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Neuromodulation of Cognition


Entry requirements

Only open to MSc Psychology (research) students. The students should have completed Cognitive Neuroscience or a similar course. For admission requirements, please contact your study advisor.


Neuromodulation is the process in which several classes of neurotransmitters in the nervous system regulate diverse populations of neurons (one neuron uses different neurotransmitters to connect to several neurons). In recent years, there has been a considerable increase in interest how cognition is shaped by neuromodulation and key roles of several transmitter systems were identified.

Ways to manipulate neuromodulation experimentally to study the physiological bases of human cognition are also discussed. Each course meeting aims to provide a deeper insight into the theoretical and methodological background of a current research interest. On the basis of 6 seminar meetings , each student will prepare a research proposal, which consists of a critical review of the literature relevant to the chosen topic, and recommendations for future research. The research proposal will be mandatorily about cognitive functions, no clinical or social themes will be allowed.

Course objectives

This course is intended to review and discuss state-of-the-art developments in neuromodulation, covering issues like the roles of acetylcholine and serotonin in memory, of dopamine in learning and executive control, and of norepinephrine in visual attention. No clinical relevant topics will be addressed in the course.

The course has as its main objective the introduction to the basic approaches to neuromodulation of cognition.


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




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


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

7 seminars

Assessment method

The assessment is based on:

  • Individual presentation

  • Individual papers

  • Essay questions

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

Readings available via ‘Blackboard’. Exemplary literature includes:

Van Leusden, J. W., Sellaro, R., & Colzato, L. S. (2015). Transcutaneous Vagal Nerve Stimulation (tVNS): a new neuromodulation tool in healthy humans?. Frontiers in psychology, 6, 102.

Contact information

Samarth Varma