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Unit (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Psychology: Biological Bases of Behaviour (PSY251)

Organisational Unit Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S1-internal
KAPLAN-SGP: TJA-internal, TMA-internal, TSA-internal
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S1
Description This unit introduces students to the biological foundations of human behaviour. Topics include the organisation and function of the nervous system, the role of drugs and neurotransmitters in this system, the psychophysiology of motivational states such as sleep, temperature and eating, and the biology of learning, addiction, and mood disorders. Biological influences on emotion and psychopathology, and the impact of negative emotions on health, will also be addressed.
Unit Learning Outcomes On successful completion of the unit, you should be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes that reflect these graduate attributes:
1. Demonstrate some knowledge and understanding of the main topic areas within biological psychology (GA 1), and have a critical awareness of how these areas overlap and interact with other perspectives in psychology. (GA 3)
2. Be able to critically compare and contrast a variety of research methods utilised in psychophysiology and cognitive neuroscience. (GA 2, GA 3)
3. Be able to collect and interpret research data, and write a laboratory report in the style used for journal articles. (GA 2, GA 3, GA 5)
4. Be able to describe some of the ways in which biological psychology explains everyday experiences, as well as its applications to understanding abnormal behaviour (GA 6)
5. Display a critical awareness of ethical considerations when applying biological explanations to human behaviour (GA 4).
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: 1 x 2 hours per week (x11 weeks); Tutorials: 6 x 2 hour per teaching period; optional Peer Assisted Study Session (PASS): 1 hour per week.
All offerings of this unit include the equivalent of 30 hours of structured learning.
Unit Learning Experiences The approach to learning in this unit involves a combination of structured timetabled learning (lectures and tutorials) as well as self-directed learning tasks. The lecture component of the unit will introduce you to the organization and function of the nervous system and key methods in physiological psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Lecture topics will also include an introduction into the biology of learning, addiction, mood disorders, and internal regulation; and relationships between stress, health, and wellbeing. The laboratory/tutorial component is designed to supplement the topics covered in lectures with practical exercises, and to give you an opportunity to experience some of the research methodologies employed within psychophysiology. Self-directed learning includes assigned readings and use of online study resources.
Other Learning Experiences Three online brain simulation modules.
Assessment The assessments include 5 mini quizzes (20%), lab report (35%), tutorial engagement (5%) and an exam (40%). The quizzes and tutorial activities demonstrate an understanding of brain functions and how they relate to behaviours. The lab report demonstrates the learning objective of evaluating relationships between mental state, behaviour, and physiological responses while critically considering experimental design and interpreting data in psycho-physiological research. Written feedback on the lab report will be provided by tutors. The exam assesses knowledge and understanding of the main perspectives, methodologies, and topic areas of this unit.
Prerequisites PSY173 Introduction to Psychological Research Methods
Exclusions Students who have successfully completed PSY351 Psychology: Biological Bases of Behaviour may not enrol in this unit for credit.
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Human Behaviour [New in 2019]
Psychology (BA)
Psychology (BA) [New in 2017]
Psychology (Kaplan, Singapore) (BA) [New in 2017]
Appears in these Co-Majors Human Behaviour
Appears in these Minors Neuroscience
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


Unit Coordinator
Dr Lechi Vo
Lecturer (Teaching Scholar)

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 7840
e: L.Vo@murdoch.edu.au
o: 440.1.013 - Building 440, Murdoch Campus
Unit Contacts

MURDOCH: S1-Internal
Dr Lechi Vo
Lecturer (Teaching Scholar)

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 7840
e: L.Vo@murdoch.edu.au
o: 440.1.013 - Building 440, Murdoch Campus
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