Psychology

Offered at La Trobe University's Melbourne and Bendigo campuses, our Psychology outreach programs allow students to explore topics ranging from physiological responses to stress to reading minds.

VCE

The Mind, the Brain and Behaviour

For: Year 11, VCE Psycholohy Unit 1

Available: By Arrangement

Duration: 2 hours

Cost: $24 per student

Maximum: 30 students

Location: Bendigo

Neuroscience, the study of the brain and nervous system, is a rapidly growing area of science and arguably one of the most exciting. Understanding how the brain works offers new insights into human nature and complex behaviours. This workshop explores links between brain structure and function, guiding students in dissecting a sheep’s brain to observe the structures found within the mammalian brain.

Students compare the results obtained to structures visible in models of the human brain, and discuss how the differences in structure may influence brain function and ultimately human behaviour. The workshop is supported by a lecture exploring the relationship between mind, brain and behaviour. In content and delivery, the learning is aligned to Unit 1, Area of Study 1 of the new Psychology study design.

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Physiological and Psychological Responses to Stress

For: Year 12, VCE Psychology Unit 4

Available: Mondays and Fridays

Duration: 2 hours

Cost: $20 per student

Maximum: 25 students

Location: Melbourne, Bendigo

Allostasis is a model that integrates biological, psychological, and social factors to explain the relationship between stress and health. Students explore this model with reference to Lazarus and Folkman’s Transactional Theory of Stress and Coping. Measures of galvanic skin response, heart rate, and blood pressure are used to demonstrate basic biofeedback and meditation/relaxation strategies for coping with stress.

Students complete this interactive workshop well-equipped to fulfil the requirements of the School Assessed Coursework (SAC) for Area of Study 2, Mental Health, Outcome 2: Application of a biopsychosocial framework for understanding the relationship between stress and physical and mental wellbeing. Student notes and teacher guide are provided.

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Middle years

Colour and Optical Illusions

For: Years 9 and 10, General Science

Available: By Arrangement

Duration: 2 hours

Cost: $20 per student

Maximum: 25 students

Location: Melbourne

How do we see colour? What is life like for those who see colours differently? How do “colour-blind” people see colours? Colours are not always what they seem. Some are illusions. Understanding how we see colour and the systems involved in visual processing are critical to understanding vision.

This workshop explores vision and how we see colours, and the systems involved. Colour vision deficiencies are also examined and optical illusions discussed, with students learning how these convey information about the brain and visual processing.

The workshop incorporates interactive activities in which students investigate their own colour vision and explore the world of optical illusions.

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Making New Memories

For: Years 9 and 10, General Science

Available: By Arrangement

Duration: 1.5 hours

Cost: $20 per student

Maximum: 25 students

Location: Melbourne, Bendigo

How do memories form? Where do they go when we forget? Students in this workshop explore how the brain makes memories and what happens with diseases of memory such as Alzheimers, a growing problem in our ageing society.

They discuss the different types of memory systems and engage in activities designed to illustrate these.

The students learn some basic brain anatomy, with a focus on the hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for making new memories. For a while they adopt the role of professional “neurologist”, attempting to diagnose potential memory problems from brain scans.

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Reading Minds and Detecting Lies

For: Years 9 and 10, General Science

Available: By Arrangement

Duration: 2 hours

Cost: $20 per student

Maximum: 25 students

Location: Melbourne, Bendigo, Albury-Wodonga

Can you read someone’s mind? Can you tell if someone is lying? This workshop explores mindreading and the detection of deception as a conceptual framework for the scientific study of mind, brain, and behaviour. Students engage in interactive exercises to foster scientific values and an interest in the scientific method as a means of answering puzzling questions about human behaviour and experience.

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