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Module PSP-3006:
Disorders of Soc Cognition

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Richard Ramsey

Overall aims and purpose

This module will consider human brain function in social contexts. The approach will focus on exploring the neural bases of social cognition in healthy individuals, as well as providing case studies from atypical populations, whose pathologies are typified by dysfunction in social information processing. Examples of such pathologies include autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

By examining healthy and atypical populations, this module will highlight both how disorders of social cognition can inform our understanding of healthy brain function, as well as how understanding healthy brain function can inform disorders of social cognition.

Course content

Topics covered in this module include:

• Forms of social cognition in humans

• Brain systems supporting social cognition in humans

• Techniques for studying social cognition in typical and atypical populations

• Case studies of atypical populations, whose conditions are typified by a dysfunction in social information processing

Assessment Criteria


Adequate understanding of the material is demonstrated, which is largely based on information provided within lectures.


Generally accurate coverage of relevant material, which shows evidence of independent thought that extends lecture materials. Well organised and structured.


Consistently accurate coverage of relevant material, which shows a depth of independent thought that comprehensively extends lecture materials. Well organised and structured with a clear and efficient writing style.

Learning outcomes

  1. Critically evaluate theories and data relating to social neuroscience.

  2. Relate how knowledge of the healthy brain can inform our understanding of individuals with social cognitions impairments, and vice versa.

  3. Generate a novel research question and outline an experiment that would extend current knowledge in social neuroscience.

  4. Effectively communicate scientific material relating to social neuroscience in an oral and written formats.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Oral Presentation of Grant Proposal 25
Written Grant Proposal 70
Attendance to all Oral Presentations 5

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Lecture 33
Private study 167

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • 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
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.

Subject specific skills

  • Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in oral form.
  • Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
  • Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
  • Understand and investigate the role of brain function in all human behaviour and experience.
  • Comprehend and use psychological data effectively, demonstrating a systematic knowledge of the application and limitations of various research paradigms and techniques.
  • Employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology.
  • Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: