Catalogue of Modules, University of Nottingham

C84TCN Topics in Cognitive Neuropsychiatry
(Last Updated:03 May 2017)

Year  17/18

Total Credits: 20

Level: Level 4

Target Students:  MSc Masters in Mental Health Research, PGDip in Mental Health Research, PGCert in Mental Health Research

Taught Semesters:

Full Year Assessed by end of Spring Semester 

Prerequisites: None.

Corequisites:  None.

Summary of Content:  This module introduces research methods for investigating the neural processes that underlie cognitive function in mental health and illness. Sessions will consist of a mixture of lectures, group work (informal student-led presentations), workshops, and self-directed learning. Topics will include: • An introduction to neuroimaging methods (including MRI, PET, EEG, MEG, TMS) and task design (incl. ethical considerations) • Neuroanatomy and functional connectivity between brain regions underlying psychological function • The neuropsychiatry of key transdiagnostic psychological dimensions, including: o Reality distortion o Disorganisation o Motivation o Mood o Inhibitory control and impulsivity o Attention o Anxiety o Moral evaluation o Social cognition • Relevance of these dimensions to the diagnosis and treatment (pharmacological, cognitive and behavioural) of psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, mood disorders, personality disorders, ADHD, autism)

Method and Frequency of Class:

ActivityNumber Of WeeksNumber of sessionsDuration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks1 per week2 hours
Seminar 6 weeks1 per week2 hours

Activities may take place every teaching week of the Semester or only in specified weeks. It is usually specified above if an activity only takes place in some weeks of a Semester

Further Activity Details:
1 x 2 hour lectures for 12 weeks (NB: Weeks 3-12; 2 weeks include 2 lectures) 1 x 2 hour seminars/workshops for 6 weeks Independent reading and assessment

Method of Assessment: 

Assessment TypeWeightRequirements
Coursework 1 50 A 2.500-word essay chosen from a list of topics covered in taught sessions 
Coursework 2 50 A 2.500-word research protocol to address a research question in cognitive neuropsychiatry 

Dr E Nixon

Education Aims:  The module will provide students with an understanding of the neural processes underlying the psychological dimensions of psychiatric syndromes and their presentation in psychiatric disorders. It will introduce them to neuroimaging tools, equip them to critically appraise published research in the area and lay the foundations for using this knowledge in their own research.

Learning Outcomes:  By the end of this module, students should have: a) Knowledge and Understanding • Acquired a working knowledge of neuroimaging models & approaches in mental health research, esp. neuroimaging techniques • Acquired an understanding of the controversies surrounding the diagnosis and treatment options of mental health disorders by exploring transdiagnostic dimensions common to psychiatric disorders • Acquired an appreciation of the cognitive and affective mechanisms proposed to underlie disorders of mental health and how these relate to underlying neural bases b) Intellectual Skills • Developed the ability to critically appraise various research theories and methodologies (e.g. neuroimaging techniques) used in the field of mental health • Developed an ability to critically appraise theoretical arguments and/ or applied research findings across a wide range of disciplines in the field of mental health c) Transferable (key) skills • Developed an ability to present others’ research findings in the field of mental health in written format • Developed scientific thinking skills to enable the appraisal of research in the field of mental health • Developed scientific thinking skills to enable the formulation of research in the field of mental health d) Professional Skills • Developed an ability to critically appraise theory, methods and results of neuroimaging research from a wide range of disciplines in the field of mental health • Acquired a working knowledge of ethics and research governance structures and processes relevant to the use of neuroimaging in the field of mental health

Offering School:  Medicine

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