PHY3111 - Sensory and cognitive neuroscience - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Chief examiner(s)

Dr Leo Lui


Dr Farshad Mansouri
Dr Michael Leung

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


PHY2011 plus one of PHY2042 or PHY2032 or BMS1052 plus BMS2031 or NUT2103 or BNS1072; or permission from the unit co-ordinator.


This unit explores cutting-edge research in the area of brain function, specifically looking at sensation and higher brain function in humans. The emphasis will be on the way the brain functions normally to analyse sensory information and to control behaviour, and how brain damage leads to clinical dysfunction of perception and higher cognitive function. Students will investigate details pertaining to current research ideas on normal function and dysfunction in this area, as well as new methodologies. Emphasis is on assisted self-directed learning and project based learning.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe how sensory information is signalled by neurons from peripheral receptor organs to the brain areas processing sensory input;
  2. Compare and contrast how neuroscience techniques help scientists understand the structure and function of the central nervous system;
  3. Explain how the control of actions and perceptions change according to the context of what sensory information is presented;
  4. Evaluate how damage to the nervous system might alter sensory functions and the associated behaviours;

  5. Work collaboratively to design and develop their own scientific research project;
  6. Critically evaluate the scientific literature, to test a hypothesis, construct a scientific report and demonstrate data analysis skills.


Group reports: 25%

Invigilated in-semester test: 20%

Continuous on-line quizzes: 10%

Practical reports: 10%

Examination (2 hours): 35%

This unit is subject to the Hurdle and Threshold Standards policiesHurdle and Threshold Standards policies ( of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences.

Workload requirements

Two 1-hour lectorials and one 3-hour practical/tutorial per week.

Students will be expected to complete online pre and post class work that will be followed up in lectorials.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study