nl en



Entry requirements

Only open to students that are admitted to the Minor Brain and Cognition.


In this course, students will be further acquainted with the pharmacological properties of neurochemical substances and synthethic drugs, their mechanisms, impact on neurotransmitter systems, cognition, and their clinical applications, e.g. in anxiety disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia, and addiction.

In this course we will focus on aspects of chemical neurobiology and bio-neurochemistry including neurotransmitters and receptors; neuropharmaceuticals and therapeutics; neurotoxins; neuronal diseases and their pharmacological treatment.
Students will moreover learn how to present to an audience with a diverse background. They will choose a topic on neurotransmitter systems, and prepare presentations in groups, which they will have to present during a work group session.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student:

  • has acquired knowledge of the basic neurochemistry of the brain;

  • understands the structure of receptors and what their role is in neurotransmission;

  • can identify the neurotransmitter systems in the brain that have been discussed during the course, and their functions;

  • can explain how neurons communicate within themselves and with other neurons

  • gained insight in how research can help to understand the neurochemical processes that underlie brain states and diseases

  • can integrate mechanisms and neurochemical substances with behavioral patterns and disorders

  • will be able to apply this knowledge to critical reading of primary literature and to form, express and explain opinions on selected topics on neurotransmitter systems.

  • will learn to critically assess learned topics and present a chosen topic in an clear way to a diverse audience of co-students.


For the timetables of your lectures, workgroups, and exams, select your study programme. Always keep an eye on Blackboard and check with your course coordinator for potential changes. Psychology timetables Lectures Exam

Mode of instuction

8x 2 hour lectures
6x 2 hour work group sessions

Assessment method

The course will be graded with a multiple-choice exam, and based on group presentations during the work group sessions. The end grade will be calculated based on exam (70%) and work group presentation grade (30%). The work group presentation grade will only be provided when at least 75% of the work group sessions have been attended. Compensation for a fail for the work group or the exam is allowed, provided both marks are no lower than a 5.0. The work group mark will be carried over to any examination resits. Students are not automatically enrolled for an exam. 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.

Reading list

To be announced on Blackboard.

Contact information

For your questions about the overall minor organisation, please contact the coordinator of the minor in Brain and Cognition
For your questions about registration, contact the OSC
For questions about the content of the course, please contact Dr. Z. Sjoerds