PSY40910 Embodied & Social Cognitive Neuroscience

Academic Year 2022/2023

Our "body knowledge", that is, the sensorimotor representations in our brains are not solely used to control our body's actions but also contribute substantially to high-level cognitive processes such as language, mental imagery, communication and social interaction. The module will discuss theories of embodiment and how these feed into social cognition based on recent findings in cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, you should be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the theories of embodied cognition
- Discuss the neuro-cognitive processes underlying social cognition at various levels of complexity
- Demonstrate an understanding of how social cognition may link to embodiment
- Critically evaluate how behavioural and neurophysiological findings may relate to embodied theories of social cognition

Indicative Module Content:

- Brief overview of methods in cognitive neuroscience
- Embodied theories of cognition (automatic vs high-level embodiment)
- Behavioural and neurophysiological findings supporting embodied processing
- Resonance and mirroring in social interaction
- Cognitive neuroscience of high-level social cognition
- Levels of Perspective taking, Mentalizing, and Theory of Mind

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning




Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The Module consists of 10 lectures, delivered as 5 double-lectures during the first half of the module. Lectures will include in-class group discussions and activities. The block of lectures will be followed by a block of 5 two-hour seminars, where students give presentations on papers/topics related to the lectures. For a critical evaluation in essay-form, that is due at the end of the module, students can choose their own material and topic (within the remit of the module) to demonstrate the understanding they have gained. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Participation in discussions (in-class or online) is strongly encouraged and will be graded as a simple pass/fail (only complete non-engagement will result in the latter). Throughout the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale No


Essay: A 2000 word critical evaluation based on 2-3 EMPIRICAL journal articles (not review articles) related to the thematic of the module. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Presentation: 20 min presentation as part of the seminar block. Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

-Individual feedback will be provided for each essay via Brightspace by the end of the grades approval process in January. -Presentations will be discussed in class in terms of content but also in terms of strengths and weaknesses of the presentation.