This Level 6 module will see students engage in learning surrounding animal behaviour, and how the brain and other relevant sensory organs may influence it. This will be through the study of neurobiology, and neurobiological medications, as well as an introduction to Tinbergen’s four questions. The assessment for this module is divided 50:50 between exam and programme work.
Over the course of this module, students will demonstrate an understanding of the different neurological structures and their function, and the processes controlled by the vertebrate brain. Students will examine the effects of physiology on behaviour, including the role of different sensory organs, hormones and pheromones, circadian rhythms, and neurobiology (conscious and autonomic nervous systems) and neurobiological medications.
Cognitive aspects of behaviour will also be evaluated, including how signals are coded and evidence surrounding consciousness and different emotions exhibited by non-human animals. Students will learn about the functions of behaviour and behavioural processes based on Tinbergen’s four questions (including fixed action patterns for survival and reproduction, communication, territory, social bonding, imprinting), and will apply this knowledge to understand how behaviour can be used as a welfare tool (including normal and stereotypical behaviours, observing and quantifying behaviours) and be modified to meet the behavioural needs of animals (including identifying normal species-specific repertoires and analysing the factors to enable normal exhibiting of these behaviours).
Key learning resources
Bear, M., Connors, B. W. and Paradiso, M. A., 2015. Neuroscience: exploring the brain. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Williams and Wilks.
Dawkins, M. S., 1995. Unravelling animal behaviour. 2nd ed. Harlow: Pearson.
Dawkins, M. S., 1998. Through our eyes only: the search for animal consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kandell, E. R., Schwartz, J., Jessell, T., Siegelbaum, S. and Hudspeth, A. J., 2012. Principles of neural science. 5th ed. London: McGraw-Hill Education.
Kandell, E. R. and Jessel, T. M., 1995. Essentials of neuroscience and behaviour. New York, NY: Appleton and Lange.
Longstaff, A., 2011. Instant notes in neuroscience. 3rd ed. Abingdon: Garland Science.
Nicholls, J. G. Martin, A. R., Fucha, P. A., Brown, D. A., Diamond, M. E. and Weisblat, D., 2011. From neuron to brain. 5th ed. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer.
Panksepp, J., 2004. Affective neuroscience: the foundations of human and animal emotion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Purves, D., Augustine, G. J., Fitzpatrick, D., Hall, W. C., LaMantia, A. S., Mooney, R. D., Platt, M. L. and White, L. E., 2018. Neuroscience. International 5th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Shettleworth, S. J., 2010. Cognition, evolution and behavior, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Wynne, C. D. L. and Udell, M. A. R., 2013. Animal cognition: evolution, behavior and cognition. 2nd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Universities Federation for Animal Welfare – www.ufaw.org.uk
· Animal Welfare
· Animal Cognition
· Animal Behaviour
· Applied Animal Behaviour Science
· Journal of Ethology
· Journal of Physiology and Behaviour
· Nature Neuroscience
· Trends in Neurosciences