COMP19120 Brain, Cognition, Sensation, Perception, Language and Communication syllabus 2015-2016
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.
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.
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.
66 hours in total
Feedback will be provided after each examination.
- Assessment written exam (4 hours)
- Lectures (66 hours)
- Analytical skills
- Problem solving
|Programme outcome||Unit learning outcomes||Assessment|
|A5 A7 A8||Recognise the complementary but different roles played by bottom-up and top-down processing in how we interpret the world|
|A5 A7 A8||Demonstrate an understanding of sensation and perception in the different sensory modalities, from receptors to higher level processing|
|A5 A7 A8||Describe and understand the methods used to investigate sensation and perception|
|A5 A7 A8||Recognise the limitations imposed by particular design decisions|
|A5 A7 A8||Demonstrate an understanding of basic topics in cognition Describe, understand and compare the methods used in brain and cognition research|
|A5 A7 A8||Relate empirical findings to our understanding of cognition in the real world|
|A5 A7 A8||Acquire a basic understanding of the relationship between brain and cognition|
|A5 A7 A8||Question and reflect on the importance of language and communication to human behaviour|
|A5 A7 A8||Understand current models and theories of language and communication, especially in the light of recent empirical findings|
|B1 B3 B5||Understand and compare the empirical basis for different theories of sensation and perception and cognition research|
|B1 B3 B5||Apply knowledge of brain and cognition, sensation and perception to interpret research findings and everyday situations|
|B1 B3 B5||Compare and contrast different language and communication models and their predictions|
|C4 C9||Appraise empirical data|
|C4 C9||Critically reflect on issues relating to carrying out empirical research and theoretical models based on empirical findings|
|C5 C9||Practical aspects are not covered beyond the lecture content|
|D1 D4 D5 D9||Synthesising information|
|D1 D4 D5 D9||Summarising theories and evidence|
|D1 D4 D5 D9||Critical thinking, evaluating research|
|D1 D4 D5 D9||Communicating effectively both orally and in writing|
|D1 D4 D5 D9||Presenting concise and persuasive arguments|
|Sensation and perception (8th edition)||Goldstein, Bruce E.||9780495601500||Wadsworth (Cengage Learining)||2010||✖|
|Cognitive psychology: a student's handbook (6th edition)||Eysenck, Michael W. and Mark T. Keane||9781841695402||Psychology Press||2010||✖|
|Foundations of behavioral neuroscience (8th edition)||Carlson, Neil R.||9780205776085||Pearson||2010||✖|
|Introduction to psycholinguistics: understanding language science||Traxler, Matthew J.||9781405198622||Wiley-Blackwell||2012||✖|
Course unit materials
Links to course unit teaching materials can be found on the School of Computer Science website for current students.