Topic, not actual title) The essay is based on an analysis of the current understanding of the physiology underlying a specific behaviour

Objective: To allow students to research and document the physiological bases of a specific


The essay should be based on an analysis of the current understanding of the physiology underlying a specific behaviour. Behaviour is a generic term covering acts, reactions, activities, responses, movements, processes, operations etc., in short, any measurable response of an organism (Penguin Dictionary of Psychology). Physiology refers to the functions of cells, tissues or living organisms (Penguin Dictionary of Psychology).

The essay topic does not preclude reference to areas of psychological interest such as social context, environmental constraints etc. However, the purpose of this unit is to give students an understanding of how various physiological processes underlie, limit and in some cases define behaviour, and it is expected that the central focus of the essay be the physiology of a chosen behaviour.

The essay should conclude with a section summarising directions that future research into the physiology of the chosen behaviour might take. This section can take the form of analysis of studies proposed by researchers currently working in the selected field, your own suggestions or a combination of the two.

Marks will be based on:

” Clear definition of the selected behaviour and description of the physiological processes underlying that behaviour

” Thorough reporting of the current research findings relating to the topic chosen

” Critical analysis of the current research findings, rather than simply a description of those findings

” Rationale underlying any suggested future directions for research in the selected area

” Clarity of expression leading to a demonstrated understanding of the topic