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

Postgraduate Course: Consciousness and Perceptual Awareness (PSYL11071)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe sense of being conscious - both of ourselves and of the world around us - is a central aspect of our psychological makeup. It is well established, however, that a great deal of perceptual processing can be accomplished without awareness. This raises several questions that have been the focus of intense research in recent years:
- What neural activity distinguishes conscious and non-conscious perceptual processes?
- What factors determine whether a percept will reach awareness or not?
- How does consciousness interact with faculties such as attention and memory?
- What sorts of neural activity determine states of consciousness (wakefulness, sleep, coma, vegetative state)?
Course description In this course we will discuss new findings on the above questions, and the theoretical debates they have triggered regarding the nature of consciousness. We will also delve into the fierce ongoing arguments on methodological issues regarding the best ways to rigorously assess people's subjective experience.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Block 3 (Sem 2)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 98 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1. Class presentation assignment (30%): Students will prepare a 10-minute presentation on a published study to be given in class.

2. Research proposal (70%): Each student will prepare and present a proposal for a study, which will address a gap or open question in material covered in the course or relevant to it. This assessment will consist of two separate elements, following a similar procedure to conference submissions and presentations:

(A) Abstract submission (25% of the final mark): Students will submit an abstract of their proposal, consisting of appropriate background drawn from the course material, leading to an open question, and followed by an experimental design that would address this question.

(B) Poster (45% of the final mark): Students will submit a poster based on their abstract (following feedback from the lecturer), and give a 5-minute presentation of their poster in a class poster session.
Feedback Comments provided on submitted assessments
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. be familiar with a range of phenomena used to investigate consciousness and awareness
  2. gain an understanding of the methodological difficulties involved in designing experiments to investigate subjective experience
  3. gain an ability to distinguish and interpret studies employing objective and subjective measures of awareness
  4. gain knowledge of current theories of consciousness and its neural correlates
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Lectures: 5 (2 hours each)
Seminar/Tutorials: 5 (3 * 1-hour sessions, 2 * 2-hour sessions)

Attend all lectures as scheduled
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr David Podhortzer Carmel
Tel: (0131 6)50 3455
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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