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PS30156: Affective neuroscience

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2014/5
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Psychology
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: ES 80%, OR 20%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • ESSAY (ES 80%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Coursework reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this unit you must take PS20106 and take PS20107 and take PS20108
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The unit aims:
* To provide students with a background in the psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy of affective neuroscience.
* To develop a critical understanding of the various methods used in affective neuroscience and how they inform about theory and human behaviour.
* To show how our knowledge of affective processes can be applied to understanding various disorders such as autism, psychosis, and anxiety disorders.

Learning Outcomes:
On completion of the unit the students will be able to:
* Critically evaluate the research and theories of empathy and the specific topics within empathy that will be covered.
* Critically discuss the evidence for specific cognitive and neural mechanisms dedicated to processing social and affective information related to the various topics and processes within empathy.
* Critically evaluate how these cognitive and neural mechanisms may be different in various disorders, including autism, schizophrenia, and anxiety.

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:
* Recognise the inherent variability and diversity of psychological functioning and its significance. (T/F A)
* Have detailed knowledge of several specialised areas and/or applications, some of which are at the cutting edge of research in the discipline. (T/F A)
* Reason scientifically, understand the role of evidence and make critical judgements about arguments in psychopathology. (T/F A)
* Communicate ideas and research findings as applied to psychopathology and clinical psychology both effectively and fluently by written, oral and visual means. (T/F A)
* Solve problems by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions and evaluating outcomes. (T/F A)
* Undertake self-directed study and project management in order to meet desired objectives. (T/F A)
* Take charge of their own learning, and can reflect and evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses for the purposes of future learning. (T/F A)

The content of the unit will cover key social and affective processes in humans, and how these processes may be different in psychopathologies involving atypical social and affective functioning.
Sessions will cover research towards the understanding of specific human social and affective abilities, and the main theories which have resulted from the research.
Sessions will include discussions and activities to facilitate critical evaluation about the research and theories in the field.
Different relevant approaches will be covered with a focus on neuroscience and cognition, but also including about philosophical and behavioural aspects, in order to develop a fuller perspective of the field for students.
Topics in the Unit will include: empathy (background, research and theories), face-processing, emotions, social attention, gaze perception, intentionality, and theory of mind/mentalising.
Emphasis throughout the unit will involve how these basic processes interplay to produce our rich human social behaviour.
The sessions will include recent innovations in studies and theoretical accounts in the field, to help students understand how these may be applied to current awareness and future directions.
An emphasis will be on how the understanding of specific social and affective processes may help inform about potential treatments in disorders of social and affective processing, such as autism.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PS30156 is Optional on the following programmes:

Programmes in Natural Sciences
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Year 3)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences with Year long work placement (Year 4)
Department of Psychology
* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2014/15 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2015/16 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2014/15.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.