Course Title: Brain and Behaviour

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Brain and Behaviour

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 2 2015

Course Coordinator: Dr Russell Conduit

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6650

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.03.07

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

To be eligible to enrol in this course you must have successfully completed the first year of your health or medical science degree.

Contact your course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning.  For further information go to:

Course Description

This course will introduce you to the theory and research underlying modern behavioural neuroscience. You will review the biochemical, anatomical and physiological bases of brain function and dysfunction, focusing on behavioural disorders and current therapeutic strategies. The course is topic-based, and will cover the following areas:

  1. Basic neural principles of sensory processing;
  2. Biological processes of sleep;
  3. Sleep disorders and treatment approaches
  4. What happens to the brain as we age?
  5. Current theories of brain dysfunction related to aging: Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease
  6. Current treatment approaches to diseases of aging including Drug treatments and Deep Brain stimulation.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the development of the following Program Learning Outcomes for BP 154 Bachelor of Applied Science (Psychology):

  • PLO 1:  Understand appropriate and relevant fundamental and applied evidence based knowledge and undertake lifelong learning to improve personal and professional practice 
  • PLO 2: Demonstrate a capacity to employ a variety of approaches and procedures to research to permit judgements and decisions to be supported by appropriate evidence that places practice within a global and local context.
  • PLO 3:  Applies knowledge to diagnose and solve problems in a wide range of diverse situations, with an ability to work independently or with others and incorporate the analysis of evidence based scientific literature to solve psychological problems.
  • PLO 4: Engage in dialogue with a diverse range of people and communicate in a broad range of forms (written, electronic, graphic, oral) to meet the circumstances of the situation and the capabilities of the audience.

On completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Describe basic neural principles of sensory processing  
  2. Identify and elaborate aspects of sleep, sleep deprivation and common sleep disorders
  3. Review current treatment approaches to common sleep disorders
  4. Compare current theories of brain dysfunction related to aging
  5. Explain current treatment approaches to diseases of aging.
  6. Discuss and critically evaluate a current behavioural neuroscience technique

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities will include lectures, a practical class on Research Techniques and online tutorial activities. Lectures assst you to develop a framework of relevant knowledge and an understanding of underlying theoretical/conceptual content. The Research Techniques practical will allow you to choose a technique to learn from those used in the Health Sciences Research Hub and the Sleep Research Laboratory. You are expected to develop responsibility for a synthesis of knowledge and problem solving skills as either an individual or within a group. The Research Techniques Practical Report will require critical thinking skills in research methods and effective communication skills (both verbal and written) of research findings.

The assessment associated with this course will comprise diagnostic, formative and summative elements and incorporate a variety of assessment modes. Your diagnostic and formative assessments will take the form of Online Tutorial Exercises. 
Your summative assessment will include a Research Techniques Laboratory Report and an Examination 
These assessments will include use of online technology and are designed to require students to demonstrate a critical analysis of the core principles presented in the course.

Assessment completed in the first half of the semester will provide feedback on your progress. Ongoing feedback on your skills will be provided from peers and staff.


Teacher Guided Hours: 36 per semester

Learner Directed Hours: 72 per semester

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources associated with this course will include targeted readings taken from a range of both primary and secondary sources. Material chosen may be digitally available to you. Lecture material may utilise a variety of available technologies including Lectopia, Discussion Board interaction and Blackboard Collaborate workshops. Skill development activities will be provided in a variety of ways, including simulated learning activities. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

A Library Subject Guide is available at

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.


Assessment Tasks

Early Assessment Task:  10 x Weekly Quizzes

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1-6

Assessment Task 2:  Research Techniques Report

Weighting 30%

This assessment task supports CLOs 6


Assessment Task 3: End of Semester Exam

Weighting 50%

This assessment task supports CLO 1-6