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Module PCP-3009:
Control of Mental Processes

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Paloma Mari-Beffa

Overall aims and purpose

This module will provide a deeper understanding of basic mechanisims of executive functions with the idea of seeking their potential application in normal and special populations. After reviewing some of the theoretical modules created to account for these processes, students will be presented with a closer look at the neural structures responsible for cognitive control while linking it with analyses of its abnormal functioning, particularly in typical examples of loss of executive control.

Throughout the module students will present case studies in which a particular intervention to improve some of these functions is presented. Each case will be followed by a discussion on the basic cognitive mechanisms underlying the problem and its solution, particularly in typical examples of loss of executive control.

The aim of the module is to empower students with analytical skills used in Neurocognitive assessment to explain executive function in normal and special populations.

Course content


Assessment Criteria


Adequate answer to the question, largely based on lecture materinal. No real development of arguments.


Reasonable comprehensive coverage. Well organised and structured. Good understanding of the material.


Comprehensive and accurate coverage of the area. Clarity of argument and expression. Depth of insight into theoretical issues.

Learning outcomes

  1. To understand the coordination across multiple cognitive processes needed for a particular action.

  2. To know and understand the basic mechanisms behind cognitive control.

  3. To be able to use cognitive theories to explain behaviour.

  4. To know the mechanisms studied by each of the cognitive paradigms.

  5. To be able to apply this knowledge to individual cases.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM Final Exam 60

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Lecture 11
Workshop 33
Private study 156

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: