• Class Number 6535
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Mark Edwards
    • AsPr Stephanie Goodhew
    • AsPr Mark Edwards
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

This course combines two distinct modules, one on visual neuroscience and one on cognitive neuroscience. These two topics are addressed in distinct modules because traditionally these topics have been approached in different ways, but here they are combined into a single course to highlight that considering them in synergy is the most powerful way to understand the nexus between psychological function and the brain.

Topics covered in the visual neuroscience section include: learning the practical skills in designing and running psychophysical studies, understanding the neural machinery underlying the perception of objects, depth, and motion, and an explanation of sensory and perceptual illusions and what they tell us about the brain. The cognitive neuroscience section will focus on contemporary issues and therefore the content is subject to change. Indicative examples of content include using knowledge of brain structure and function to understand visual attention and predict task performance, how the human body alters what we see and how we think, and how cognitive neuroscience can inform our understanding of neurological conditions.

This is an Honours Pathway Course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Describe the fundamental concepts and major themes in visual and cognitive neuroscience, and the theories and methods that have been used to address these.
  2. Compare and contrast particular approaches to studying visual and cognitive neuroscience in light of their use to answer a particular research question.
  3. Apply critical analysis skills to design and evaluate research studies and their conclusions.
  4. Use conceptual and critical skills to evaluate existing experimental research within visual and cognitive neuroscience.

Research-Led Teaching

There are 2 main research-led aspects to this course: 1) Lectures are strongly focussed on introducing theoretical frameworks and critical experimental research techniques in visual and cognitive neuroscience, and linking these to real-world applications, 2) The lab report will consist of you designing, conducting and then critiquing an experiment to measure a particular aspect of a person’s visual ability. This will be based upon topics covered in lectures. The primary aims of this exercise are to develop both a working understanding of experimental techniques and also how one needs to know how the brain processes information when designing human, behavioural studies.

Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources

  • Lecture Recordings All of the material will be available on WATTLE.
  • Web notes PowerPoint slides and overheads will be on WATTLE.
  • Foundations of sensation and perception, by George Mather (2016) (Second or Third Edition). The previous text is also fine: Perception, Blake & Sekuler (2006). (5th Edition) McGraw Hill.


Three Readings will be set for each week. In some weeks material additional to the textbook will be prescribed. It is important that all set material be read thoroughly. Generally speaking, reading set from the textbook are designed to provide an appropriate background to the material covered in class; the substance of this unit will be contained in lecture and laboratory/tutorial material.

Supplementary reading for your own interest might be suggested from time to time. The distinction between 'prescribed' and 'suggested' will be made very clear.

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class
  • Feedback to tutorial groups
  • Feedback to individual students during consultations

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

The research school of Psychology requires referencing in the APA format. Attached is a library guide outlining APA referencing style: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/learning-development/academic-integrity/referencing/apa

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Course overview Lectures: For lecture times, see ANU Timetable. The lectures will be run as flipped classes. This means that the lecture content will consist of two components, online material that will be available before the live lecture, and the live lecture which will also be accessible via Zoom. It is expected that students will have have engaged with the online content before the relevant live lecture. The online material will give the foundational knowledge for the topics being covered that week and will take the form of lecture slides, audio and/or video. It will also identify a number of questions and or issues to think about prior to the live lectures. These questions/issues will be targeted on developing a sound understanding of the applications of the material. While the live lectures will answer any questions from students on the online content, their focus will be on working through addressing the questions/issues posed in the online content. That is, their focus will be on problem solving and applications to consolidate, deepen, and extend students’ understanding of the material. All of the materials (e.g., lecture recordings, PowerPoint slides and overheads) will be available on Wattle. Laboratory Classes: Given the flipped structure of the lectures, no additional laboratory classes will be required. We aim to provide the option of doing them remotely or in person, but the latter is obviously dependent upon factors outside our control. Students can enrol in labs via Wattle (see the RSP homepage for more information on how to do this) and if require Priority or Special lab enrolment, please visit https://psychology.anu.edu.au/news-events/news for more information. Indicative lecture structure is: Week 1 Lecture 1: Admin & overview Lecture 2: Thresholds & designing experiments
2 Week 2 Lecture 3: Continued Lecture 4: Spatial frequency analysis
3 Week 3 Lecture 5: Continued Lecture 6: Depth perception Laboratory Class: Threshold & Acuity Lab
4 Week 4 Lecture 7: Continued Lecture 8: Motion perception
5 Week 5 Lecture 9: Continued Lecture 10: Multiple pathways and processing stages Laboratory Class: Threshold & Acuity Lab 2
6 Week 6 Lecture 11: Neuropsychology and vision Lecture 12: Continued
7 Week 7 Lecture 13: Introduction and critical approaches to Cognitive Neuroscience Lecture 14: Critical approaches to Cognitive Neuroscience Mid-semester exam TBC
8 Week 8 Lecture 15: Continued Lecture 16: Continued Lab Report Due TBC
9 Week 9 Lecture 17: Face and Object Perception Lecture 18: Continued Laboratory Class: Cognitive Testing Lab
10 Week 10 Lecture 19: Dynamics of Visual Attention Lecture 20: Continued
11 Week 11 Lecture 21: Neuropsychological Cases & Attentional Flexibility Lecture 22: Continued Laboratory Class: Neuropsychology Lab
12 Week 12 Lecture 23: Current Visual Cognition Research Projects: Theoretical basis & operationalisations Lecture 24: Continued

