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The Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention - PSY00043H

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  • Department: Psychology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Karla Evans
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

We are all familiar with the act of paying attention to something in our very complex world. Rather than being a single entity, attention can best be defined as a family of processing resources or cognitive mechanisms that can modulate signals at almost every level of the cognitive system. Attentional mechanisms shape what we see and what we can act upon. They allow for concurrent selection of some (preferably, relevant) information and inhibition of other information. This selection permits the reduction of complexity and informational overload. The goal of this course is to introduce the students to the most relevant aspects of attention, the research being done on this topic and to consider how this knowledge might be applied to real-world issues.

Module learning outcomes

  • Differentiate different aspects of attention and reflect on the relationship between various models of attention
  • Describe the neural systems that mediate attention
  • Analyse how genes can control specific structures in the brain that modulate different functions of attention
  • Evaluate the linkage between development of attention and resolution of cognitive conflict
  • Recognise and describe empirical research relating to current issues in attention
  • Evaluate how research on attention from a wide range of research fields and methods can inform real-world problems

Module content

  • Cognitive Models of Attention
  • Imaging Attention
  • Synaptic and Genetic Studies of Attention
  • Development of Attention
  • Deficits of Attention
  • Attention Research Tackling Real-World Issues


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Online exam
5 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Online exam
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

There are no key texts for this module.

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.