School of Psychology

Brain and Behaviour (C8518)

Brain and Behaviour

Module C8518

Module details for 2012/13.

15 credits

FHEQ Level 5

Module Outline

This module provides an introduction to brain mechanisms and behaviour. Topics covered will normally include: ionic mechanisms underlying the nerve action potential; synapses and neurotransmission; neuropharmacology of commonly used anti-depressant and anxiolytic drugs; functional neuroanatomy of the human brain; brain development and neurogenetics; neural mechanisms in motor behaviour, initiation of voluntary actions; neural mechanisms underlying plasticity and learning; individual differences. The module consists of a series of 22 lectures, 2 seminars and 2 practical classes.

Week 1
LEC1: Introduction

Week 2
LEC2&3: Neurodevelopment
PRAC: Neuroanatomy

Week 3
LEC4&5: Neurogenetics

Week 4
LEC6&7: Sensory Systems (NEW)

Week 5
LEC8&9: Motor Systems (NEW)
SEM: Behavioural Genetics

Week 6
LEC10&11: Neurotransmission

Week 7
LEC12&13: Excitation

Week 8
LEC14&15: Inhibition
PRAC: Action Potentials

Week 9
LEC16&17: Neuromodulation

Week 10
LEC18&19: Emotion

Week 11
LEC20&21: Cognition and Reward
SEM: Exploring Human Conditions

Week 12
LEC23: Summary and Revision

Personality and individual difference will be highlighted and focused on at various points in the module through:
Gene Environment Interactions
Biomarkers / Endophenotypes
Pharmacogenetics - Individualized Medicine

Module learning outcomes

They should understand the relevance of underlying biological phenomena to the explanation of behaviour. In particular they should understand how the nervous system codes incoming sensory information and produces integrated sequences of motor action.

They should be aware of the ways in which commonly used psychotrophic drugs affect brain function and should appreciate how the nervous system contributes to adaptive behaviour.

They should have developed, during the demonstration/CAL sessions, their knowledge of human brain structure and the functioning of fundamental units of the brain.

They should be able to describe and evaluate the role of individual differences in at least one area of biological psychology.

Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.
Practical ReportT1 Week 10 50.00%
Practical ReportT1 Week 5 50.00%
Unseen ExaminationSemester 1 Assessment70.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Autumn SemesterLecture1 hour222222222222
Autumn SemesterPractical2 hours001000010000
Autumn SemesterSeminar1 hour000001000010

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Dr Sarah King

Convenor, Assess convenor

Dr Jenny Bosten

Assess convenor

Please note that the University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver courses and modules in accordance with the descriptions set out here. However, the University keeps its courses and modules under review with the aim of enhancing quality. Some changes may therefore be made to the form or content of courses or modules shown as part of the normal process of curriculum management.

The University reserves the right to make changes to the contents or methods of delivery of, or to discontinue, merge or combine modules, if such action is reasonably considered necessary by the University. If there are not sufficient student numbers to make a module viable, the University reserves the right to cancel such a module. If the University withdraws or discontinues a module, it will use its reasonable endeavours to provide a suitable alternative module.