UV9323 – Learning and memory systems

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Course content

In this course we will define memory phenomena and the wide variety of learning tasks that have been used to examine them. We will draw important distinctions between levels and domains such as tasks, observations, and theories, aiming to avoid common confusions. We will examine the theoretical distinctions between different classes of memory phenomena that are often interpreted as indicative of distinct brain functions or systems. We will consider data from old-fashioned animal experimental psychology, cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and neuropsychology, focusing on the legendary amnesic patient HM and the instructive pattern of memory successes and failures he exhibited, briefly touching on the hippocampal memory system in the brain. We will discuss the goals, effects, and different kinds of practice, the concepts of automaticity, expertise, and consolidation, and the subjective aspects of autobiographical and emotional memory.

Learning outcome

Students will gain an appreciation of the notion of memory and different theoretical approaches to distinctions among memory phenomena in cognitive psychology and neuropsychology, emphasizing a systems approach while understanding the relevant criteria and limitations.


PhD candidates at The Faculty of Educational Sciences will be given priority, but it is also possible for other PhD candidates to apply for the course.

Candidates admitted to the PhD Programme at The Faculty of Educational Sciences apply through Studentweb

Other applicants apply through this application form

Registration deadline: September 1, 2017.

Please be advised that the course may be cancelled should the number of participants be too low.


Lectures and group discussions based on assigned readings. Students are expected to have prepared questions and thoughts for discussion based on the background readings. The assigned readings will be available in Fronter after admission to the course.

Hours: 12 teaching hours over two days.

Time: September 25 and 27, 9:15-15:00 both days.

Place: September 25: Room 234 and September 27: Room 231, Helga Eng's building.


1 credit point for course participation (80 % attendance is required).

3 credit points for course participation and submitted paper (2500-3000 words).

A research proposal structured as a journal paper including introduction and method, based on recent literature chosen by the students in consultation with the instructor. The “Introduction” section should include a minimal review of relevant literature and justification of the proposed study rationale and hypotheses. The “Method” section should include complete specification of the proposed study (participants, materials, procedure, planned analysis). (2500–3000 words).

Deadline for submitting paper autumn 2017:

December 13. Papers shall be submitted electronically to kathrine.hoegh-omdal@isp.uio.no

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Facts about this course

Every spring
Every spring
Teaching language