Computer Science (Human Computer Interaction) (3 Years) [BSc]

Sensory Systems for Human Computer Interaction

Unit code: BIOL22341
Credit Rating: 10
Unit level: Level 2
Teaching period(s): Semester 1
Offered by School of Biological Sciences
Available as a free choice unit?: N



Additional Requirements

BIOL10832 is a compulsory pre-requisite of BIOL22341


This course aims to explain:

• how external stimuli impact upon central neural pathways to give rise to perception

• the nature and extent of sensory systems from periphery to CNS, with emphasis on the higher mammalian systems, but including appropriate comparative comparisons.

• basic elements of the cognitive processes involved in sensory interpretation and reaction.



Sensory Systems provides an understanding of how we see, hear, smell, taste and feel. You will gain an understanding of the mechanisms that allow us to receive sensory information and how it is processed by the relevant areas of the brain.


Teaching and learning methods

All lecture material will be offered in advance on Blackboard. An appropriate mini-exam will be provided for week 7 and a forum for discussion. "Interesting examples" of non-lecture materials, designed to highlight aspects of the lecture-based material, will be provided.


Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:
  • comprehend the ability of nervous systems to access, integrate and interpret sensory information
  • understand the common plan of sensory systems across species, as models for neuroscience research
  • look beyond ’sense’ to cognition.

Group/team working  

  • Encourage the use of Blackboards discussion group for student-to-student communication. There is also a student led discussion group. 

Oral communication  

  • Students are reminded (repeatedly) to ask questions during or after lectures, and one session is devoted to discussion of examination questions and how best to answer them. 


  • Looking at research, as presented in the lecture course; with insight into research methods etc.  

Written communication          

  • Strongly encourage the use of Blackboards discussion group.  


Assessment methods

  • Other - 10%
  • Written exam - 45%
  • Written assignment (inc essay) - 45%

Assessment Further Information

2 on-line MCQ tests in weeks 7 and 11 - 10%

Written assessment in weeks 6-7 - 45%

Written examination in MCQ short answer format, covering all aspects of the course, lecture-based or Blackboard. It will include a choice of 15/30 MCQ’s and 3 sections of short answer questions with a choice of 1/3 questions in each section i.e. 3 questions in total. (It is suggested that students spend 20 minutes on MCQ’s and 40 minutes on short answers.)

1 hour in length - 45%

Study hours

  • Lectures - 22 hours
  • Independent study hours - 78 hours

Teaching staff

Kenneth Grieve - Unit coordinator

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