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This is an archived syllabus from 2015-2016

COMP19120 Brain, Cognition, Sensation, Perception, Language and Communication syllabus 2015-2016

COMP19120 Brain, Cognition, Sensation, Perception, Language and Communication

Level 1
Credits: 20
Enrolled students: 8

Course leader: Simon Harper


Additional staff: view all staff

Additional requirements

  • COMP19120 - This unit is only for students on the BSc (Hons) Computer Science (Human Computer Interaction) programme.

Assessment methods

  • 100% Written exam
Timetable
SemesterEventLocationDayTimeGroup
Sem 1 w1-5,7-12 Lecture Stopford TH 1 Tue 11:30 - 13:00 -
Sem 2 w19-25,29-33 Lecture Stopford TH 1 Fri 09:00 - 10:30 -
Sem 2 w19-25,29-33 Lecture Stopford TH 1 Fri 10:30 - 12:00 -

Overview

In this unit we will follow each sensory system (vision, hearing, touch, taste, smell) from the firing of receptors that detect physical signals in the environment, up to higher level processing in the brain, considering illusions at every level. We will explore the perception of aspects such as brightness, colour, motion, depth, musical pitch, texture, pain and flavour. 

We will examine how sensory information processing links to behaviour and motor control. We will also introduce students to basic neuro-anatomy and key concepts in the cognitive psychology of memory, attention, decision-making and reasoning. Students will become familiar with multidisciplinary methods of investigation through behavioural, computational, neuropsychological and neuroimaging tools. 

Finally, students will be introduced to the field of language and communication from an inter-disciplinary perspective, integrating research from the field of psychology, linguistics and anthropology.

Aims

This Unit is an Umbrella Unit for 3 PSYC part-units and comprises Lectures and Exam Assessments only for PSYC10411, PSYC11312, and PSYC11212.

The unit aims to provide students with an overview of the basic elements of sensation and perception and to introduce them to philosophical, experimental and biological approaches. Students will learn about the fundamental aspects of vision and other sensory systems, as well as the basic concepts in behavioural neuroscience and cognitive psychology, and provide students with knowledge of central topics and key areas of research inquiry in this field.

Finally, an overview of the psychology of language and communication in both human and non-human species will introduce students to the definition of language, its history and study.

Syllabus

In Semester 1, students will be introduced to the field of language and communication from an inter-disciplinary perspective, integrating research from the field of psychology, linguistics and anthropology. The course starts out with an overview of the phenomenon of language, its history and its study. The question of what language is will be discussed, especially in the light of comparing animal and human communication. Later in the unit, students will be familiarised with core theories in figurative language use, speech production and comprehension, as well as the comprehension of written language and reading disorders such as dyslexia.

 

In Semester 2, students will be introduced to the field of Brain, Cognition, Sensation, Perception from an inter-disciplinary perspective and covering Structure of the Nervous System, Structure and Functions of cells in the Nervous System, Neurotransmitters, Structural vs. Process Memory Models, Working Memory, Knowledge, Meaning and Schemas, Remembering and Forgetting – Everyday Memory, Attention, Problem Solving, and Decision Making. Further we will introduce perception, Light and the Eye, Perceiving contrast, Spatial vision and visual pathways in the brain; Form, Depth, Colour, Sound, and Motion perception; Touch and pain, The chemical senses and multisensory integration, finishing with Visual illusions and magic.

COMP19120 is assessed by three examinations.  All components must be passed in order to pass this course unit. 

Teaching methods

Lectures

66 hours in total

Feedback methods

Feedback will be provided after each examination.

Study hours

  • Assessment written exam (4 hours)
  • Lectures (66 hours)

Employability skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Problem solving
  • Research

Learning outcomes

Programme outcomeUnit learning outcomesAssessment
A5 A7 A8Recognise the complementary but different roles played by bottom-up and top-down processing in how we interpret the world
  • Examination
A5 A7 A8Demonstrate an understanding of sensation and perception in the different sensory modalities, from receptors to higher level processing
  • Examination
A5 A7 A8Describe and understand the methods used to investigate sensation and perception
  • Examination
A5 A7 A8Recognise the limitations imposed by particular design decisions
  • Examination
A5 A7 A8Demonstrate an understanding of basic topics in cognition Describe, understand and compare the methods used in brain and cognition research
  • Examination
A5 A7 A8Relate empirical findings to our understanding of cognition in the real world
  • Examination
A5 A7 A8Acquire a basic understanding of the relationship between brain and cognition
  • Examination
A5 A7 A8Question and reflect on the importance of language and communication to human behaviour
  • Examination
A5 A7 A8Understand current models and theories of language and communication, especially in the light of recent empirical findings
  • Examination
B1 B3 B5Understand and compare the empirical basis for different theories of sensation and perception and cognition research
  • Examination
B1 B3 B5Apply knowledge of brain and cognition, sensation and perception to interpret research findings and everyday situations
  • Examination
B1 B3 B5Compare and contrast different language and communication models and their predictions
  • Examination
C4 C9Appraise empirical data
  • Examination
C4 C9Critically reflect on issues relating to carrying out empirical research and theoretical models based on empirical findings
  • Examination
C5 C9Practical aspects are not covered beyond the lecture content
  • Examination
D1 D4 D5 D9 Synthesising information
  • Examination
D1 D4 D5 D9 Summarising theories and evidence
  • Examination
D1 D4 D5 D9 Critical thinking, evaluating research
  • Examination
D1 D4 D5 D9 Communicating effectively both orally and in writing
  • Examination
D1 D4 D5 D9 Presenting concise and persuasive arguments
  • Examination

Reading list

TitleAuthorISBNPublisherYearCore
Sensation and perception (8th edition)Goldstein, Bruce E.9780495601500Wadsworth (Cengage Learining)2010
Cognitive psychology: a student's handbook (6th edition)Eysenck, Michael W. and Mark T. Keane9781841695402Psychology Press2010
Foundations of behavioral neuroscience (8th edition)Carlson, Neil R.9780205776085Pearson2010
Introduction to psycholinguistics: understanding language scienceTraxler, Matthew J.9781405198622Wiley-Blackwell2012

Additional notes

Course unit materials

Links to course unit teaching materials can be found on the School of Computer Science website for current students.