The Integrated Brain

Subject PSYC30020 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

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:

512330 Human Psychophysiology 3

512309 Psychbiology of Sleep and Emotion

PSYC30020 Psychology of Sleep and Emotions

512309 Psychobiology of Sleep and Emotion

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:


Dr Amy Jordan


Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

12th floor Redmond Barry Building (Building 115 Map)

Telephone: + 61 3 8344 6377



Subject Overview:

There are more connections in a human brain than there are stars in the universe. This subject focuses on the brain as an integrated system and looks at how its many connected networks achieve coordinated effects, linking the mind to the brain and the body.

In exploring integration across the nervous system, this subject will examine topics such as the effects of neurotransmitters on emotions and behaviour, the nature of sleep and wakeful states and transitions between them, and mechanisms underlying the control of body movement. The connections between social factors and brain function will also be explored, as well as current ethical dilemmas in the field, such as the ethical consequences associated with recent technologies designed to alter our minds, or enhance brain function beyond normal healthy ranges.

Learning Outcomes:

This subject aims to:

  • provide students with an appreciation of the connectivity that exists between the mind and body and the implications of this connectivity in understanding individual aspects of brain function in health and disorders
  • introduce students to the mechanisms that ensure coordinated activity and function across the integrated brain
  • develop the student's ability to critically consider ethical consequences of neuroscientific advances that extend beyond the individual to society.

Two pieces of written work. Assignment 1 (15%) will be in the form of short answer questions (500 words total) and Assignment 2 (35%) will be an essay of 1500 words. Assignments are 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:

No prescribed text. A reading pack will be made available.

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:

  • think critically about theoretical and empirical issues in neuroscience and psychology
  • integrate evidence from multiple courses relating to the neurobiological basis of human cognition, emotional and social functioning
  • identify and consider ethical consequences arising from scientific advances
  • locate and use web-based scientific material effectively
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Psychology
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Psychology
Psychology Major
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED
Related Breadth Track(s): Connecting the Mind and Brain

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