The Body in the Mind
Rhedir gan School of Psychology
20 Credyd neu 10 Credyd ECTS
Trefnydd: Dr Lara Maister
The true nature of the self has long fascinated psychologists, neuroscientists and philosophers. However, we know that the self-representation is highly multidimensional, made up of many different types of information and experiences. In this module, we look at the diverse types of representations that come together to make “you”, with a particular focus on the body. We first learn about the basic mechanisms of self-awareness, including body ownership and agency, and experiment with fun body illusions to explore what information the brain requires to generate these ongoing experiences. We use this foundational knowledge to go deeper into topical themes including virtual reality, prosthetic and robotic limbs, and to understand clinical disorders related to bodily self-awareness including anorexia, body dysmorphia and depersonalisation. Importantly, the way we experience our bodies is not only relevant to the self, but also influences how we perceive and interact with others. In the second main theme of the module, we learn about the striking sociocognitive effects of embodying a different person, for example in virtual reality, on our attitudes and beliefs, and discuss the future implications this might have for our increasingly ‘virtual’ social lives. Finally, we shift our focus, from the body as experienced from the outside, to the body from within. Interoception, defined as the “awareness of physical sensations from inside the body”, plays a crucial role in a wide range of cognitive and emotional psychological processes. In the third theme of the module, we delve deeply into this neglected “sixth sense”, understanding how it forms an essential basis of self-consciousness, how it is implicated in a number of clinical psychological disorders, and how it may be linked to mindfulness. Overall, this module aims to provide you with an in-depth understanding of how the body is represented in the mind, the embodied basis of self-consciousness, and the huge importance this has for social cognition, mental health and wellbeing.
This module will provide a solid theoretical understanding of the central topics within self-representation, and how they link to other key areas of psychology including perception, social cognition, and clinical disorders. Relevant empirical evidence will be presented throughout, to provide a detailed review of key neuroscientific, behavioural and psychophysiological techniques.
Main themes include:
Is This Me? We will explore the basic, fundamental mechanisms of self-consciousness, including body ownership (how we know what is part of our body and what is not) and agency (the feeling of control over our own actions).
Changing Bodies, Changing Minds: We will learn about the role of self-body representations in social cognition, and how we can use bodily illusions, synchronous movements and virtual reality to induce changes in social attitudes and stereotypes.
Gut feelings: We will introduce the “sixth sense”, interoception, which tells you what is happening inside your body. We explore why interoception is considered to be the fundamental basis of self-awareness, how it plays a crucial role in our cognition, decision making, emotional and social functioning, and how it can affect our mental health.
Reasonably comprehensive coverage of the relevant topics. Answer is well- structured and organised. Good understanding of the material. Will often bring in material from outside the lectures to illustrate understanding. Answer demonstrates some independent thoughts and insights. 50-69% Grades C-B.
Adequate answer to the question, but with a limited elaboration of the arguments. Answer is largely based on the lecture material provided, with little evidence of wider reading. 40-49%, Grade D.
Comprehensive and accurate coverage of the area. Answer shows a clarity of argument and expression. Uses material from outside of lectures to illustrate and clarify the arguments made. Depth of insight into theoretical issues, with clear evidence of independent thought. 70% and above, Grade A.
Explain complex concepts within self- and body-representation in simple, clear ways using verbal and visual presentation methods.
Use knowledge of current empirical methods to design and write an original proposal for a new study within one of the topics covered.
Appraise theories and empirical findings relating to the central themes in body-representation and self-representation research.
Discuss and critically evaluate the key evidence for the role of body representations in social cognition and mental health
Have an understanding of the fundamental mechanisms and neurocognitive structures underlying basic bodily self-awareness.
|Written assignment, including essay||Research Study Design||
Students must develop an idea for an empirical study related to the topics covered in lectures. The written assignment will consist of a brief literature review, a description of the hypothesis to be tested, the proposed methodology, and a proposed analysis plan.
Exam consists of 10 short-answer questions (roughly a paragraph each), and two essay questions. The short-answer questions (in total) are equal to one-third of the total marks. Each of the two essay questions are also equal to one-third of the marks. All three sections of the exam will assess the students' knowledge and understanding of key topics taught in the lectures and seminars.
|CYFLWYNIAD GRWP||Short Group Presentation||
Students will work in small groups to give a short presentation on a topic of their choice from the lecture material. Students should explain and discuss their topic simply and clearly with appropriate use of visual aids (powerpoint slides). Each member of the group will be expected to speak for approximately 5 minutes. The presentation should fit together coherently, requiring teamwork as well as individual study and preparation. Students will be assessed on their 5 minute presentation, as well as the quality of their slides which will be submitted by the presentation date.
