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Brain & Behaviour 2 - PSY00023I

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  • Department: Psychology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Tom Hartley
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

This course will cover three key areas of Applied Psycholog;, Occupational, Educational and Clinical/Counselling Psychology. There will be lectures on the key theories and practices for each area. There will also be material from practitioners from the professional areas who will provide insight into their role and how to access careers within their professions. There will also be content that directly supports students’ employability. This will include a focus on the understanding and development of key employability skills.

Module learning outcomes

  • To describe the neuroanatomical structures critical for different aspects of memory and how they account for the deficits in patients with amnesia.
  • Identify how interception is associated with emotion and behaviour.
  • Describe how the brain structures associated with mental illnesses (e.g. depression, pain and PTSD) differ in patients and healthy controls.
  • Demonstrate how a neuropsychologist diagnoses a patient with focal brain damage to the parietal lobe.
  • To explore and understand how our brains make our bodies move and interact with the world around us.
  • To review and appraise the various factors that underlie human decision making.

Module content

The first part of this course is concerned with the ability of humans to make individual movements, control them, and plan the complex sequences involved in actions. We will cover things such as Manual dexterity and the learning of motor skills. The module will also cover how we executive decisions about which actions to take and the important links between motor function and cognition.

The second part of the course will cover how neuroscience is used to better understand the biological basis of mental illnesses and brain damage. It will cover topics such as the Clinical Neuroscience of Depression and PTSD and the impact of brain injury in development.

The next section of the course will begin with an overview of the brain systems that support memory, focusing on the hippocampus (a structure within the medial temporal lobe) which is crucial for remembering events that have happened. We will look at the consequences of damage to the hippocampus (amnesia) and the cellular mechanisms underlying learning and memory. We will review evidence showing that not all aspects of memory are affected by amnesia, suggesting "fractionation" of the human memory system. In later lectures, we will consider how information is stored in a different form within the neocortex, and discuss the contribution of frontal and parietal systems to memory.

The last section of the module will examine the role of interoception in the sense of self, emotion and clinical disorders, and the neural anatomical pathways involved. It will cover how we use signals originating from within the body (interoceptive signals) to let us know about the physiological state of the body, such as when we are hungry, thirsty or cold as well as emotions such as fear and disgust. We will also examine how recent research suggests that interoceptive signals can play a pivotal role in more complex social and emotional behaviours in addition to clinical mental health conditions such as panic disorder and anorexia nervosa.


Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Brain & Behaviour 2
2 hours 50
N/A 30
N/A 20

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Brain & Behaviour 2
2 hours 62.5
N/A 37.5

Module feedback

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

Indicative reading

The Brain & Behaviour strand uses the same two text books throughout Years 1 and 2.

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.