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Unit information: Cognitive Psychology in 2016/17

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Cognitive Psychology
Unit code PSYC20002
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1B (weeks 7 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Nick Scott-Samuel
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department School of Psychological Science
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description

This unit provides a comprehensive understanding of how humans and other biological systems behave on the basis of information from the environment (perception) and from past experience (memory). The unit will familiarise students with theories of memory and perception (particularly vision), drawing on evidence from behavioural experiments and neuroscience. It is structured around a number of key themes, including an information-processing view of how photons arriving at the retina are turned in to biologically relevant information; the role of top-down knowledge in perception and memory, and the extent to which both perception and memory are reconstructive; ecological approaches to perception and memory; and the continuity between perception and memory in considering sensory memory, visual and verbal working memory, and priming in perceptual systems.

Aims:

  • Develop student's interest, scientific knowledge and understanding of the study of perception and memory
  • Introduce students to the methodological approaches to the study of perception and memory, including behavioural, computational, and neuroscientific approaches, and the application of these to particular areas such as perception of colour, depth, motion and faces; and semantic memory, episodic memory, working memory and procedural memory.
  • Develop a thorough understanding of the role of empirical evidence in the formation of theory and how theory guides the collection and interpretation of empirical data.
  • Help students to understand the conceptual and historical issues in the subject matter and their relation to other areas of psychological science.
  • Help students to acquire a wide range of transferable skills.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, the student will:

  • Have a comprehensive understanding and scientific knowledge of the topic and methodological approaches to the study of perception and memory, including perception of spatial form, colour, depth and motion; and semantic memory, episodic memory, working memory and procedural memory..
  • Have a comprehensive understanding of the application of these approaches to the study of specific areas of psychological science.
  • Be able to integrate this understanding of these methodologies with other areas of psychological science.
  • Be able to understand the conceptual and historical issues in the subject matter of this unit and how they relate to other areas of psychological science.
  • Be able to plan and contribute to seminar-based presentations of topics covered in this unit and have further improved their scientific writing skills.

Teaching details

This unit comprises 16 x 2 hour lectures (the second hour for Q&A purposes), two revision tutorials, and 8 x 1 hour seminars (presenting at one of these).

Assessment Details

Summative assessment with one 1600-word written essay (20%); one oral presentation in seminar (20%) and one 2-hour written exam (60%).

Reading and References

  • Mather, G. (either edition). Foundations of perception. Hove and New York: Psychology Press.
  • Baddeley, A., Eysenck, M. W., & Anderson, M. C. (2009). Memory. Hove: Psychology Press.
  • Schacter, D. L. (1996). Searching for memory: The brain, the mind, and the past. New York: Basic Books.

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