Strategaeth addysgu a dysgu
Students will be presented with an in-depth introduction to the key concepts required to understand body representation and the self in psychology. Theory, methods and data will be presented. There will be regular opportunity to ask questions.
Students will have weekly seminars, which will combine hands-on demonstrations, videos, group discussions, informal presentations, and research design masterclasses.
Students will be assigned key reading each week which will be chosen to support the lecture material and be enhanced by the learning taking place in the seminars. They will also use this time to work on their research proposal, and prepare for various informal group activities.
- Llythrennedd - Medrusrwydd mewn darllen ac ysgrifennu drwy amrywiaeth o gyfryngau
- Rhifedd - Medrusrwydd wrth ddefnyddio rhifau ar lefelau priodol o gywirdeb
- Hunanreolaeth - Gallu gweithio mewn ffordd effeithlon, prydlon a threfnus. Gallu edrych ar ganlyniadau tasgau a digwyddiadau, a barnu lefelau o ansawdd a phwysigrwydd
- Archwilio - Gallu ymchwilio ac ystyried dewisiadau eraill
- Adalw gwybodaeth - Gallu mynd at wahanol ac amrywiol ffynonellau gwybodaeth
- Sgiliau Rhyngbersonol - Gallu gofyn cwestiynau, gwrando'n astud ar atebion a'u harchwilio
- Dadansoddi Beirniadol & Datrys Problem - Gallu dadelfennu a dadansoddi problemau neu sefyllfaoedd cymhleth. Gallu canfod atebion i broblemau drwy ddadansoddiadau ac archwilio posibiliadau
- Cyflwyniad - Gallu cyflwyno gwybodaeth ac esboniadau yn glir i gynulleidfa. Trwy gyfryngau ysgrifenedig neu ar lafar yn glir a hyderus.
- Gwaith Tîm - Gallu cydweithio'n adeiladol ag eraill ar dasg gyffredin, ac/neu fod yn rhan o dîm gweithio o ddydd i ddydd
- Dadl - Gallu cyflwyno, trafod a chyfiawnhau barn neu lwybr gweithredu, naill ai gydag unigolyn neu mewn grwˆp ehangach
Sgiliau pwnc penodol
- Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
- Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
- Communicate psychological concepts effectively in oral form.
- Retrieve and organise information effectively.
- Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
- Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
- 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.
Goblygiadau o ran adnoddau ar gyfer myfyrwyr
Students will not have to pay anything for this module.
A reading list will be made available in due course.
Cyrsiau sy’n cynnwys y modiwl hwn
Gorfodol mewn cyrsiau:
- C880: BSC Psych with Cl & Hlth Psych year 3 (BSC/PHS)
- C88B: BSc Psychology w Clin & Health Psy (4yr with Incorp Found) year 3 (BSC/PHS1)
- 8X44: BSc Psychology with Clinical & Health Psychology (Int Exp) year 4 (BSC/PHSIE)
- C801: BSC Psychol w Neuropsychol year 3 (BSC/PSYN)
- C83B: BSc Psychology with Neuropsychology (4yr with Incorp Found) year 3 (BSC/PSYN1)
- C809: BSc Psychology with Neuropsy (with International Experience) year 4 (BSC/PSYNIE)
- C808: MSci Psychology with Clinical & Health Psychology year 3 (MSCI/PHS)
Opsiynol mewn cyrsiau:
- X320: BA Astudiaethau Plentyndod ac Ieuenctid a Seicoleg year 3 (BA/APIS)
- MC98: BA Criminology/Psychology year 3 (BA/CRP)
- X319: BA Childhood and Youth Studies and Psychology year 3 (BA/CYP)
- CQ83: BA English Language & Psychology year 3 (BA/ELPSY)
- R181: BA French with Psychology (with International Experience) year 4 (BA/FPIE)
- R1C8: BA French with Psychology year 3 (BA/FPSY)
- R2C8: BA German with Psychology year 3 (BA/GPSY)
- Q1C8: BA Linguistics and Psychology year 3 (BA/LP)
- CL83: BA Sociology/Psychology year 3 (BA/PS)
- CL84: BA Social Policy/Psychology year 3 (BA/SPP)
- CL85: BA Social Policy & Psychology with International Experience year 3 (BA/SPPIE)
- C804: BSc Psychology (with International Experience) year 4 (BSC/PIE)
- C800: BSC Psychology year 3 (BSC/PS)
- C81B: BSc Psychology (4 year with Incorporated Foundation) year 3 (BSC/PS1)
- C80F: BSc Psychology year 3 (BSC/PSF)
- C810: MSci Psychology with International Experience year 3 (MSCI/PIE)
- C807: MSci Psychology year 3 (MSCI/PS)