavioural and cognitive sciences will be integrated with current neuroscientific research. The course will focus predominantly on the neural mechanisms thought to be involved in the interpretation of our own and others’ bodies, actions, faces, voices and emotions. The course will also provide advice on developing ideas for research as well as how to write for each assessment.
Psychology of Ageing and Older People
This module considers how aspects of the brain and mind change with age.
Topics will include:
- perception and cognition
- decision making
- memory and forgetting
- social factors
- executive function
This module will outline the major theories of ageing and draw on evidence from behavioural experiments, large scale studies, meta-analyses, brain imaging and studies in animals. After reading, you will develop a structured research proposal to address an outstanding question or gap in knowledge.
Cognitive Development and Autism
You will cover modern version of nativist and empiricist theories of cognitive development.
This module will also give you an overview of current theories which have been proposed to explain Autism Spectrum Disorder. It will provide an evaluation of these theories using behavioural, clinical and neurophysiological evidence from a range of domains including drawing and musical skills (savant skills), scientific knowledge, maths, social learning (trust and imitation) and social motivation.
You will have two hours of lectures per week for this module.
Forensic and Mental Health
The area of forensic mental health is extremely pertinent in both the criminal justice system and mental health services, as well as the integration of the two. It is a growing area of research in psychology and it is a popular area of work for many psychology graduates.
The module will concentrate on offending behaviours, typical categorisation of those who commit crimes or harm themselves, standard interventions for offenders and the neuroscience of offending. It will also cover the current research on specific offending behaviours, and examine the role of the criminal justice system and health service in dealing with individuals who offend.
The module will concentrate on assessment and intervention work with specific populations such as young people who display challenging behaviour in schools, vulnerable adolescents, and bilingual learners. Additionally, the module will examine psychological approaches to group work with teachers and pupils as well as the application of system theory in helping transform aspects of schools and other organisations.
Cognition in the Real World
The central theme of this module is to explore how cognition functions in the real world, and to demonstrate the relevance of cognitive psychology to everyday life. In particular, it will address how cognitive models and theories can be applied to tasks that we all perform. Topics that will be covered will include attention in driving, memory for emotional events, and spatial navigation. As well covering contemporary cognitive psychology at an advanced level, components of the module will also integrate across other relevant research areas, including developmental psychology and neuropsychology.
An introduction to the concepts of clinical psychology and the application of psychology in clinical settings.
The module illustrates how psychological models are developed and how they are applied in developing interventions. You will examine theory and evaluation of interventions for a number of disorders/clinical issues.
During this module you will have two hours of lectures weekly.
Developmental Dyslexia: Psychological and Educational Perspectives
This module explores psychological theories of developmental dyslexia and educational issues pertaining to this pervasive developmental disorder. It examines the cognitive characteristics and educational attainments of pupils with developmental dyslexia and addresses the ways in which individual educational needs might be met at both the classroom and whole school level.
This module should be of interest to you if you have an interest in developmental, cognitive, and/or educational psychology, and are wishing to pursue a career in child psychology, educational psychology, general teaching practice, and/or special needs education.
Some key questions to be considered are:
- what criteria should be used to diagnose developmental dyslexia?
- does developmental dyslexia reflect delayed or deviant behaviour?
- what are the specific educational issues pertaining to the provision of educational policy and practice for pupils with developmental dyslexia?
- how should pupils with developmental dyslexia be supported in the classroom?
Altruism, Cooperation and Helping
The course will cover theories and models of altruism, cooperation and helping form the perspective of psychology, economics and evolutionary biology. Among the theories examined will be reputation-based, strong-reciprocity, warm-glow and crowding and altruistic punishment from economics; kin selection, reciprocity, coercion, mutualism, cooperative breeding from biology; and empathy, personality, sexual selection and situational constraints from psychology.
You will consider why people sometimes don't help and actively try to benefit from others and apply these models to anti-social behaviour, and how we cooperate to inflict injury on other groups. It will also examine not just models of helping others, but also why people ask for help. You will finally look at how charities implement some of these principles and if they are successful.
Applied Psychology: Road User Behaviour
You will learn road user behaviour from a number of psychological perspectives. Topics will include a critical review of brain scanning studies of driving, the visual skills required for driving, the effects of aging and experience, distraction (from in-car devices such as mobile phones, and from out-of-car objects such as road-side advertisements), and the skill of hazard perception (and whether this can be adequately measured as part of the licensing procedure).
The module will also cover memory for driving events (from every day driving to road traffic accidents), influences of emotion on driving (eg does the aggression-frustration hypothesis explain road rage?), and social and individual differences related to crash risk (eg sensation-seeking and risk propensity).
Mechanisms of Learning and Psychopathology
Supported by lectures, seminars and tutorials, this module aims to provide you with an understanding of the mechanisms of learning and memory in human and non-human animals, and an analysis of pathological conditions involving these systems.
You’ll study topics that include:
- perceptual learning
- the contextual and attentional modulation of learning and behaviour
- neuroscience-focused topics such as the role of the hippocampus in memory
Clinical topics include:
- the acquisition of phobias
- memory discords
- the psychological side effects of cancer treatment
There are two hours per week of lectures for this module.
The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer at the date of publication but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This prospectus may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.