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Social Cognitive Neuroscience


Admission requirements

Research master’s students


Social cognitive neuroscience is an emerging scientific discipline that attempts to integrate the theories, methods and insights of cognitive psychology, social cognition and cognitive neuroscience. This course is intended to review and discuss state-of-the-art developments in this area, covering issues like self-perception, action perception and interpretation, imitation and the recognition of affect.

Each course meeting aims to provide a deeper insight into the theoretical background of a current research interest – with an emphasis on controversies – and will be based on one or two publications, which either review a substantial body of recent research or make strong statements reflecting the different perspectives on the particular controversial issue.

On the basis of further reading assignments, each student will orally present a topic (using Power Point), and stimulate, lead and organize further discussion in the group. On the basis of the seminar meetings, each student will prepare an essay, which consists of a critical review of the literature relevant to the chosen topic and recommendations for future research.

Course objectives

  • Students gain an overview of recent theoretical developments in the area of social cognitive neuroscience and a deeper insight into the relationship between cognitive, affective, and social processes and brain functions.

  • They get a better understanding of how modern techniques to analyze brain processes and careful, creative experimenting can inform psychological theorizing.

  • They practice how to analyze associated methodological and theoretical problems and how to develop, communicate, and defend their own opinion.


Social Cognitive Neuroscience (2010-2011):

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • 20% active participation

  • 30% oral presentation

  • 50% research proposal

From January 1, 2006 the Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted the Ephorus system to be used by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .


Information on

Reading list

Literature available via Blackboard


Introduction and enrolment for courses of the first semester will take place in August 2010. Introduction and enrolment for courses of the second semester will take place in January 2011. More information will be available at the website of the Institute of Psychology.

Contact information

Dr. S. Biro
Room 2B19
Tel: 071 5274815