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Addiction and neural ageing

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This free course, Addiction and neural ageing, takes its title from two topics that are of immense worldwide social, economic, ethical, and political importance. You will develop a Master's level approach to the study of specific issues within these two important subject areas.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand the complex nature of addiction and neural ageing from both biological and psychological perspectives
  • recognise the contribution of different scientific disciplines to our understanding of several contemporary topics in addiction and neural ageing
  • critically evaluate and discuss specific scientific arguments related to addiction and neural ageing
  • communicate the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to studying issues in biological psychology, using addiction and neural ageing as examples.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 15 hours
  • Updated Thursday 24th March 2016
  • Advanced level
  • Posted under Biology
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Addiction and neural ageing


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The material presented in this course is taken from SD805 ‘Issues in Brain and Behaviour’ – a 60-point postgraduate course within the Frontiers in Medical Science strand of The Open University's M.Sc in Science Programme. SD805 consists of two topics that are of immense worldwide social, economic, ethical, and political importance – ‘Addiction’ and ‘Neural Ageing’. Of note is that in SD805, the term ‘neural ageing’ is used to mean ageing as it impacts upon the nervous system and behaviour – not the ageing of other body systems or organs. The material presented in this course examines, at a Master's level of post-graduate scholarship, some of the biological and psychological issues underlying addictive behaviours and the ageing of the nervous system.

The aim of this course is to present a short exploration of original research articles and detailed commentaries taken from SD805, within a framework that highlights the complex nature of addiction and neural ageing. The content of the material requires background knowledge and understanding at the level of a first degree in science or in a science-based subject. Open University students studying SD805 have access to a wide range of course materials, internet resources as well as tutor support. In this standalone course the emphasis is therefore very much on your own assessment of the material to derive an academic understanding of the relevant issues being considered. Having read and critically evaluated the material, you should nevertheless be able to appreciate that a coherent scientific explanation of addiction and neural ageing requires the integration of information obtained from different levels of biological and psychological analysis.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course : SD815 Contemporary issues in brain and behaviour: psychosis and dementia [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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