Cognitive neuroscience at the 100 and 200 level covers a broad overview of the diverse range of cognitive neuroscience topics. This 300 level course will focus on human neuroimaging, in particular
functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and Electroencephalography (EEG).
Other techniques that will be discussed are PET/SPECT, various MRI techniques (such as ASL, DTI, MRS, high-field MRI) and fNIRS. Also
techniques that modulate brain activity, rather than measure it, will be discussed, including TMS and tDCS.
The lectures and meet-the-expert sessions will provide you with the theoretical knowledge, while the assignments will require you to review and present neuroscience literature as well as design a neuroscience study on a topic of your own choosing. Two short practical sessions (fMRI and EEG) will allow you to get some hands-on experience.
I have tried to setup
the course in such a way as to provide you with knowledge about the workings of imaging techniques, ways to design a study, and how to process, interpret and report the data. At the end of the course, therefore, you should be able to able to critically evaluate newspaper articles on neuroscience topics and find and read the associated scientific research papers.
As this is a 300 level course, I expect you to show initiative and actively participate in the sessions. Vice versa, you can expect from me to be actively involved in helping you discover the field of neuroscience. If you are enthusiastic about any particular topic, I will be glad to discuss this with you and maybe bring you in contact with experts in the field.
Most of the lectures are online e-lectures. To watch the intro video and get a feel of
the e-lectures, go to: https://matthijs-vink.com/ucscicog32_intro_video
. On this site, you will also find the complete course manual.
At the end of each lecture
a short online quiz will be presented. This quiz will help you determine the relevant aspects of the lecture. It also helps me see if I have explained the topic clear enough. We will discuss the quiz answers and the e-lectures during the Friday meetings. In this way, we can center classroom discussions around
issues you find difficult or want to know more about.
The e-lectures are available online and you can watch these lectures in your own time. You can speed up during topics that you are already familiar with. Alternatively, you can pause the video to take a break or look stuff up on the internet. This will of course cause a 10 minute
video to take longer than those 10 minutes. I have tried to break down lectures into short videos on specific subtopics, so that you can easily watch parts again to ensure that you understand it (or revisit specific sections right before the exam). During the video, you can also ask questions. These will appear in my email inbox. I will answer asap and this answer will appear online for all students to see. Some videos contain questions that you must answer to proceed. These questions are used to help you identify important parts of the lecture. These questions, together with the weekly quiz, will be discussed in plenary sessions on Fridays. In addition to the meetings on Friday, we will also have individual and small-group meetings. Moreover, I encourage you to contact me throughout the course to request additional one-on-one meetings.