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PSYC432 Special Topic: Social and Affective Neuroscience

Exploration of methodological, empirical and theoretical issues in the brain bases of social cognition and emotion with a strong focus on modern human neuroscience.

Paper title Special Topic: Social and Affective Neuroscience
Paper code PSYC432
Subject Psychology
EFTS 0.0833
Points 10 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $666.57
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,895.09

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Entry into Psychology 400-level normally requires a major in Psychology, a B+ average or higher in Psychology 300-level papers, and a pass in PSYC 311 Quantitative Methods. We highly recommend that students have completed PSYC 310. Students from other universities must show evidence of an equivalent level of competence.


Teaching staff

Lecturer: Narun Pat

Paper Structure


Teaching Arrangements



Textbooks are not required for this paper.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised

In-depth knowledge, Scholarship, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Research, Global perspective, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Self-motivation, Teamwork

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper will:

  1. Students will demonstrate the ability to explore various methodologies used in social and affective neuroscience. Interdisciplinary in nature, these methodologies include, but are not limited to: functional magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography, mathematical/computational modelling, psychophysiology, genomics, animal electrophysiology, Big Data analysis, meta-analysis among others. The training in contemporary methodologies will equip students with skills to acquire new knowledge in a rapidly developing scientific field. [In-depth knowledge, Scholarship, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Research]
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to further knowledge of the neurobiological underpinnings of social-emotional processes. Given that social and affective neuroscience is rooted in multiple disciplines, students will be exposed to principles and concepts from many diverse areas of psychology (social, clinical and cognitive), economics (behavioural economics), biology (system neuroscience, behavioural and cognitive neuroscience and genomics) and medicine (psychiatry and neurology). Many of the topics that will be examined in the course are usually of interest to social scientists, however, they are not typically discussed in the context of their neurobiological underpinnings. The aim of the proposed course is to bridge the gap between the topics of social research and neurobiology. The topics discussed in the course will include: morality, cultural influences, empathy, social status, regret, free will, consciousness, personality, and others. Thus, students’ perspective on these topics should be broadened [Scholarship, Global perspective, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Interdisciplinary perspective]
  3. By incorporating readings and discussions of basic findings, reviews, debates and controversies, students will become informed consumers of theories and findings in social and affective neuroscience. Ideally, students will come out of this course with the capacity to develop deep research questions, to undertake research under supervision, and to (re-)interpret experimental findings related to these research themes and perhaps others within neuroscience and psychology. [Scholarship, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research]
  4. Students will be required to demonstrate the ability to synthesize the knowledge in social and affective neuroscience gained and communicate that knowledge to others in oral and written form. They will communicate the knowledge both as a team and as individuals. [Scholarship, Critical thinking, Self-motivation, Teamwork]

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 09:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41