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Perception, Attention and Decision Making


Entry requirements

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

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student:

  • Has acquired knowledge of principles of perception, attention and decision making;

  • Has learned how these processes shape our daily-life experiences;

  • Gained insight in how research can help to understand the (neuro)cognitive processes that underlie perception, attention or decision making; and

  • Can apply this knowledge to critical reading of primary literature and to form, express and explain opinions on selected topics, as demonstrated by means of writing a popular scientific blog.


In this course, students will be introduced to the specialised topics in perception, attention and decision-making. Students will learn how properties of sensory systems and higher cognitive processes determine how we perceive and attend to our environment, and make decisions accordingly.

Different topics will be discussed with respect to daily life experiences and societal phenomena as well as to the different research methods that are used to investigate them (e.g., biological, pharmacological, neuroimaging, animal cognition, AI etc.). As such, each lecture will aim to provide insight into the theoretical and methodological perspectives of unique topics involving processes underlying perception, attention and decision-making.


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


  • Blog: Each student will write and hand in an individual scientific blog about a topic related to the course. This blog should be written following the guidelines of the blogs on, additional requirements would be announced during the course.

  • Exam: The exam will consist of a combination of multiple choice and open questions.

The final grade will be a weighted average score of the blog (30%) and the exam (70%). Each assessment needs to be scored 5.0 or higher, and the overall, averaged grade should be 5.5 or higher to pass this course. In other words, it is possible to compensate for an insufficient grade as long it is a 5.0 or higher and the overall, averaged grade is a 5.5 or higher.

Reading list

Background reading:

  • Ward, J. The Student’s Guide to Cognitive Neuroscience 3rd Edition - Chapters 6, 7, 10, 14; or 4th Edition, Chapters 7, 8, 9, 15

Additional research papers & chapters:

  • Announced 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, please contact the OSC.
For questions about the content of the course, please contact the coordinator, Dr. Samarth Varma.