Tutorial Registration

Sign up via WATTLE

Link for more information: http://psychology.anu.edu.au/news-events/lab-sign-information-semester-2-2020

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Mid semester exam. The format of this is to be determined, but it maybe an oral exam. 40 % 30/08/2021 24/09/2021 1,2,3
End of Semester exam (written) 40 % 04/11/2021 02/12/2021 1,2,3
Visual Acuity Lab Report 20 % * * 4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Laboratory Attendance Rule

The Research School of Psychology considers the laboratory component of all courses to be an integral part of each course – laboratory classes may supplement and consolidate material covered in lectures or they may introduce entirely new material pertinent to the objectives of the course.


It is the policy of the Research School of Psychology that the assessment package for all courses will include an invigilated component or components (that is, taken under supervised examination conditions) accounting for at least forty percent (40%) of the overall grade, and that a Pass mark (50% or greater) is required in at least one part of the invigilated component that counts for at least 50% of the total invigilated component, before the course can be passed as a whole. In this course, this means that students must pass one of the exams in order to pass the course overall. Students failing to achieve this, but who otherwise have an overall grade of 45% of better, will be offered the opportunity to sit, and pass, a further (supplementary) invigilated examination. Students achieving a passing grade (50% or better) in that supplementary invigilated examination will be eligible to pass the course overall but their final recorded course mark will be 50%.

Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, the due date and return date indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held and results returned to the student (official end of Semester results released on ISIS). Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 30/08/2021
Return of Assessment: 24/09/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Mid semester exam. The format of this is to be determined, but it maybe an oral exam.

Covers weeks 1 – 6

Value: 40%

The date range is an general indication of when the mid-semester exam will be held. Please check the course Wattle site and the ANU Examination Timetable to confirm the date, time and location of the end of semester exam.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 04/11/2021
Return of Assessment: 02/12/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

End of Semester exam (written)

Covers weeks 7-12

Value: 40%

The date range in the Assessment Summary indicates the start of the end of semester exam period and the date official end of semester results are released on ISIS. Please check the ANU final Examination Timetable http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/examination-timetable to confirm the date, time and location exam.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 4

Visual Acuity Lab Report

The lab report used in previous years is given below. Given the requirements of physical distancing, we will not be able to get students to run an experiment this year. This, however, opens up a number of opportunities to focus on more complex experimental designs and critiques. So the lab report will once again focus on understanding the issues involved in designing and conducting an experiment, there will be no actual data collection.

Design and conduct a single-case-study experiment to measure a person’s visual-acuity threshold as a function of eccentricity. The information required to conduct and write up this experiment will be provided in lectures. No additional library research is required.

Assessment: The criteria for assessment will be how well the experimental technique employed was thought out, reasoned and critiqued, it will not be the accuracy of the resultant data. Most marks will be allocated to the Methods and Discussion sections. In other words, the real aims of the exercise are to get you to think through the issues involved in conducting an experiment, to design an experimental procedure that adequately addresses those issues and, more importantly, to justify and critique that procedure.

Word limit: There is no word limit to the lab report, but keep in mind that in order to obtain a high grade, it is not necessary to write a mammoth tome. Your ability to concisely think through the issues is being assessed.

Presentation requirements: Written Laboratory Report submitted via turnitin


Due: Specific details will be posted on Wattle.

Estimated return date: TBC - approximately 3 weeks from submission

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Student assignments will be returned online via turnitin.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Not permitted.


 If you have any questions about the assessment of a submitted piece of work, or if you wish to have some of the comments clarified, you may approach the staff member responsible for marking the assignment to arrange an appointment where you can discuss your concerns. If, after such discussion, you feel that a piece of work has not been adequately assessed, the following procedure applies:


(i)            Ask the marker to reassess your work. Before doing so, it is your responsibility to outline in writing why you think the original mark does not reflect the true worth of the work. Give this outline to the original marker.

(ii)           If the original marker agrees to reassess the work and alters the mark, and you accept this change, then the procedure ends, and you will not be eligible for any further remarking of the piece. The original marker will advise the course coordinator of the new mark so that they can ensure that the final records are accurate

(iii)         If following a discussion with the original marker, you still feel that the work has been inadequately assessed you may approach the course coordinator with a request for an independent remark. Please note that the mark that the course coordinator assigns will be the final mark. It is possible that this mark could be lower than the original mark

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Mark Edwards
6125 5530

Research Interests

Visual perception and cognition, specifically role of attention in visual perception, interaction of visual pathways and role emotion in visual cognition

AsPr Mark Edwards

By Appointment
AsPr Stephanie Goodhew

Research Interests

AsPr Stephanie Goodhew

AsPr Mark Edwards
6125 5530

Research Interests

AsPr Mark Edwards

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions