The questions surrounding consciousness and self-awareness have fascinated humans since the dawn of time, giving rise to significant cultural constructs and spiritual endeavours. In recent years, neuroscientific methods have begun to provide important insights into different brain / mind states and the components that make up our sense of self. This module will teach students the significance of cognitive neuroscience approaches for our understanding of (self) awareness, by providing them with hands-on experience of experimental methods for testing and manipulating awareness and self-recognition. Students will receive training in the theoretical and practical aspects of the methodologies involved and in the effective communication of scientific findings acquired using those methodologies, as well as a solid understanding of the concepts of consciousness and the bodily self.

The aim of this course is for the student to:
1) Understand the main theories of and approaches to investigating consciousness and the bodily self, their developmental origins and the experiential consequences of their malfunction, as well as appreciate the theoretical and empirical constraints faced in the study of (self-) consciousness
2) Have practical experience of some of the Cognitive Neuroscience recording and data analysis methods used at Essex to investigate consciousness and the bodily self (e.g. EEG, TMS, tES)
3) Have experience effectively communicating scientific findings acquired using those methodologies

At the end of this course students will:
1) Have a solid understanding of Cognitive Neuroscience approaches to the study of consciousness and the bodily self and can consolidate state of the art research findings across different sub-domains within these fields
2) Have a solid understanding of the processes involved in topic-relevant data collection and analysis using the Cognitive Neuroscience methods currently employed at Essex
3) Have received training in communicating cognitive neuroscientific methods, analysis, and findings within their relevant theoretical framework