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Course introduction: What you’ll be learning and whom you’ll be learning from

What you'll be learning and whom you'll be learning from in this course.
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© Università degli Studi di Padova

Welcome to the FutureLearn course Research Methods in Psychology: Using Animal Models to Understand Human Behaviour.

Did you know that we can learn a lot about humans through animal research?

What you’ll be learning

On this course from the University of Padova, you’ll explore the use of animal models in psychology, neuroscience, and other biomedical research strands.

In the first week, we will see how animal cognition is studied, and we will do it without the need for any invasive procedures.

This is extremely important, as animal research goes hand in hand with animal care.

We’ll talk more about the ethics of animal studies later on in the week. In Week 2, we will see what animals can tell us about the ancient nature-nurture debate; meanwhile in Week 3, we will focus on learning mechanisms, particularly what happens in the brain when we learn. And lastly, the fourth and final week will be devoted to showing the important contributions of some animals in the comprehension of psychopathologies.

Whom you’ll be learning from

By the end of this course, you should realize how much animals have helped us in understanding who we are as human beings, and this will be achieved through videos, papers, and interviews with some of the most important scientists in this field. They include:

You’ll learn more about their research and contributions in the field as you move forward in the course.

We would also like to give a special shout out to Parco Natura Viva!

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Your turn!

Now, tell us a little bit about yourself by answering the following questions:

  • Why did you choose this course?
  • Have you had any previous experience with animal studies?
  • What are your expectations for this course?
  • In your opinion, on a scale from one to ten (with 1=no impact and 10=high impact), how much have animal models impacted the field of psychology? Why?

Have a great four weeks of learning up ahead!

© Università degli Studi di Padova
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Research Methods in Psychology: Using Animal Models to Understand Human Behaviour

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