Curricular Unit:Code:
Psychobiology and Psychophysiology783PPFI
1UndergraduatePsychology6 ects
Learning Period:Language of Instruction:Total Hours:
Winter SemesterPortuguese/English78
Learning Outcomes of the Curricular Unit:
OA1. To understand (1) the organization of the nervous system and the physiology of neuronal communication; (2) the neurophysiology of behaviors, emotions and cognitive functions; (3) the contributions of environment and genetic inheritance in behavioral, emotional, cognitive traits and specific psychopathologies; (4) the etiology, clinical presentation and possible therapeutic approaches of frequent psychopathologies; (5) the holistic effects of drugs of abuse in a short and a long term basis.
OA2. To develop the ability to solve theoretical-practical exercises about key concepts covered during classes and to analyze clinical cases that may arise in a professional context.
OA3. To develop the ability to find and select information about the state of the art concerning a topic to be agreed with the student.
OA4. To develop communication skills through the discussion of practical approaches in psychopathological clinical cases, and through the oral presentation of the proposed topic.
CP1. The nervous system: cell components and general organization, communication between nervous cells. CP2. Functional brain image techniques, the brain cortex and cognitive functions. Motivation and emotion. CP3. Etiopathogeny, clinical presentation and therapies of specific disorders: neurodevelopmental disorders, schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, dementia. CP4. Drug abuse, mechanism of action and the short and long term effects on the organism.
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 4 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 & OA2; CP2 – OA1, OA2, OA3 & OA4; CP3 – OA1, OA2, OA3 & OA4; CP4 – OA1, OA2, OA3 & OA4; CP5 – OA1, OA2, OA3 & OA4.
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 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 OA5 - Expositive, participative and active methods (written test and active participation in contact hours); OA3 and OA4 - Expositive, participative, demonstrative and active methods (written test, group work with oral presentation and active participation in contact hours).
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