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Cognitive Neuroscience


Important Note

  • All Semester II bachelor and master psychology courses and examinations (2020-2021) will be offered in an on-line format.

  • If it is safe and possible to do so, supplementary course meetings may be planned on-campus. However, attendance at these meetings will not be required to successfully complete Semester II courses.

  • All obligatory work groups and examinations will be offered on-line during Central European Time, which is local time in the Netherlands.

  • Information on the mode of instruction and the assessment method per course will be offered in Brightspace, considering the possibilities that are available at that moment. The information in Brightspace is leading during the Corona crisis, even if this does not match the information in the Prospectus.

Entry requirements

First-year examination in Psychology.


Cognitive neuroscience (CNS) is a multidisciplinary field that investigates traditional cognitive topics such as perception, consciousness and memory as well as topics such as social cognition, anxiety and empathy. CNS aims to gain insight into cognitive processes in the human brain. The CNS course builds on the Cognitive Psychology and Consciousness courses. The objective of this course is two-fold: on the one hand, students learn about the theories and methods of research of cognitive psychology and neuropsychology, and on the other hand, the course covers theoretical controversies and the limitations in current knowledge, and discusses possible directions for future development. This course is of interest to anyone who wishes to learn more about the relationship between mind and brain. The course forms an excellent basis for students who wish to follow the Research Master’s programme in Psychology.

This course or the Minor Brain and Cognition is required for admission to the Cognitive Neuroscience track of the Research Master’s programme.

Course objectives

Students will acquire:

  • Specialised knowledge of the theories and methods of research in the field of cognitive neuroscience;

  • Detailed knowledge of the anatomy of the human brain.; and

  • Oral and written skills that enable them to communicate and critically assess theoretical insights and empirical data from recent papers on the subject. This training in oral and written skills helps to develop good communication skills which are essential to succeed in a future career, not only inside academia but also outside.


For the timetables of your lectures, work group sessions, and exams, see the timetables page of your study programme. You will also find the enrolment codes here. Psychology timetables



Students need to register for lectures, workgroups and exams. Instructions for registration in courses for the 2nd and 3rd year


Elective students have to enroll for each course separately. For admission requirements contact your study advisor.

Exchange/Study abroad

For admission requirements, please contact your exchange coordinator


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date; students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination. Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

8 2-hour lectures in English and 8 2-hour work group sessions in English or Dutch.

Alongside the 8 lectures on the textbook, the compulsory work group sessions use recent articles to cover specific topics in greater depth. Students give a group presentation on neuroanatomy and an individual oral presentation on a particular topic in the field of cognitive neuroscience. They also and write a paper and provide review on papers written by their peers. The work group sessions also include a visit to the LUMC anatomical museum, which has a special display case with brain preparations for the study of brain anatomy. Attendance is compulsory for all work group sessions.

Assessment method

The final mark for the course is based on the unweighted average (i.e. 50:50) of the following 2 units of assessment:

  • The examination (in English), which consists of multiple-choice questions and essay questions and covers the compulsory reading list materials. The essay questions may be answered in Dutch or in English. The exam will cover all chapters from the book indicated above except chapters 4 and 11. Additional material covered in the lectures will not be part of the exam.

  • The combined mark for the presentations and the paper (these cannot be retaken separately).

Study material for the exam

The exam will cover all chapters from the book indicated above except chapters 4 and 11. Additional material covered in the lectures will not be part of the exam.

The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation and compulsory attendance. It also follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these three policies.

Reading list

Gazzaniga, M.S., Ivry, R.B. & Mangun, G.R. (2019). _Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind (5th edition). New York: Norton & Company. ISBN 9780393667813

Contact information

Dr. David Amadeus Vogelsang