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Neurodevelopmental assessment and treatment


NB Language of instruction is English

Admission requirements



It is well known that the development of children is highly dependent upon brain-behavior relations and environmental factors. It is important to learn about the normal and pathological development of the brain in relation to psychopathology. Parameters of normal development will be discussed as well as environmental influences that put this development at risk. Several important mechanisms and essential functions, like allocation of attention, inhibition, flexibility and adaptation in functioning are important in relation to development of (social) learning behavior.

The main aim of this course is to elucidate genotype-endophenotype-phenotype pathways to developmental psychopathology. Attention will be given to several important medical and psychiatric illnesses that become evident in childhood or adolescence (Neurofibromatosis Type 1, Phenylketonuria, Klinefelter’s Syndrome, Substance Abuse, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Psychosis, Agression and Antisocial behavior). It is essential that one learns to understand the relation between neurodevelopmental factors and developmental problems in order to be able to help children and adolescents in an appropriate way. Methods of diagnoses (including important instruments) and treatment will be taught, but the emphasis will lie on the study of underlying neural and cognitive mechanisms of behavioral and emotional problems and psychopathology.

Course objectives

The following achievement levels apply with regard to the content of the program:

  • A thorough understanding of the various theories and methodological approaches which are commonly used in brain-behavior research;

  • The capacity to identify a theoretical framework suitable for addressing relevant problems and issues related in brain-behavior research;

  • Advanced, up to date knowledge of quantitative en qualitative research methodology and findings.

  • The ability of critically selecting, studying and analyzing literature relevant to the issues and problems presented by the curriculum and the connected research programs;

  • The capacity to report independently about relevant research which is carried out according to current academic standards;

  • The ability to present in English and write scientific reports in English.



Mode of instruction

2-hour seminars (weekly). Each course meeting will address a particular topic (generally a disorder or disease). Literature will be comprised of several international journal articles provided by the instructors. Theoretical issues will be addressed as well as professional issues (including some practice). Students will participate actively in the seminar, by presenting an overview of the literature provided by the instructors on one of the topics. For this presentation, students find additional articles themselves. Active participation in the discussion following the presentation is required. Students will conclude the course by writing a paper on one disorder or disease, describing genotypes, endophenotypes and phenotypes observed in that disease/disorder and focusing on future research directions for the chosen disease/disorder.

Assessment method

  • Seminars (presentation): 40%

  • Paper: 60%.

  • The presentation will be judged by fellow students (50%) and the instructor (50%).

Paper and presentation are on different disorders.


During this course Blackboard is used.

Reading list

Articles (approximately four per session) provided by the instructors, plus one or two additional articles for the presentation.


Please note that separate uSis registration is mandatory for lectures, seminars, exam and re-exam.

  • Registration for the lectures of the course is possible as of two months through one week before the first lecture at the latest;

  • Registration for the seminars of the course is possible as of two months through one week before the first lecture at the latest;

  • Registration for the exam is possible as of two months through one week before the exam at the latest;

  • Registration for the re-exam is possible as of two months through one week before the re-exam at the latest.

Students who don’t register cannot attend classes or take the (re)exam.

Contact information

Co-ordinator of this course is Dr. S.C.J. Huijbregts.