Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24
Available as a Free Standing Elective
Behavioural Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary module designed to develop an understanding of human and animal behaviour in terms of nervous system function. The module content focuses on the brains of mammals ¿ especially humans ¿ through a detailed examination of both cortical and subcortical systems that mediate specific behaviours. There are occasional references to lower vertebrates and even invertebrates where the study of shared mechanisms in simpler animals is useful. Modern Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary study, and this is reflected in the syllabus in that it draws on information from anatomy, physiology, neurochemistry, neuropharmacology and neuroendocrinology to bring about an understanding of behaviour. Topics covered include motivated behaviours that comprise basic and primal drives to adapt to the environment such as pleasure and pain, stress, emotions, sleep and consciousness. Although there are no prerequisites for this module, if you have little or no background in Neuroscience you may find some of the module content challenging. There is supplemental material listed on the KLE to help you master the module topics. There is also a special ¿crash course¿ seminar in basic Neuroscience. You will take a very active role in your own learning, working in a small group with other students. There will be close guidance of module tutors to help you develop the lecture content and deliver a part of the curriculum. This will include the preparation of supplemental study notes, reading lists and SAQs.
The aim of the module is to provide a comprehensive understanding of human and animal behaviour in terms of nervous system function. An analysis of the neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neuroendocrinology and neuropharmacology of specific neural systems will be used to understand how the brain produces an array of complex behaviours.
Intended Learning Outcomes
describe in detail the neurobiological mechanisms (e.g. chemical, cellular and molecular mechanisms) underlying behaviours including sleep, biological rhythms, sexual behaviour, homeostasis, attention, ageing and language: 1,2discuss the neurobiological mechanisms that connect motivation to pleasure, pain and reward, and discuss the role of the amygdala in emotional processing including learnt fear: 1,2compare and contrast stressors and stress responses, considering their beneficial/detrimental effects and its role in the psychopathology of behavioural disorders: 1,211,2work as a member of a group, including the development and execution of ideas and delegation of key tasks: critically reflect on good practice in teaching at higher education and apply findings to develop appropriate teaching materials:
Lectures- 4 x 1 hour staff-delivered lectures- 12 x 1 hour student-delivered lecturesTutorials- 4 x 1 hr in situ tutorials to whole class- 2 x 1 hr in situ small-group in situ tutorialsGroup work towards group presentation- 40 hours should be spent for group presentationActive learning total = 62 hours4 hours per lecture (x 15, excluding own presentation) should be spent on attending lectures, note-making from slides/videos and reading core material = 60 hours. Private study- 28 hours should be spent for critical reflection
1: Group Project weighted 60%
Description of Module Assessment
Lecture development and deliveryStudents will work in groups of 5 to 7 to produce one of the 12 lectures (max 45 min long), with lecture topics and group assignment chosen at random.
Students will prepare the slides for their lecture and deliver a PowerPoint-based in situ presentation (worth 60%). In addition, students will compile detailed study notes and reading list (10%), five SAQ¿s with model answer (10%) and engage in Q&A's at the end of the presentation (20%).
Skeleton PowerPoint presentation will be provided 4 weeks in advance, giving students a foundation for presentation content.
Each group will have two rounds of 1h tutorial with the Module Tutors, where they will receive feedback and comments about their presentation (2 and 1 weeks prior to presentation).
Module Tutors will assess the quality of each lecture, supplemental material, SAQ¿s provided and engagement with Q&A's, and an averaged group mark will be assigned. However, individual student marks can vary within the group as a result of feedback from anonymous peer review (maximum increase/decrease of 5%).
2: Reflective Analysis weighted 40%
Critical reflection of Behavioural Neuroscience PresentationsStudents will be required to write a 1,000 word critical reflection based upon two student-led presentations i.e. approximately 500 words for each presentation.
We recommend that students do not exceed this word limit as we will be assessing the quality of your answer, not the quantity.
It should include aspects of identification, questioning and assessment of presentation content and whether it is a) well-researched, b) up-to-date/cutting edge and c) well-linked to other/larger neuroscience themes or concepts. It is not sufficient to simply highlight areas that are lacking, but instead, provide the relevant details or research findings into the reflection. An in situ tutorial will provide further guidance on critical reflection writing skills.
Students should not concentrate on style of delivery or individual performance, but content only. Students cannot choose to provide a critical reflection on their own presentation.
Students will submit critical reflection as a Word document via a Turnitin link prior to deadline.