Prospectus

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Social Cognitive Neuroscience

Course 2016-2017

Entry requirements

Only open to MSc Psychology (research) students

Description

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 more publications, which either review a substantial body of recent research or make strong statements reflecting the different perspectives on the particular issue. On the basis of further reading assignments, each student will orally present at least one paper (using Power Point), write a blog, and prepare a research proposal, which consists of a critical review of the literature relevant to the chosen topic and recommendations for future research.

Course objectives

Upon completion of the course, students will:

  • 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;
  • Get a better understanding of how modern techniques to analyse brain processes and careful, creative experimenting can inform psychological theorizing; and
  • Practice how to analyse associated methodological and theoretical problems and how to develop, communicate, and defend their own opinion.

Timetable

For the timetables of your lectures, work groups and exams, please select your study programme in:
Psychology timetables

Lectures

Registration

Course

Students need to enroll for lectures and work group sessions.
Master’s course registration

Examination

Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. 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.
Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

8 2-hour work group sessions.

Assessment method

The assessment is based on relatively:

  • 10% active participation
  • 10% blog
  • 20% oral presentation
  • 60% research proposal

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has instituted that instructors use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken. Please see the information concerning fraud.

Reading list

  • Blakemore, S., Winston, J. & Frith, U (2004). Social cognitive neuroscience: where are we heading? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8, 216-222.
  • Lieberman, M. D. (2007). Social cognitive neuroscience: A review of core processes. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 259–289.
  • Decety, J. & Sommerville, J. (2004). Shared representations between self and other: a social cognitive neuroscience view. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7, 527-533.
  • Huebner, B., Dwyer, S., & Hauser, M. (2009). The role of emotion in moral psychology. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13, 1-6.
  • Moll, J. & de Oliveira-Souza, R. (2007). Moral judgments, emotions and the utilitarian brain. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 319-321.

Contact information

Prof.dr. Bernhard Hommel
hommel@fsw.leidenuniv.nl