The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


An examination of the biological bases of behaviour in terms of human anatomy, physiology, and evolution and includes selected topics in neuroscience and their relevance to psychology. The laboratory program extends and develops the lecture material and provides additional practical topics that introduce students to basic research methods and techniques in Biological Psychology.

Forms part of an Australian Psychology Accreditation Council's accredited undergraduate sequence in psychology.

Availability2019 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2019


  • Semester 2 - 2019

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Recognise the biological basis of behaviour through knowledge of human neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, genes, hormones and evolution.

2. Describe the ways in which behaviour is dependent on the integration of neural activity at the molecular, cellular and network levels.

3. Integrate fundamental aspects of neurophysiology for the production of simple and complex behaviour at a systems level.

4. Record human physiological activity and relate that to psychological activity.

5. Write a short scientific report that reflects careful, accurate description of procedures and techniques, and demonstrates understanding of the links between data and theory in Biological Psychology.


Biological Psychology is the study of the biological bases of behaviour.

PSYC2400 covers core introductory topics in Biological Psychology which examine the way in which the nervous system integrates activity at many levels, from the micro level of molecular changes in nerve cells to a macro level of whole systems.

These topics include:

  1. the mechanisms of individual neurons;
  2. the ways in which neurons integrate their activity;
  3. the anatomy of neurons and the nervous system;
  4. the mechanisms underlying complex behaviours such as sensory and motor behaviour;
  5. the behavioural consequences of common nervous system disorders.

Related courses:

PSYC2300, PSYC2500, PSYC3301, PSYC3400, PSYC3500, PSYC3501

Assumed knowledge

PSYC1010, PSYC1020, STAT1070. A 1000 level biology course is recommended.

Assessment items

In Term Test: Mid-Semester Exam

Report: Written Lab Report

Formal Examination: Final Formal Exam

Portfolio: Lab Portfolio/Book

Contact hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 7 Weeks starting in week 2


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 1