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Information for module PALS0022

This module is available for 2019/20

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Module code:PALS0022 (Add to my personalised list)
Title:The Evolution of Vocal Communication
Credit value:15
Division:Division of Psychology and Language Sciences
Module organiser (provisional):Patti Adank
Organiser's location:323 Chandler House
Available for students in Year(s):2, 3
Module prerequisites:None 
Module outline:This module focuses on vocal communication in humans and other species from an evolutionary perspective. • Introduction to basic evolutionary principles (e.g., natural selection, adaptations and traits, convergent evolution, sexual selection, honesty); • How do other animals communicate? • Imitation and learning: why are humans and some other species (e.g. parrots) such good imitators? • Use of the comparative approach to vocal learning: test hypothesis about how a trait evolved by comparing traits across species. E.g., by comparing how humans develop speech with how songbirds learn to sing by imitating others. • What can we learn about the evolution of speech by studying songbirds and other species that learn through vocal imitation? • Social factors: how do other humans and other species use vocal communication in a social context? • Evolution of speech: did vocal communication originate in gestural communication or from mirror neurons?  
Module aims:This module focuses on vocal communication in humans and other species from an evolutionary perspective (NB: it but does not focus specifically on linguistic processing). The module aims to provide the student with the ability to fully appreciate and critically discuss the following issues and questions: - How did the ability to communicate using sounds evolve? - How do other animals (songbirds, primates, orcas, dolphins, etc.) use vocal communication? - What are the similarities and differences between human vocal communication and communication in other species (primates, birds) from a comparative evolutionary perspective? - Why and when do humans/other animals vocally imitate each other?  
Module objectives:Students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of basic aspects of evolutionary theory, as applied to the evolution of vocal communication and of current theories and models on how vocal communication (specifically speech) evolved. Students should be able to use the comparative evolutionary method to describe basic aspects of human psychology and linguistics in the light of this method.  
Key skills provided by module:Be knowledgeable about a number of specialised areas and/or applications; demonstrate knowledge of a range of research paradigms, research methods and measurement techniques, including statistical analysis demonstrate detailed knowledge of several specialised areas and/or applications, some of which are at the cutting edge of research in the discipline reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence reason scientifically, understand the role of evidence and make critical judgements about arguments in psychology communicate ideas and research findings by written, oral and visual means communicate ideas and research findings, both effectively and fluently by written, oral and visual means.  
Module timetable: 
Module assessment:

UG FHEQ Level 6

  • Standard assessment pattern:
    • Unseen two-hour written examination 60.00%
    • One essay (2,000 words) 40.00%
Taking this module as an option?:Yes 
Link to virtual learning environment (registered students only)
Last updated:2017-07-25 16:50:52 by sslypad