Curricular Unit:Code:
Psychobiology and Psychophysiology1138PPFI
1UndergraduatePsychology6 ects
Learning Period:Language of Instruction:Total Hours:
Winter SemesterPortuguese/English78
Learning Outcomes of the Curricular Unit:
OA1. To understand (1) the phylogenesis and ontogenesis of the nervous system and the physiology of neuronal communication; (2) the neurophysiology of emotions, pain perception, behavior and cognitive functions; (3) the contributions of environment and genetic inheritance in behavioral, emotional and cognitive traits;
OA2. To understand (1) the role of neurotransmission and other physiological changes on clinical manifestations and therapeutic approaches of frequent psychopathologies; (2) the physiology of drugs of abuse.
OA3. To critically apply key concepts on problem solving exercises as well as clinical cases that may arise in the professional context.
OA4. To develop the ability to find, select and organize information and to develop a critical approach towards scientific investigation
OA5. To develop oral and written communication skills
CP1. Biology and physiology of the nervous system (NS): phylogenesis and ontogenesis of the NS, cellular components, molecular neurobiology and genetics (nervous impulse, neurochemistry and neuroendocrinology), CP2. Psychophysiological processes: regulation of circadian rhythms – sleep/wake cycle, psychophysiology of motivation, psychophysiology of emotions, pain perception – basic and motivational mechanisms, psychophysiology of social interactions, psychophysiology of cognitive functions (attention, learning and memory, decision making, thinking). CP3. Changes of neurotransmission pathways: psychophysiology of neurodevelopment disorders, mood disorders, anxiety, psychotic disorders, and dementia; psychophysiology associated with drug abuse.
Demonstration of the Syllabus Coherence with the Curricular Unit's Objectives:
This syllabus was designed in order to increase the knowledge and skills required to the professional practice of psychology. It is organized into 3 syllabus groups (CP) defined from 5 previously established learning objectives (OA), therefore contributing to the development of knowledge and skills in the following areas: neuropsychology, psychophysiology and clinical psychology. Coherence and correspondence between program contents and the OA are observed as follows: CP1 – OA1 e OA3; CP2 – OA1 e OA3; CP3 – OA2 e OA3. The learning objectives OA4 and OA5 may be achieved in any syllabus group, depending on the research area chosen by the student for oral presentation.
Teaching Methodologies (Including Evaluation):
During contact hours distributed by theoretical-practical classes, tutorials, and others, syllabus concepts and ideas will be presented in an expositive form. The acquired knowledge will be applied to clinical case discussions, solving exercises and problems. Students are invited to participate, meaning that an active learning is privileged. Non-contact hours are dedicated to the student autonomous work. The evaluation system may be continuous or by a final exam. In continuous assessment, as long as the minimum percentage of attendance defined by internal statute is guaranteed, the following elements are considered: active participation in contact hours (10%), two written tests (70%) and research and oral presentation (20%). The student who does not obtain approval for continuous assessment can perform the final exam (100%). For the accreditation of ECTS, the student must obtain a final grade equal to or greater than 9.5/20.
Demonstration of the Coherence between the Teaching Methodologies and the Learning Outcomes:
The teaching methods will allow the student to understand the biological basis that support psycho-physiological processes, including cognitive abilities and emotions, which can be modulated pharmacologically but also by the environment, e.g. psychotherapies. The program contents will be initially presented by expositive and systematic methods, using illustrations of cells, the nervous system among other. Acquired knowledge will be applied in theoretical and practical exercises and in oriented thematic debates, where students will be invited to actively participate. Where appropriate, teaching methods will always lay on discussions and critical analysis of case studies/clinical cases, in which students can relate theoretical knowledge with specific clinical manifestations and therapeutic approaches used in different psychopathologies. Relevant research in neuropsychology will be presented, therefore demonstrating the importance of experimental methodologies and imaging technologies currently used in the study of brain activity. An oral presentation will be performed by group of students, thus allowing the development of skills of research and oral exposure. Non-contact hours will be devoted to the student autonomous work, such as reading recommended bibliography and carrying out proposed activities (individual and in group), in order to consolidate acquired knowledge and develop skills and competences in the fields of psychophysiology, neuropsychology and clinical psychology. Consistency between learning objectives and teaching methodologies (and evaluation) is implemented as follows: OA1, OA2 and OA3 - Expositive, participative and active methods (written test and active participation in contact hours); OA4 and OA5 – Research, selection and organization of information in tutorial contact hours (group work with oral presentation and active participation in contact hours).
1. Brandão, M.L. (2019). Psicofisiologia. (4ª edição). São Paulo: Editora Atheneu.
2. Eagleman, D. (2015). O cérebro – À descoberta de quem somos. (3ª edição). Alfragide: Editora Lua de papel.
3. American Psychiatric Association (2014). DSM-5: Manual de diagnóstico e estatística das perturbações mentais. Lxb: Climepsi.
4. Toy, E.C. & Klamen, D (2016). Case Files Psychiatry (5ª edição). New-York: McGraw-Hill
5. Saraiva, C.B., & Cerejeira J. (2014). Psiquiatria fundamental. (1ª edição). Lisboa: Lidel
6. Fenton, B.W., Shih, E. & Zolton, J. (2015). The neurobiology of pain perception in normal and persistent pain. Pain Management, 5(4), 297-317.
7. Fultz, N.E. et al (2019). Coupled electrophysiological, hemodynamic, and cerebrospinal fluid oscillations in human sleep. Science, 366, 628-631.
8. Gleitman, H. Fridlund, A.J. & Reisberg D. (2011). Psicologia. (9ª Edição). Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
Lecturer (* Responsible):
Joana Queiroz-Machado (