Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory (PSYL10159)

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Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory (PSYL10159)

Semester 1, Monday 2:10pm-4:00pm 

BPS core areas - Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology


What will be covered?

In this course, we will explore the cognitive and neural processes that support memory. The course will cover how we hold information in mind over the short term, how we store semantic memories for general world knowledge and how we encode and recall episodic memories of specific events. 
The course will draw on evidence from behavioural experiments in healthy individuals, neuropsychological studies in people with brain damage, functional neuroimaging studies and brain stimulation studies. Students will be encouraged to contrast the different types of insights we can gain from these different methodological approaches. 

How will it be delivered?

Primarily lectures with breaks for discussions in small groups. There will be opportunities for students to test their understanding through self-testing and short quizzes in each lecture.

Lecture recording policy: Some of the lectures will be recorded while others will not be.

What skills will be gained?

Throughout the course, students will gain an appreciation of how converging evidence from multiple sources can be used to develop and test theories of cognitive processing. They will develop skills in critical analysis, knowledge and understanding of the topic, presenting and structuring arguments and technical writing skills.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Understand current research investigating the cognitive and neural mechanisms by which memories are encoded, maintained and retrieved.

2. Understand some of the major theoretical models of memory and how they relate to brain function.

3. Identify the ways in which brain damage can impair different aspects of memory.

4. Appreciate the strengths and limitations of different methods used in cognitive neuroscience/psychology and what kind of research questions can be addressed by each.

5. Critically evaluate research studies in the field of human memory.


30% MCQ Test (in class Monday 28th October, 2:10pm, S1 7 George Square)

The mid-course MCQ test completed in class will also allow students to assess their progress during their course. The test will consist of 40 questions with five options per question.

70% Final Exam (December Exam Diet)

2 hr Exam. Students will answer two essay questions from a choice of five.

Relationship Between Assessment and Learning Outcomes

The mid-course MCQ and final exam will each provide opportunities to assess all of the learning outcomes.

Reading resources

Indicative reading:

Core readings will be taken from the following texts. A more detailed reading list will be provided on Learn in advance of each section of the course.

Baddeley, A., Eysenck, M. W., & Anderson, M. C. (2015). Memory (2nd Edition). Psychology Press.

Ward, J. (2015). The Student’s Guide to Cognitive Neuroscience (3rd Edition). Psychology Press.

Resources list:

Logie, R.H. & Cowan, N. (2015). Perspectives on working memory. Memory and Cognition, 43, 315–324.

Shallice, T. & Papagno, C. (2019). Impairments of auditory-verbal short- term memory: Do selective deficits of the input phonological buffer exist? Cortex, 112, 107-121

Lambon Ralph, M. A., & Patterson, K. (2008). Generalisation and differentiation in semantic memory. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1124, 61-76.

Schacter, D. L., Guerin, S. A., & Jacques, P. L. S. (2011). Memory distortion: An adaptive perspective. Trends in cognitive sciences, 15(10), 467-474.

04/09/2019 - 1:00pm