PSYC3317 Cognitive Neuroscience

6 points
Not available in 2019UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the Psychological Science; Psychology in Society; Psychology major sequences
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Life and Health Sciences
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 3 elective
This unit bridges cognitive science and cognitive psychology on the one hand, and biology and neuroscience on the other. It is critical to understanding the link between the mind and brain. Cognitive neuroscience investigates all mental functions that are linked to neural processes and ranges from experiments performed in the laboratory to computer simulations, and can involve humans and animals. The unit consists of an integrated series of lectures, laboratories, reading and assessment and aims to provide a sound understanding of fundamental concepts and contemporary issues in cognitive neuroscience. It introduces the field and techniques of cognitive neuroscience and covers key concepts in vision, attention, action, memory, audition, language, emotion, development and executive functions.
Students are able to (1) appreciate the importance of the scientific method in advancing psychological knowledge; (2) describe the neural bases of selected psychological processes; (3) understand the effect of brain damage on psychological processes and how to measure that effect; (4) critically evaluate cognitive neuroscience research; (5) understand and use research tools for studying brain function relevant to psychology; and (6) present written and oral summaries of the state of knowledge of an area of cognitive neuroscience.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments; (2) in-class assessment; and (3) examination. 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 Romina Palermo
Unit rules
PSYC1101 Psychology: Mind and Brain
PSYC1102 Psychology: Behaviour in Context
PSYC2203 Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Psychology
one other Level 2 Psychology unit
PSYC2217 Cognitive Neuroscience
Contact hours
lectures: 1 x 2-hour session per week (for 13 weeks); labs/tutorials: 1 x 2 hours (for 5 weeks);
Enrolled students can access unit material via the LMS (Learning Management System).

Students are exposed to topics in psychology units that may cause some discomfort or distress in certain individuals (e.g. depression, suicide, trauma, eating disorders). They also require to demonstrate skills across a variety of different formats and contexts (e.g. written assessments, participation in practical work, contribution to group discussions, oral presentations, examinations), and so it is important to carefully consider whether they are able to cope with the demands of studying psychology and whether there is anything that would impact upon their ability to complete the requirements of the unit. Refer to individual unit outlines for more detailed unit information.

Current textbook information is available in the School of Psychology textbooks list.

  • 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 at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.