LSC-30052 - Behavioural Neuroscience
Coordinator: Simon Trent
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734414

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

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 (or the four ¿Fs¿), pleasure and pain, stress, emotions, sleep and consciousness. Although there are no prerequisites for this module, students with little or no background in rudimentary Neuroscience may find some of the module content challenging. As such, non-Neuroscience majors are encouraged to engage with the supplemental material listed on the KLE during the first few weeks of the semester, as well as to attend a special ¿crash course¿ seminar in basic Neuroscience.
In this module, students will take a very active role in their own learning. Students will work in small group under the close guidance of module tutors to help develop the lecture content and deliver the curriculum. This will include the preparation of supplemental reading lists and model exam questions for study and revision.

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 biological foundations (e.g. chemical, cellular and molecular mechanisms) underlying motivated behaviours: 1,2
compare and contrast stressors and stress responses, considering their beneficial/detrimental effects and its role in the psychopathology of behavioural disorders: 1,2
discuss the neurobiological mechanisms that connect motivation to pleasure, pain and reward, and discuss the role of the amygdala in emotional processing including learnt fear: 1,2
describe the neurobiological mechanisms involved in sleep and arousal, evaluate current theories regarding the role of sleep, dreams and consciousness: 1,2
discuss the regulation of other behaviours such as sexual behaviour (mating behaviour, hormonal and neural bases), biological rhythms and active regulation of internal environments ie homeostasis: 1,2
discuss mechanisms of attention and higher cognition, as well as language and lateralisation, and the effects of ageing on cognition: 2
work 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:

Study hours

- 6 x 1 hour staff-delivered lectures
- 12 x 1 hour student-delivered lectures
[- 4 hours for each lecture (x 17) should be spent on watching videos, reading core material and making notes].
- 1 hr online whole-group tutorial
- 1 hour small-group in situ tutorial
- 1 hr in situ whole-group tutorial
Private study
- 40 hours should be spent for group study and presentation
- 21 hours should be spent for exam preparation

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Open Book Examination weighted 40%
Online open book exam
The online, open-book exam consists of one essay question related to the content covered by tutors early on in the module (from a choice of 3). The examination will be released on KLE module page as a PDF document at 9am on the morning of the exam. Students should answer the essay question using Word and submitted to the appropriate Turnitin link no later than 5pm on the day of release. International students will be asked to notify the School if they need an extension due to different time zones. Although students have been given significant time to complete this exam script, we expect most students to spend no more than 1 hr. Answers should be as accurate and concise as possible. For essay-based questions, typical answers would be in the range of 500-750 words. We recommend that students do not exceed 750 words per essay-based question as we will be assessing the quality of your answer, not the quantity.

2: Group Project weighted 60%
Lecture development and delivery
Students will work in groups of 5 to 7 to produce one of the 12 lectures (max 45 min long). Lecture topics and group assignment will be chosen at random in week 1-2. Students will prepare the slides for each lecture and deliver a presentation using an online format (i.e., screencasting or recording themselves with the presentation) worth 60%. In addition, students will have to compile a reading list and detailed study notes (10%), as well as come up with five formative MCQs (10%) and engage in live Q&A's at the end of the presentation (20%). MCQs will be uploaded on the KLE to enrich and promote student engagement. This material will be made available to all students on the KLE. By the end of the semester there will be a rich archive of content on the KLE available for the students to study from (that was prepared by the students themselves). Everyone in the group must present/teach the material, screencasting at least the presentation with their voices. Those students who would like to record a video of them giving the presentation will have the opportunity to do so, receiving feedback from the Module Tutors on other aspects of their presentation, such as the position of their bodies. However, this will not be a mandatory requirement to deliver the presentation. The topics, source material, and references that the students will use to form the base/foundation of their lecture will be prepared ahead of time (2 weeks in advance) by the module tutors. Students will also be required/encouraged to find supplemental material on their own. Guidance as to how to prepare each lecture will be provided so that the structure and format are similar for each group (quality control). This will include a skeleton PowerPoint presentation with slide templates and core material (e.g., diagrams, figures, graphs). Nevertheless, students will have the flexibility of delivering the presentation as they wish to encourage creativity and inventiveness. Each group will have 1h tutorial with the Module Tutors one week before the final presentation, where they will receive feedback and comments about their presentation. Students will have to practice and rehearse for their lectures; all content must fall within the 45 min time slot; there will be a heavy penalty should they go over time (-10% of their grade for every 5 min over). Two Module Tutors will assess the quality of each lecture, supplemental material, MCQ's provided and engagement with Q&A's, and a final mark will be assigned based on a consensus between tutor assessments. However, individual marks may vary as a result of feedback from anonymous peer review. Individual contributions to the group work will be assessed by anonymous peer-review (based on a Google form template or similar). Students will rank the work for every member of the group, but also, they will mark the delivery of their own presentation by other members of the group. An average score will be calculated based on these individual rankings. Outstanding contributions will result in an up to 5% bonus added to the final assessment mark whilst poor performance could mean a reduction of up to 5%.