2023-2024 / PSYC5891-1

Biological psychology


50h Th

Number of credits

 Bachelor in psychology and education : general4 crédits 


André Ferrara

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Biological psychology (biopsychology or behavioral neuroscience) is the scientific study of the biology of the behavior. After having defined the biological psychology, we will examine its methodological foundations (methods of studying the nervous system and behavioral research methods).
Then we shall study some of the following issues :

  • Sensory (vision and audition) and sensorimotor systems,
  • Several questions related to brain plasticity (development of the nervous system, brain damage and neuroplasticity). Cerebral plasticity induced by learning, memory and brain damages.
  • Biopsychology of motivation (alimentary and sexual behaviors, addiction).
  • Disorders of cognition and emotion (biopsychology of emotion, stress and health; biopsychology of psychiatric disorders).

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Focus on behavior: biological psychology is a team effort and the biopsychologist offers a unique contribution to this effort through its behavioral and cognitive expertise.
This course helps the student to understand the interest as well as the limitations of the biological approach of human behaviors.

Through the study of biopsychology, the student will be brought round to :

  • define the research field of the biopsychology (place within neurosciences, associated disciplines, ...).
  • understand the research methods used in biopsychogy (methods of studying the nervous system and behavioral research methods) with their interests and limitations.
  • understand the interest of a comparative apporach in the knowlegde development about visual, auditive and sensorimotor systems, brain plasticity, motivation, cognitive and emotional disorders, psychiatric disorders.
The learning outcomes relativley to each chapters of this course will be detailled at the end of each oral session and/or via eCampus.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Notions of Biology and Biological Anthropology (prerequisite) / Physiology of the nervous system (corequisite).

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Ex cathedra course.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Recommended or required readings

Main reference textbooks :

  • Pinel and Barnes (2017). Introduction to Biopsychology (10th global edition). PEARSON Education. Available at the Bibiothèque des Sciences de la Vie, BSV].
  • Pinel (2007). Biopsychologie (6e édition)PEARSON Education. Available at the BSV].
  • Breedlove, Rosenzweig and Watson (2012). Psychobiologie (6e édition). De Boeck. 
  • Available at the BSV].
PDF files will be available through eCampus.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire )

Work placement(s)


Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

In general, all communications will go through eCampus. You will also find the PDF files associated with the face-to-face sessions.



Ferrara André (04/366.22.32 - a.ferrara@uliege.be)

Association of one or more MOOCs