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Mind & Brain - PSY00006H

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  • Department: Psychology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Philip Quinlan
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2018-19

Module aims

This module offers a blend of empirical and philosophical approaches to understanding human cognition. The course starts of with an overview of different theories of the mind that have been central to psychological accounts of mental functioning in the twentieth century. Discussion then moves onto consider evolutionary psychology and how it relates to cognition. This thread is picked up in the next seminar in which differences between human and nonhuman cognition are addressed. Various examples of connectionist models of the mind are covered in the next seminar and the difference between symbolic and sub-symbolic accounts will be considered. The concept of mental rules will be examined. Several of the themes covered in the first two sessions are returned to in the next seminar that contrasts "direct" and "establishment" theories of human perception. The course then begins to focus on relating brain with mind - the next seminar concerns vision and action and delves into the recent account of visual perception by Goodale and Milner. The brain is discussed further in terms of the recent work on conflict adaptation effects. A concluding session will introduce current controversies that exist over the nature of neuroscience and its relevance to psychology.

Module learning outcomes

  • Appreciate the difficulties in attempting to understand the nature of the human mind
  • Discuss particular theories of the mind, theories of perception and cognition
  • Appraise evolutionary psychology and how it relates to the mind
  • Discuss the differences between human and nonhuman mental activity
  • Demonstrate knowledge of various connectionist accounts of mental functioning
  • Describe both the data and the theory behind conflict adaptation

Module content

  • Theories of mind
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Humans vs. the rest: What is the human mind really like?
  • Connectionist models
  • The nature of perception
  • Vision and action
  • Conflict adaptation
  • Mind and Brain – controversies and debate


Task Length % of module mark
University - closed examination
Mind & Brain
1.5 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
University - closed examination
Mind & Brain
1.5 hours 100

Module feedback

The marks on all assessed work will be provided on e-vision.

These marks will be accompanied by module feedback forms which will be circulated by e-mail.

Students will meet supervisors in wk 6 in AuT, SpT and wk 9 in SuT to discuss their marks.

Indicative reading

Although there is no textbook that fits exactly with the module I do encourage the students to purchase a copy of Levitin, D. J. (2012). Foundations of cognitive psychology (Second Edition). Pearson and refer back to Quinlan and Dyson (2008).

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students