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fMRI Data and Statistics


Admission requirements

  • Master students

  • Knowledge of the Linux/Unix computer environment.
    People with no previous experience of UNIX should spend a few hours, before the course starts, working through at least the first 5 sections of a basic unix tutorial


The use of fMRI has become a very important technique for functional brain imaging. The special nature of the data collected by this method requires very specific, often recently developed, statistical methods for data analysis. In this course several statistical methods for analyzing fMRI data will be discussed. The course takes place in 8 sessions. In the first two hours of each session theoretical issues will be addressed and in the last two hours students are trained in how to analyze data in practical situations.

Topics which will be discussed are:

  • Why and when fMRI

  • bold response

  • preprocessing

  • design for a single-subject experiment

  • making statistical inferences

  • statistical analysis of fMRI data by GLM

  • correction for confounders

  • groups analyses.

The emphasis in this course is on learning to decide what, in a special situation, the most appropriate technique is and how to perform analyses on real data sets.

Course objectives

  • Students become familiar with the basics of fMRI statistics

  • Students learn to choose what the most appropriate technique is for analyzing fMRI data in a special situation.

  • Carrying out analyses for real data sets and interpreting the results.


fMRI Data and Statistics (2010-2011):

Mode of instruction

Lectures and supervised workgroups.

Assessment method

Graded practical assignment during course.
Obligation to attend all lectures and all practical sessions for all students.

From January 1, 2006 the Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted the Ephorus system to be used by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .


Information on

Reading list

  • S.A. Huettel, A.W. Song, G. McCarthy. (2009). Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging 2nd Revised Edition. Sinauer Associates Inc.,U.S.

  • Lecture notes


Introduction and enrolment for courses of the first semester will take place on 2 September August 2010. Introduction and enrolment for courses of the second semester will take place on 27 January 2011. More information will be available at the website of the Institute of Psychology.

NB: Exam registration will take place via uSis, and will be open between a month and a week before the (re)exam. Students who haven’t registered, cannot participate in the exam.

Contact information

Dr. S.A.R.B. Rombouts
Tel: +31 (0)71 526 3309