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BSc Biology with Science & Society / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
"Sensory Systems" takes an integrated look at how information from the outside world is processes by a nervous system. Focussing on the neuronal cell and circuit level of the senses in primates, it also compares "sense" across species, and expands to examine how senses are integrated and interpreted at a cognitive level.
|Unit title||Unit code||Requirement type||Description|
|Excitable Cells: the Foundations of Neuroscience||BIOL10832||Pre-Requisite||Compulsory|
This course aims to explain
- how external stimuli impact upon central neural pathways to give rise to perception
- the nature and extent of sensory systems from periphery to CNS, with emphasis on the higher mammalian systems, but including appropriate comparative comparisons
- basic elements of the cognitive processes involved in sensory interpretation and reaction.
- Introduction to comparative sensory physiology (1 module)
- Chemoreception: gustation and olfaction (2 modules)
- Vision: eye, retina and the vision we don’t see (3 modules)
- Comparative aspects of colour vision (1 module)
Knowledge and understanding
Students should be able to; Comprehend the ability of the nervous system to access, integrate and interpret sensory information. Understand the common plan of sensory systems across species, as models for neuroscience research. Look beyond "sense" to cognition.
Students should be able to; Aquire new information from lecture and non-lecture sources. Integrate and understand complex concepts. Understand complex concepts. Understand and apply factual knowledge.
Students should be able to; Retrieve information from non-lecture sources; integrate this with material delivered in the module.
Transferable skills and personal qualities
Students should be able to be self motivate and use all the available learning resources.
- Group/team working
- Encourage the use of Blackboards discussion group for student-to-student communication. There is also a student led discussion group.
- Oral communication
- Students are reminded (repeatedly) to ask questions during or after lectures, and one session is devoted to discussion of examination questions and how best to answer them.
- Looking at research, as presented in the lecture course; with insight into research methods etc.
- Written communication
- Strongly encourage the use of Blackboards discussion group.
- Online weekly e-Tests - 30 minutes long - Feedback is given after each test has closed 15%
- End of semester exam, (Section A - SAQs / Section B - 1 essay from 3) - 2 hours - Feedback is given after exa results are released. 85% (A 25% / B 60%)
Feedback for the online tests is automated and will be provided after each test closes. The blackboard online discussion board will be used for specific questions so that all students and staff can view and comment on these. Alternatively, students can e-mail staff directly and the question will be transferred to the discussion board, anonymously, along with the answer. There will be a feedback session after the exam. The format of this session will be dependent on the current covid-19 situation.
Bear MF, Connors BW & Paradiso MA. Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain (3rd Edition) 2006 Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins
Kandel ER, Schwartz JH & Jessel TM. Principles of Neural Science (4th Edition) 2000 McGraw-Hill Medical
For Information and advice on Link2Lists reading list software, see:
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||1.3|
|Independent study hours|
|Nicholas Glossop||Unit coordinator|