PSYCH 305 : Human Neuroscience


2022 Semester Two (1225) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Covers material relating to the neural basis of cognitive processes, including perception, attention, memory and language. Students will be introduced to different methods of inferring mind-brain relations in normal and neurologically-impaired individuals, and different ways of conceptualising mind-brain relations, such as connectionism and modularism.

Course Overview

This course covers material relating to the neural bases of human psychological function and dysfunction. Students will be introduced to different methods of inferring mind-brain relations in normal and neurologically impaired individuals. The methods discussed in this course include electrophysiological, neuroimaging, and neuropsychological tools used to study human neuroscience. The course explores a broad range of topics including attention, memory, neural oscillations, long-term synaptic plasticity, human brain evolution, imagination, creativity, ageing, cognitive impairment, neurodegenerative disorders, neural mechanisms of automaticity and higher-level social cognitive processes. The course consists of four stand-alone sections each of which will explore a particular approach to human neuroscience.  

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 45 points at Stage II in Psychology and 15 points from STATS 100-125, or MEDSCI 206 or PHYSIOL 220

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe the contributions of human neuroscience to research programmes in various areas of psychological research and practice (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  2. Apply a working knowledge of contemporary methodological approaches to human neuroscience research, including electrophysiology (EEG, ERP, neural oscillations), functional neuroimaging (fMRI), genetics, and neuropsychology. Students should be aware of the strengths of each method as well as their limitations (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  3. Describe and explain the functions of neural oscillations, synaptic mechanisms of memory, and the evolution of the human brain (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  4. Understand and describe neurodegenerative disease across multiple levels of analysis, including typical cognitive and behavioural changes, neuropathology and changes in brain functioning, genetic factors of the diseases, and developments in prevention, management and treatments. This will include developing a critical awareness of the challenges and limitations of conducting multidisciplinary neuroscience research (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  5. Describe and explain the neural bases underpinning constructive and episodic memory, future imagination, creativity, and theory of mind (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  6. Explain and critically evaluate the neural and psychological mechanisms designed to achieve adaptive self-regulation and optimal human functioning (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Quizzes (weekly revision) 10% Individual Coursework
Assignment 1 10% Individual Coursework
Assignment 2 20% Individual Coursework
Laboratories 10% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Quizzes (weekly revision)
Assignment 1
Assignment 2
Final Exam


This course is supported by the Tuākana in Science Programme, which facilitates the success and wellbeing of our Māori and Pacific students. The foundation of the Tuākana Programme is the Tuākana-Teina principle an integral relationship in which older or more expert Tuākana (traditionally brother, sister or cousin) guides a younger or less expert Teina (traditionally younger sibling or cousin). This is a reciprocal relationship which fosters safe learning and teaching environments. Read more here:

Special Requirements

Assignments should be in APA style, typed, and handed in online. Double spacing, 2.5cm margins, and 12-point fonts must be used. For all assignments, indicate your total word count (including in-text references but excluding your reference list)on the title page of your assignments. This must be filled in. Assignments handed in late (without an approved extension) will lose 10% of the total marks per day for a maximum of five days.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 3 hours of lectures, and a 2-hour lab per week. Since the course as a whole represents approximately 150 hours of study, that leaves a total of 90 hours across the entire semester for independent study, e.g. reading, reflection, preparing for assessments/exams, etc.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including lectures/labs to complete credit for components of the course. Laboratory attendance is not generally compulsory, but we regard the laboratory component as an integral part of the teaching of the course. Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including labs will be available as Powerpoint presentations but not full recordings. The course will not include live online events.  Attendance on campus is required for the exam. The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

This course is available to offshore students and students who have been exempted from in-person attendance. Different conditions will apply to these students.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

There is no required textbook for the course; lecturers will provide specic readings for each lecture series including background reading if necessary.  A recommended text that provides a foundational knowledge of cognitive neuroscience is Gazzaniga, M.S., Ivry, R.B., & Mangun, G.R. (2014). Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind. W.W. Norton & Co

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 09/11/2021 01:10 p.m.