PSY3280 - The neuronal basis of consciousness - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Psychological Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Nao Tsuchiya


Dr Chris Siva

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


48 credit points


The neuronal basis of consciousness focuses on the empirical neuroscientific studies of consciousness. In particular, we will focus on the neuronal correlates of visual consciousness. The unit will equip the students with necessary knowledge to think about the problem of consciousness from the neuroscientific point of views; anatomy and physiology of the primate visual system, the relationship between attention and consciousness, and decision-making and freewill and its modulation by neuromodulatory drugs.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Characterise the theoretical issues for current debate on the neuronal basis of consciousness.
  2. Describe the main experimental methods to study the neural correlates of consciousness.
  3. Critically evaluate the contribution of contemporary research findings and theories in key areas of neuroscience.
  4. Describe and apply a range of research tools and paradigms used within different domains of neuroscientific research.
  5. Design a creative and empirical way to build on previous research to study a particular aspect of consciousness.
  6. Peer review the work of other students and receive constructive feedback.


  • Presentation of research paper (5 mins) (Part A) (20%)
  • Written initial proposal outline (500 words) (Part B) (5%)
  • Peer review of student's research proposal (5 mins) (Part C) (15%)
  • Written research proposal (1,400 - 1,600 words) (30%)
  • Examination (90 minutes) (30%) (Hurdle)

Workload requirements

One x 2 hour lectures each week and one 2 hour workshop every fortnight.

See also Unit timetable information

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