Neuroscience and the Mind

Subject PSYC30018 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours
Total Time Commitment:

Estimated total time commitment for this subject is 170 hours.


No prerequisites are required for this subject


No corequisites are required for this subject

Recommended Background Knowledge:

Prior coursework in at least two Level 2 psychology subjects, including Biological Psychology, is recommended.Level 2 psychology subjects are: Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Personality & Social Psychology.

Non Allowed Subjects:

512350 Brain, Cognition and Behaviour 3.

512307 Neuroscience and the Mind

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards of Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit Website:


Assoc Prof Rob Hester


Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

Currently enrolled students:

  • General information:
  • Email:

Future students:

  • Further information:
  • Email:

Subject Overview:

This subject explores the relationship between the brain and psychological attributes, such as behaviour and cognition. It covers a number of specific areas which may include:

  • the structure and function of the brain in general and clinical populations
  • how to measure brain activity, and how brain activity can be used to inform models of cognitive function
  • a variety of cognitive functions and their neural underpinnings, such as: representation of objects, rules, intentions, decisions, laterality, memory, number processing, attention and perception.
Learning Outcomes:


On completion of the subject students should demonstrate knowledge of:

  • The key research findings that underpin specific domains of cognitive neurosciences
  • The strengths and limitations of cognitive neuroscience methods used to examine the relationship between brain function and behaviour
  • How dysfunction in cortical systems is associated with symptoms of neurologic and psychiatric conditions
  • Ethical considerations of conducting and interpreting human and animal cognitive neuroscience research


On completion of the subject students will have had the opportunity to develop skills in:

  • Critically evaluating studies using cognitive neuroscience methods to examine brain and behaviour relationships
  • Identifying and justifying meaningful and appropriate methods of investigation for cognitive neuroscience research questions
  • Interpreting data accurately on the basis of appropriate analytical methods
  • Evaluating and drawing conclusions from research findings so as to inform different levels of society: individual clients, policymakers, health professionals
  • Communicating psychological research findings effectively in oral and written formats

Application of knowledge and skills

On completion of this subject students should be able to apply their knowledge and skills to:

  • Provide a critical evaluation of cognitive neuroscience evidence so as to inform individual or collective decision making
  • Conduct, statistically analyse and evaluate cognitive neuroscience methods to answer a psychological question
  • Oral debate of cognitive neuroscience research approaches to discovering new basic knowledge and clinical aetiology

Two written reports/essays of 1500 words each (50%) to be submitted during semester.

An examination of no more than two hours (50%) to be completed at the end of semester during the specified University examination period.

Each piece of assessment must be completed (hurdle requirement).

Attendance of at least 80% of the laboratory classes is a hurdle requirement. In case of failure to meet the hurdle requirement, additional work will be required before a passing grade can be awarded.

Prescribed Texts:
  • Gazzaniga, M.S., Ivry, R., Mangun, G. Cognitive Neuroscience (3rded.) New York: W.W Norton Publishers
  • Hanson, S.J., Bunzl, M. (2010). Foundational Issues in Human Brain Mapping. Cambridge, UK: MIT Press
Recommended Texts:

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students will be given appropriate opportunity and educational support to develop skills to:

  • critially evaluate studies exploring the relation between the brain and behaviour
  • test hypotheses, analyse and interpret data and to communicate scientific research effectively
  • develop skills in the oral and written communication of scientific research
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Psychology
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Psychology
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED
Related Breadth Track(s): Connecting the Mind and Brain
Perception and Cognition

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