Prospectus

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Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Course 2018-2019

Entry requirements

Open to MSc Psychology (research) students

Description

Developmental cognitive neuroscience investigates the relations between brain development and cognitive, affective and social development. This class will cover the biological bases of cognitive and affective functioning from a developmental perspective, focusing on childhood and adolescence. Fundamental questions that will be covered include: How does brain development, including changes in function, morphology, and connectivity, relate to typical and atypical development of cognitive and affective functions, such as learning, social development, motivation, and decision-making?

Course objectives

Explore relevant theoretical debates in developmental science and neuroscience methods used to address the relevant questions in this field. Consideration of the major methods of developmental cognitive neuroscience, with a focus on (functional) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and behavioral marker tasks. We will devote particular attention to the unique challenges and research considerations of applying these methods to the study of children and adolescents. Other course objectives are to gain proficiency with group presentations, leading a group discussion, and writing of an in-depth research proposal on a topic relevant to the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience.

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

Class sessions will usually consist of a lecture period discussing a specific research topic in the DCN field, followed by a student-led group presentation and discussion of the week’s readings. The class will revolve around discussion of these readings. To facilitate discussion, students should prepare questions that arose for them while reading the week’s material. Student groups will be arranged, and each group will be responsible for co-leading one or more class discussions. Groups may reserve topics. In addition to weekly discussion questions, a weekly written assignment will be included, that amounts to a larger research proposal due at the final class.

Assessment method

The assessment for this course is based on:

• Class participation and discussion: Come to class having done all of the readings, and prepared to discuss them;
• Presenting: Take a turn in leading the discussion and give a presentation on that week’s readings; and
• Paper: Written weekly assignments and a research proposal on the topic of your choice in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

All readings (journal articles) will be made available for download on the course blackboard website.
Exemplary literature list Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

• Kilford, E. J., Garrett, E., & Blakemore, S. J. (2016). The development of social cognition in adolescence: An integrated perspective. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews.
• Somerville, L. (2016). Searching for signatures of brain maturity: What are we searching for? Neuron.
• Sherman, L., Steinberg, L., & Chein, J. (2017). Connecting brain responsivity and real-world risk taking: Strengths and limitations of current methodological approaches. DCN
• Peper J.S. & Dahl, R.E. (2013). The Teenage Brain : Surging Hormones—Brain-Behavior Interactions During Puberty. Current Directions in Psych Science

Contact information

Dr. Anna van Duijvenvoorde
a.c.k.van.duijvenvoorde@fsw.leidenuniv.nl