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University of Warwick

Department of Psychology 2021/22

Module Code:


Module Name:


Module Credits (CATS):


Module Convenor

Friederike Schlaghecken

Module Teachers

Friederike Schlaghecken and Thomas Hills

Module Aims

The module extends the basic psychobiological knowledge acquired in the first year to more complex issues of nervous system functioning and nervous system/endocrine system interactions, in order to enable students to appreciate how a psychobiological perspective might help us to understand human behaviour. Particular emphasis is placed on providing an insight into the complexities of psychobiological research, its recent advances, as well as its limits.

Please note: If non-psychology students wish to take this module, they are required to have completed

    Learning Outcomes

    By the end of the module, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles underlying:

    • the functional architecture of the brain at the macroscopic and the microscopic level

    • the principles of signal processing in the brain and their relevance for understanding complex behaviour.

    • the psychobiological underpinnings of genetics and neurochemistry

    • the psychobiological underpinnings of sex differences and laterality

    • students should be able the psychobiology of learning and memory

    • the psychobiology of homeostatic processes

    • the psychobiology of bodily rhythms

    • basic concepts of evolutionary psychology

    Assessed by:

    Online Multiple Choice Multi-Answer (MCMA) test & 2 hour Multiple Choice Multi-Answer exam.

    Module Work Load

    Module Length

    12 Weeks


    10 x 3 hours/week in 2 sessions (1x2h, 1x1h)


    2 x 2 hours in term 3 (feedback sessions)


    Attendance at lectures is compulsory

    Module Assessment

    Assessed work:

    Online Multiple Choice Multi-Answer (MCMA) test




    2 hour Multiple Choice Multi-Answer (MCMA) exam



    Module Programme


    1. Basics I: The neuron

    2. Basics II: The nervous system - ONLINE TEST (wk 3)

    3. Sexual development I: Genes and hormones

    4. Sexual development II: Hormones and learning

    5. Sexual behaviour

    6. Laterality: Male and female brains

    7. Homeostasis: Eating

    8. Bodily rhythms: Sleep

    9. Evolution

    10. EXAM

    Term 3:

    1. Drop-in & Feedback Session

    2. Drop-in & Feedback Session

    Module Reading List

    General textbooks:

    • Carlson, N.R. & Birkett, M.A. (2016). Physiology of Behavior (Global Ed.).

    • Breedlove & Watson (2017), Behavioral Neuroscience (8th. ed.)

    • Bear, M. F., Connors, B. W., and Paradiso, M. A. (2015). Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain (Internat. Ed.)."

    Specialised test:

    • LeVay, S. (1994), The Sexual Brain (available as ebook from the library)