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Principles of Cognitive Neuroscience - PSY00065H

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  • Department: Psychology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Tom Hartley
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

The goal of cognitive neuroscience is to explain cognitive processes in terms of the structure and function of the brain. This module reviews the major ways cognitive neuroscientists study brain functions, particularly the imaging technologies that have revolutionized our ability to study the human brain as we perceive, think, remember, understand and act. These are explored through a series of introductory lectures providing an overview of the field and highlighting the complementary strengths and weaknesses of different techniques. Then a series of more in-depth lectures unpacks two key methods, fMRI and MEG, exploring the ways that specialized experimental designs can be used in conjunction with these techniques to investigate how the brain thinks.Alongside the lecture course, a series of research design tutorials show how these principles can be applied to specific experimental questions.

Module learning outcomes

  • To explain the interdisciplinary roots and scope of cognitive neuroscience and the role of imaging techniques.
  • Describe the relationship between brain activity and neuroimaging signals
  • Evaluate the application of specific neuroimaging techniques (particularly fMRI, MEG, EEG & TMS) to a range of research questions.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the special considerations involved in experimental design and analysis in fMRI and MEG.
  • Describe a valid experiment addressing a specified problem in cognitive neuroscience.

Module content

  • Introduction: What is Cognitive Neuroscience?
  • Lesions and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
  • Introduction to EEG and MEG
  • Introduction to Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Fundamentals of Neuroanatomy and function
  • Design and Analysis of fMRI experiments
  • Design and Analysis of MEG experiments
  • fMRI Design Tutorials


Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Principles of Cognitive Neuroscience
1 hours 50
Research Design Report
N/A 50

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Principles of Cognitive Neuroscience
1 hours 50
Research Design Report
N/A 50

Module feedback

Marks will be available through e:vision.

Indicative reading

Please see the VLE pages for further details.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.