Module PPP-4025:
Applied Neurosci: Case Studies

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Ken Valyear

Overall aims and purpose

Overall aims and purpose

How can advancements in basic-level neuroscience inform solutions to real-world challenges, and likewise, how can real-world challenges inform the design and progression of basic-level neuroscience?

This module aims to establish advanced-level understanding of the fundamental principles and practical challenges of modern applied neuroscience through a critical review of seminal case studies spanning the areas of rehabilitation neuroscience, human performance enhancement, and technological design and implementation.

Course content

Course content

Students explore how foundational science principles can be used to guide and constrain modern applied and translational neuroscience. Topics include rehabilitation neuroscience with a focus on restoring sensory and motor functions, and language, neural modules and computations to enhance learning and human performance, biofeedback, brain-computer interfaces and neural prosthetics, neuroergonomics and neuroscience-inspired product design, and brain stimulation methods (TMS, tDCS, tACS) as clinical diagnostic and treatment tools. The module features a subset of practical laboratory-based demonstrations of the technologies used to impact human behaviour.

The module is intended to be available each year.

Assessment Criteria



B+ to B- Work displays sound knowledge and understanding, but with some limitations. There is evidence of background study. The work has a defined and logical structure, but with some weaknesses in the way in which arguments are presented. There is some original interpretation and demonstration of understanding of links between topics. The work is presented carefully with accurate communication and few factual or computational errors.



C+ to C- Work displays knowledge of key areas/principles, with limited evidence of original interpretation or relevant background study. The work contains some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure. Arguments are presented, but they lack coherence. The work contains factual or computational errors with little evidence of problem solving. There are weaknesses in the standard of the presentation and its accuracy.



A* to A- Work displays comprehensive knowledge and detailed understanding, reflecting extensive background study. The work is highly focussed, well structured, logically presented, and with defended arguments. The work contains original interpretation, and new links between topics are developed. The work is presented to a high standard, with accurate communication and no factual or computational errors.

Learning outcomes

  1. Ability to critically evaluate the fundamental principles underlying best practice in applied neuroscience.

  2. Ability to critically and comprehensively discuss the strengths and limitations of a specific neuroscience-based application to enhance human performance.

  3. Ability to identify strong/poor evidence-based practice, and formulate testable hypothesis for potential advancements.

  4. Ability to formulate a design for a well-controlled clinical/rehabilitation trial, product design, or technological enhancement of perfrormance grounded in basic neuroscience research.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Propose a novel application/investigation, or review and critique of existing practice.

Submit a written proposal comprising one the following: (1) new application(s) on the basis of existing basic-science evidence; (2) new basic science investigations for the purpose of developing applied/translational value (proof-of-principle studies); (3) a review and critique of existing practice.

ORAL Group-led discussion of paper on chosen topic (pro-seminar series format).

Each student will lead a discussion session on a selected topic.

Group members must grade teamwork contribution for each member within their group. Mean score for each group member will be used to modify the overall project grade for that individual, e.g. if a score of 10 is awarded then overall project grade will not be modified; if a score of 8 is given, then that group member will receive only 80% of the overall project grade (in this case, a B (65%) will become a C- (52%)), and so on.

Students will be informed about this rating procedure at the beginning of the module.

ORAL Present a summary of your proposal

Present a short summary of your proposal.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


2h lectures per week with an option to discuss and clarify specific subtopics with the Lecturer teaching the respective topic, one-to-one or in small groups in 5 drop-in sessions 2 hour per week + 2 hours every other week = 32.

Private study 162
Practical classes and workshops

1h practical lessons and demonstrations approximately every other week.


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
  • 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.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • 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
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  • 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.
  • Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Engage in effective teamwork for the purpose of collaborating on psychological projects.
  • Be sensitive and react appropriately to contextual and interpersonal psychological factors.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
  • 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.
  • Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.
  1. Understand the scientific underpinnings of applied and translational neuroscience.
  2. Critically appraise how the principles of basic neuroscience can be applied to developing new human-machine interfaces and technological advancements.
  3. Formulate how the principles of basic science can be applied to developing new rehabilitation interventions and clinical assessment practices, and to evaluating their short and long-term efficacy.
  4. Reason scientifically and demonstrate understanding of the relationships
    between theory and evidence. Identify strong/poor evidence-based
    practice, and formulate testable hypothesis for potential
  5. Develop an introductory-level understanding of practical constraints and challenges related to specific applications (e.g. using brain stimulation to augment patient rehabilitation).


Resource implications for students

There are no costs to students. Resources include: Primary research articles, Clinical reports, and book chapters from Handbooks on Neuroscience, Neurorehabilitation, Performance, Motor learning and Memory.

Reading list

Primary research articles, Clinical reports, Handbooks on Neuroscience, Neurorehabilitation, Performance, Motor learning and Memory.

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: