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Entry requirements

Only open to students that are admitted to the Minor Brain and Cognition.


In this course, students will be further acquainted with the chemistry of the brain, with a particular emphasis on neurotransmitters and receptors, the pharmacological properties of neurochemical substances and synthethic drugs, their mechanisms, impact on neurotransmitter systems, cognition, and their clinical applications, e.g. in anxiety disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia, and addiction.

Moreover, students will learn how to present to an audience with a diverse background. They will choose a topic related to neurotransmitter systems and prepare group presentations, which they will present during a work group session.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student:

  • has acquired knowledge of the basic neurochemistry of the brain;

  • understands the structure of receptors and what their role is in neurotransmission;

  • can identify the neurotransmitter systems in the brain that have been discussed during the course, and their functions;

  • can explain how neurons communicate within themselves and with other neurons

  • gained insight in how research can help to understand the neurochemical processes that underlie brain states and diseases

  • can integrate mechanisms and neurochemical substances with behavioral patterns and disorders

  • will be able to apply this knowledge to critical reading of primary literature and to form, express and explain opinions on selected topics on neurotransmitter systems.

  • will learn to critically assess learned topics and present a chosen topic in an clear way to a diverse audience of co-students.


For the timetables of your lectures, workgroups, and exams, select your study programme. Always keep an eye on Brightspace and check with your course coordinator for potential changes. Psychology timetables

Mode of instruction

8x 2 hour lectures (in English)
6x 2 hour work group sessions (in English)

Assessment method

The final grade for this course consists of an exam grade (70%) and workgroup presentation grade (30%). Both the exam and workgroup presentations will be presented in English. The exam consists of a mixture of multiple-choice questions and open (essay) questions (students may choose to answer the open questions in Dutch). The work group presentation grade will only be provided when at least 75% of the work group sessions have been attended. The exam grade and workgroup grade each need to be at least a 5.0 or higher and their weighted average needs to be at least a 5.5 or higher. The work group grade can be carried over to any exam resits (i.e., students do not need to redo the workgroup sessions if they only fail the exam). Students are not automatically enrolled for an exam. 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.

Reading list

Bear, M.F., Connors, B.W., & Paradiso, M.A. Neuroscience: exploring the brain (4th edition).

Plus other additional material listed on Brightspace

Contact information

For your questions about the overall minor organisation, please contact the coordinator of the minor in Brain and Cognition
For your questions about registration, contact the OSC
For questions about the content of the course, please contact Bryant Jongkees