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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Psychology

Postgraduate Course: Neuropsychology of Perception and Action (MSc) (PSYL11052)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course will provide an overview of the neural systems supporting our perception of the spatial world, and the movements of our bodies within it. The higher visual system will be used to illustrate the core concept of modularity, by which complex tasks are broken down into independent sub-tasks that can proceed in parallel. Some basic requirements for the control of goal-directed actions, such as reaching-and-grasping, will then be considered. There will be critical discussion of evidence that the neural pathways supporting the visual guidance of action are separate from those giving rise to visual awareness, so that the view of the world available to our mind's eye is not that which guides our actions. A key theme will be that the nervous system selects and combines information that is relevant to the task in hand, and that multiple representations of the world may be created simultaneously in order to meet a variety of goals. This course will draw on evidence from a wide range of research methods, with special emphasis given to the study of brain-damaged individuals with abnormalities of visual perception, attention or action.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students should have a background in neuropsychology / cognitive psychology. This course is only open to students on the MSc programme in Human Cognitive Neuropsychology, although other students may be permitted to take the course at the discretion of the course organiser.
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
To understand the core concept of modularity, and to be able to provide examples of modular processing in human vision, with reference to specific brain areas.

To understand the special role of the neuropsychological double dissociation in inferring modularity, and to be able to cite examples from the research literature.

To appreciate the sensory cues available to the nervous system for representing the spatial world, and to understand how these cues are exploited.

To understand the basic properties of feedforward and feedback control systems, and to be able to relate these to the control of human actions.

To develop skills in critical analysis of research papers in experimental psychology and neuropsychology.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsPerception, Space, Action, Human Cognition
Course organiserDr Robert Mcintosh
Tel: (0131 6)50 3444
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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