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BIO3016 : Mechanisms of Behaviour (Inactive)

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This module is concerned with one of the fundamental questions in Biology: ‘how do the brains of animals control behaviour?’. We examine the roles of individual nerve cells and the circuits they form with each other in different aspects of behaviour, including recognition of important sensory features, and the selection and execution of suitable patterns of movement. We also describe and examine critically some of the experimental work that provides knowledge about the roles of individual neurons in behaviour.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics covered include:-
1."Neuroethology"; animal behaviour, nerve cells and signals
2.Giant neurons and urgent escape.
3.Capturing sensory information.
4.Analysing sensory information, especially visually detected movements.
5.Navigating and hunting.
6.Programs for movement.
7.Approaches to studying the circuits of cells and their roles in behaviour.
8.Plasticity in nervous system and behaviour.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion27:3015:00In course assessments
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Final exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion180:309:00Revision for final exam
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading181:0018:00Completion of post-lecture directed reading
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study138:3038:30Study of lectures, ReCap, Blackboard etc.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide information, explain concepts and describe how different strands of the subject relate to each other. They are accompanied by the module’s site on ‘Blackboard’.
The essay questions in the exam test a student’s knowledge and their ability to explain concepts, to link different topics coherently, and to assess critically the results of published studies in the field of Neuroethology.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A602 Essays
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M402 handwritten essays of 20% each
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The in course assessment comprises 2 handwritten essays. Each essay is set mid-day one day and submitted 4pm the next day. Essays will be marked and feedback given to each individual student. The purpose of the in course assessment is to: encourage students to become familiar with facts and concepts that are central to the module during the teaching; and to provide students with guidance in writing the kind of essay expected during the final exam.
The two essays in the examination will test students' knowledge and understanding of topics and concepts taught during the module.

Reading Lists