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Cognitive Neuroscience


Entry requirements

All 60 ec of the first-year in Psychology obtained.


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 timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable

This course is offered twice a year.



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course. The exception here is that first-year bachelor students are assigned and registered for all components in the first semester or academic year by the administration of their bachelor programme. The programme will communicate to these students for which course components and for which period the registration applies.


You must register for each exam in My Studymap at least 10 days before the exam date. Don’t forget! For more information, see the enrolment procedure.
You cannot take an exam without a valid registration in My Studymap.

Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Students who take this course as part of a LDE minor or a premaster programme, exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

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.

  • A workgroup grade, which consists of the combined grade for the presentation and the paper (these cannot be retaken separately).

Please note that the minimal grade for the presentation, paper and exam is a 5.0. The weighted average of the exam and workgroup must be higher than a 5.5 in order to pass this course.

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. All students are required to take and pass the Scientific Integrity Test with a score of 100% in order to learn about the practice of integrity in scientific writing. Students are given access to the quiz via a module on Brightspace. 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. Eline Dekeyster

Dr. Steven Miletić