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Module

PSY3008 : Art, Mind and Brain

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Gabriele Jordan
  • Lecturer: Professor Anya Hurlbert, Dr Yoav Tadmor
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

To familiarise students with the mechanisms and brain structures underpinning the creation, perception and appreciation of art, with an emphasis on visual art and artistic creativity.

To enhance knowledge of theoretical and practical research issues.

To provide opportunities to acquire in-depth knowledge about selected psychological processes relevant to the producing and appreciating works of art.

Outline Of Syllabus

We will explore a selection of the following topics during the course of the module:
•       What is art? What is the function of art? Do artists have special minds/brains?
•       Art and visual cognition. All art is in illusion: how do we interpret images on 2-D canvas? What are the differences/similarities between everyday perception and perception of art? Do artistic conventions tap into the workings of our visual system?
•       Art and edges. Why do people draw? Why are line drawings so effective? What can drawings tell us about ‘thinking’.
•       Art and the representation of space. How does pointillism work? How do artists induce the illusion of depth on 2-D canvas?
•       Art and colour. How has the use of colour changed through the eras and why? Why are certain colour combinations more effective and aesthetically pleasing than others?
•       Art and the damaged eye. Do visual impairments help or hinder the creation of visual art? Did myopia help to invent impressionism?
•       Art and the brain. Is art predominantly processed in the right hemisphere? Are there dedicated neural networks underlying the creation of art? What can we learn from patients with brain lesions? What can we learn from autistic savants?
•       Art and creativity. What is creativity? What are the underlying mechanisms of creativity? What is the link between mental disorders and creativity?
•       Art and synaesthesia. What is synaesthesia? What are its underlying mechanisms? What is the link to creativity?
•       Art and music. What is music? What is it for? What are the biological origins of music?


The module consists of two interlinked and equally important components: lecture-based structured materials and student-led activities. Lecture-based materials set the parameters of the course. Their primary purpose is to direct the students to the relevant reading and to sensitise them to the key points of the topic in question. Additional structured learning sessions are interactive and student-led. Opportunities are given to students to express their own ideas and to get involved in discussions and debates that could lead to further considerations.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion211:0021:00Preparation for summative assessment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials71:007:00Non-synchronous online
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities81:008:00Non-synchronous online- student led activities including exercises, debates, oral presentations
Guided Independent StudySkills practice72:0014:00Reading assigned papers
Guided Independent StudySkills practice110:0010:00preparation for formative oral presentation
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study138:0038:00Revising material for exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk21:002:00Synchronous online learning and teaching activity at the beginning and middle of the module
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The structured materials set the parameters of the course. Their primary purpose is to direct the students to the relevant reading and to sensitise them to the key points of the topic in question. The additional activities give the students the opportunity to express their ideas as an oral presentation via zoom and to get involved in discussions in small-group break-out rooms.
     
Students are expected to be independent, critical and pragmatic, taking more responsibility for their own learning and skill development as this is a characteristic of Stage 3. A certain amount of independent reading and thinking will be required beyond the essential reading stipulated for this module.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M1001500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

One essay (1500 words)

Rationale and relationship of assessment to learning outcomes:

The non-compulsory oral presentation assignment is formative, and will give students the opportunity to further their knowledge, independent learning and understanding of material relevant to the module; the ability to research this material and to organise it into a coherent argument; and the ability to communicate clearly in a formal presentation to a small group. Each student will be asked to prepare and deliver one oral presentation on a topic of his/her choosing from a set of topics that complement the lecture material. The presentations will be observed by the module leader and students will receive individual formal feedback on both content and style of delivery.

The essay will be used to assess knowledge, independent learning and understanding of material relevant to the module, the ability to integrate this material, to communicate clearly in writing, and the ability for critical thought. In addition, the essay assesses the skills of analysis and reasoning.

FMS Schools offering Semester One modules available as ‘Study Abroad’ will, where required, provide an alternative assessment time for examinations that take place after the Christmas vacation. Coursework with submissions dates after the Christmas vacation will either be submitted at an earlier date or at the same time remotely.

Reading Lists

Timetable