Warning! This unit contains mature content and may not be suitable for some students. Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.

Subject details

Students participating in PSYX236 will gain a general understanding of the mechanisms of behavioural neuroscience, neurophysiology, neuropharmacology and learning.

Students will develop their skills in the following:

  1. Communication and Information Technology Skills: Computer-based skills will be required to produce the research report. Preparation of the research report will also include using the network and accessing the library to search for information.
  2. Written communication skills: These skills will be developed through the biopsychology research report (where you will have to clearly describe the rationale and aims of the experiment, interpret what the findings mean and the implications of these).
  3. Self-awareness and interpersonal skills: In order to manage the work in the course, to be prepared for exams and to submit assignments on time, students will need to identify and set targets and goals. Students will learn to plan their time in the most productive way possible.
  4. Problem-solving skills: Any piece of assessment is a problem to be solved. Students need to identify the problem and implement the most effective and efficient solution. They are then able to reflect on past assessments to learn how they may be able to improve on their problem-solving skills.
    • 1. Introduction to Learning
    • 2. Classical Conditioning, Principles and Applications of Classical Conditioning
    • 3. Research on Classical Conditioning; Introduction to Operant Conditioning
    • 4. Schedules of Reinforcement; Applications of Reinforcement
    • 5. Extinction; Punishment
    • 6. Behavioural Neuroscience: Genetics
    • 7. The Nervous Systems: Brain Cells
    • 8. Neurophysiology; Neurochemistry; Communication by Receptors
    • 9. Neurotransmitters; Neurotransmitter System Dysfunction
    • 10. Substance Abuse; Addiction
    • 11. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Lecture capture

You must have successfully completed the following subject(s) before starting this subject:

MAQ-PSYX105-Introduction to Psychology II

Special requirements

  • OtherDetails -

    Students who have an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion under Macquarie University's Academic Progression Policy are not permitted to enrol in OUA units offered by Macquarie University. Students with an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion who have enrolled in units through OUA will be withdrawn.

Topics covered in the first half of the subject provide a basic understanding of the basic principles underlying associative learning, including classical conditioning and operant conditioning, social learning as well as neural mechanisms of learning. The latter half of the unit includes the cytoarchitecture of central and peripheral neurons, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, neurotransmitters and methods in behavioural neuroscience.

  • Weekly online quiz (self assessment 0%)
  • Mid semester test (30%)
  • Research report (1000 words) (30%)
  • Invigilated examination (40%)

Textbook information is pending.

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