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Methods and instruments in cognitive and affective neuroscience


NB Language of instruction is English

Admission requirements



The focus in MICAN is on knowledge about neuroscience methods and techniques in research context, in order to measure the biological origins of behavior, learning and emotion. In a series of two-hour sessions the concepts and principles of a range of methods and techniques will be discussed. Focus will be on: – type of questions that can be addressed using these techniques – do’s and don’ts – opportunities and limitations – experimental set-up – theoretical background of techniques.

Session topics include:

  • Cognitive paradigms and patient studies

  • Neuro-imaging I: functional MRI, structural MRI, DTI, resting state networks

  • Neuro-imaging II: field trip to MRI scanner, safety training

  • Eyetracking

  • EEG and ERP

  • EMG

  • Near Infrared Spectography (NIRS)

  • Looking paradigms

  • Genetics

  • Hormonal measures

  • Autonomic nervous system: heart rate and skin conductance

The first session is an introductory session (no preparations); a short overview of cognitive and affective neuroscience methods will be provided, and the outline of the course will be discussed.

Course objectives

  • To learn about methods and instruments to examine neurocognition, behavioral genetics, psychophysiology, and brain structure and function.


Lectures Exam

Mode of instruction:


Assessment method

Exam with multiple choice questions and open ended questions.


  • PDF copies of PowerPoint presentations will be made available through Blackboard

  • Detailed course information will be communicated by Blackboard.

Reading list

  • E. Harmon-Jones and J. Beer (2009). Methods in Social Neuroscience (ISBN 978-160623-040-4).

  • Scientific articles (links to full-text will be made available on Blackboard).


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 100 calendar days through 10 calendar days before the first lecture at the latest;

  • Registration for the seminars of the course is possible as of 100 calendar days through 10 calendar days 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: dr. S. van Rijn.
Hours: one hour after classes.