NEUR1001 Neuroscience in Society

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 option in the Humanities in Health and Medicine major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Life and Health Sciences
  • Category A broadening unit for Bachelor of Science students where relevant according to the broadening requirements for each student
  • Level 1 elective
Inside our heads, weighing about 1.5 kg, the brain is an astonishing organ consisting of billions of tiny cells. With our extraordinary brains, we sense the world around us, process information and interact with our environment and the living beings within it. Over history, our brains have contribute to complex and mysterious behaviours in many different cultures and societies. The human brain is the most complex organ of the body and arguably the most complex thing on earth!

In this unit, students become explorers of the human brain and the behaviours that it underpins. Each week, the unit describes the most up to date information about how the brain is involved in a particular aspect of human behaviour. It then extends and challenges students' thinking to consider the significance and impact of this behaviour on ourselves and on society. It helps students to seek a new way to approach some of the really challenging and important questions in life such as—What is beauty? Why do we have wars? How does the brain process mystical and religious experiences? Why do we love music? Why are jokes funny?

The objectives of the unit are to (1) explore how big issues in our multicultural society can be explored and addressed by studying the brain; (2) experience the challenges of global communication via social media; (3) integrate science and creativity to explore global issues in society; (4) encourage students to experience creative thinking in a multidisciplinary learning environment; and (5) engage in a creative process that is inspired by scientific data.
Students are able to (1) show multidisciplinary understanding of human behaviours at a global level; (2) communicate across disciplines to integrate Neuroscience with an important issue in society; (3) explain how complex behaviours in individuals, cultures and societies are underpinned by brain function and organisation; (4) create an original artwork; and (5) generate a piece of scientific writing.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) online activities; (2) major assignment: creative work and scientific writing; and (3) interactive discussion sessions. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Jenny Rodger and Dr Dominique Blache
Contact hours
lectures: 2 x 1 hour per week; online activities: 2.5 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.