Postgraduate Course: Consciousness and Perceptual Awareness (PSYL11071)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||The 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)?
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)
||Other requirements|| None
|Additional Costs|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
||Block 3 (Sem 2)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|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.
||Comments provided on submitted assessments
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- be familiar with a range of phenomena used to investigate consciousness and awareness
- gain an understanding of the methodological difficulties involved in designing experiments to investigate subjective experience
- gain an ability to distinguish and interpret studies employing objective and subjective measures of awareness
- gain knowledge of current theories of consciousness and its neural correlates
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|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
|Course organiser||Dr David Podhortzer Carmel
Tel: (0131 6)50 3455
|Course secretary||Miss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188