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Neurodevelopmental assessment and treatment


NB Language of instruction is English

Admission requirements



It is well known that the development of children is highly dependent upon brain-behavior relations and environmental factors. It is important to learn about the normal and pathological development of the brain in relation to psychopathology.

The main aim of this course is to elucidate genotype-endophenotype-phenotype pathways to developmental psychopathology. Attention will be given to several important medical and psychiatric illnesses that become evident in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood (Neurofibromatosis Type 1, Phenylketonuria, X-chromosoma, Substance Abuse (and prenatal exposure to substances), Autism Spectrum Disorders, Psychosis, Agression and Antisocial behavior). It is essential that one learns to understand the relation between neurodevelopmental factors and developmental problems in order to be able to help children and adolescents in an appropriate way. Methods of diagnoses and treatment will be taught, but the emphasis will lie on the study of underlying neural and cognitive mechanisms of behavioral and emotional problems and psychopathology.

Course objectives

The following achievement levels apply with regard to the content of the program:

  • A thorough understanding of the various theories and methodological approaches which are commonly used in brain-behavior research;

  • The capacity to identify a theoretical framework suitable for addressing relevant problems and issues related in brain-behavior research;

  • Advanced, up to date knowledge of quantitative en qualitative research methodology and findings.

  • The ability of critically selecting, studying and analyzing literature relevant to the issues and problems presented by the curriculum and the connected research programs;

  • The capacity to report independently about relevant research which is carried out according to current academic standards;

  • The ability to present in English and write scientific reports in English.


“Timetable”: To be announced.

Mode of instruction

2-hour seminars (weekly). Each course meeting will address a particular topic (generally a disorder or disease). Literature comprises several international journal articles provided by the instructors (with further literature added by the students). Theoretical issues will be addressed as well as professional issues (including some practice). Students will participate actively in the seminar, by presenting an overview of the literature on one of the topics. Active participation in the discussion following the presentation is required. Students will conclude the course by writing a paper on one disorder or disease, describing genotypes, endophenotypes and phenotypes observed in that disease/disorder and focusing on future research directions for the chosen disease/disorder. Paper and presentation are on different disorders.

All presentations should be placed on Blackboard on the day of the presentation at the latest. It is allowed to miss one class without repercussions. When 2 classes are missed, the assignment is to write a summary (2-3 pages) on one of the two missed classes (which may not be the presentation- or the paper-topic of the student). Students can use the presentations and literature on Blackboard for this purpose. When >2 classes are missed, students can no longer achieve a “pass”-mark for the course.

Assessment method

  • Seminars (presentation, 15 minutes when there are four presenters; 20 minutes when there are three presenters, plus active participation during the 5 minutes question time after each presentation and discussion after all the session’s presentations): 40%. The presentation will be judged by the session’s instructor, who uses a grading system A) excellent (grade = 9), B) good (grade = 8), C) OK (grade = 7), D) average (grade = 6), E) poor (grade = 5). Especially noticeable active participation (as judged by the sessions’ instructors) can result in 1 point added to the participant’s presentation grade. Especially noticeable inactive participation (as judged by the sessions’ instructors) can result in 1 point deducted from the participant’s presentation grade

  • Paper (6 to 8 pages, line intervals 1.5): 60%. The deadline for the papers is 23/6/2015. Please note that there is no opportunity to rewrite the paper unless the course coordinator grades it as poor (≤ 5.5). If a new version is required the paper cannot be graded higher than average (grade = 6).


During this course Blackboard is used.

Reading list

Articles are provided by the instructors. Students find one or two additional articles for their presentations and papers.


Please note that separate uSis registration is mandatory for lectures, seminars, exams and re-exams. Student who do not register, cannot attend courses or take exams.


  • Registration for the lectures of the course is possible as of two months through one week before the first lecture at the latest;

  • Registration for the seminars of the course is possible as of two months through one week before the first seminar at the latest.


Student must register for each exam through uSis. This is only possible until 10 calendar days before the exam. More information on exam registration

Contact information

Co-ordinator of this course is Dr. S.C.J. Huijbregts.