PS929-7-SP: METHODS IN COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to year(s) of study:
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
|Module is taught during the following terms
The aim of this course is for the student is to be familiar with most of the present-day methods used in Cognitive Neuroscience, e.g. fMRI, PET, EEG, ERPs, TMS, tDCS, eye-tracking, NIRS, genetics, MEG, and to provide practical experience of some of these methodologies, e.g. EEG, ERPs, TMS, tDCS, eye-tracking and NIRS
At the end of this course students will be able to:
understand the main methods employed in the area
have a practical knowledge of those methods currently employed at Essex and
have a deeper knowledge of the field relevant to future careers in Cognitive Neuroscience
Learning & Teaching Methods
Lecture 1: Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience Methods
This lecture will begin by introducing the rise of Cognitive Neuroscience over the past two decades, exploring also its roots in psychophysiology. The introduction of the new technologies that facilitates this rise will be explained and the methods themselves will be introduced. In order to help students with coursework preparation (oral presentation) a 'journal club' - style presentation and question and answer session will be held.
Lecture 2: Brain Imaging and Mapping
In this lecture, students will be introduced to two of the main methods for imaging brain functions, namely PET and fMRI. The underlying neuroscience will be explained and examples will be shown. In addition, an appraisal of some of the assumptions and problems associated with fMRI will be given
Lecture 3: The Dynamics of Eye-Tracking
Students will be familiarised with the techniques and applications of eye-tracking and the associated literature. A hands-on, practical demonstration of eye-movement measures will occur.
Lecture 4: EEG Basics and the Event-Related Potential
This lecture will give a brief history of the EEG and describe the basic principles involved. The advantages of this method, in terms of the temporal scale will be emphasised and event-related potentials (ERPs) will be described and assessed. A practical session involving the recording of ERPs will take place.
Lecture 5: Investigating Oscillatory Activity in the Brain
This lecture will stress the growing literature regarding the importance of cortical oscillations in perception and cognition. Newer methods for analysing the EEG in this respect will be demonstrated and a second EEG practical session will take place.
Lecture 6: Shining a Light on the Brain
In this lecture, students will be introduced to the field of Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), its theoretical underpinnings, applications and limitations. A practical session involving the measurement of blood oxy- and deoxygenated haemoglobin levels using NIRS will take place.
Lecture 7: The basics of Neuromodulation
This lecture will introduce the idea of modulating brain activity using various techniques e.g. pharmaceutically, TMS, tDCS. A practical session involving TMS will occur.
Lecture 8: Advanced Neuromodulation
Repetitive TMS (rTMS) is becoming investigated more widely in terms of its potential clinical applications. This lecture will examine and discuss this area and the postulated underlying mechanisms involved. Additionally, advanced uses of TMS & rTMS in cognitive and perceptual paradigms will be described.
Lecture 9: The Best of the Rest
This lecture will familiarise the students with several other (less brain-centred) methodologies employed in psychophysiology & Cognitive neuroscience, for instance, genetics, EMG, EOG, hormonal measures and manipulations. Future directions in Neuroscience, such as those using multi-modal measures (e.g. EEG + fMRI, TMS + NIRS, TMS + EEG etc) will also be discussed
Lecture 10: Journal Club Oral Presentations
This session will take the form of individual oral presentations by the students, followed by question and answer sessions. Presentations will be in a journal club-style and will be based on an article in a relevant subject chosen by the student.
100 per cent Coursework Mark
2000 word essay 50% and oral presentation 50%
Exam Duration and Period
updated 26/8/10 HG/les
- Cacioppo, Tassinary and Berntson (2007). Handbook of Psychophysiology. Cambridge University Press.
Andreassi, JL (2007). Psychophysiology : human behavior and physiological response. Lawrence Erlbaum.