Netherlands, Amsterdam

Brain and Mind

when 16 July 2016 - 30 July 2016
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 ECTS
fee EUR 1150

How does the human mind work? This course is for any student wanting an introductory but thorough primer on cognitive neuroscience and the practical implications of brain and mind studies. Offered by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam's world-renowned Cognitive Psychology Lab, topics include consciousness and perception, brain networks and neuropharmacology, working memory, attention, and cognitive control.

Students will have the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art tools and models used to investigate the functioning of the mind by planning and running a cognition experiment in which they program their own computer task, analyse real data, and present the findings. The course also features field visits to Mijksenaar Wayfinding Experts, the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR), and/or TNO Human Factors. Students should have demonstrable affinity with quantitative thinking or methods.

Course leader

Prof. Christian Olivers

Target group

Any student wanting a quick but thorough primer on cognitive neuroscience, a theme relevant in studies as wide-ranging as Law, Education, Communications and Economics, as well as in the exact sciences and computer science. The course will appeal both to undergraduates considering a Master’s degree in a related field and to postgraduate or even PhD students in other areas who are looking for a thorough introduction to the topic.

Course aim

You will understand core concepts and methods in cognitive neuroscience: how the brain represents and processes information.
You will be aware of recent advances in the fields of perception, attention and working memory.
You will understand brain anatomy and mechanisms, and how they relate to cognitive function.
You will be able to design a basic psychophysical experiment: “measuring the mind”.
You will be able to perform basic analyses of behavioural, electrophysiological and neuroimaging data.
You will be able to apply cognitive thinking to everyday situations involving decision-making, design, marketing and safety.

Credits info

Contact hours: 50

Fee info

EUR 1150: The tuition fee includes an airport pick-up service, welcome goodiebag, orientation programme, on-site support, 24/7 emergency assistance, and a transcript of records after completion of the course.

An early bird discount of €100 is available for students who apply before 1 March, and students from VU Amsterdam as well as from exchange partner universities will receive a €250 discount. You apply for the discount simply by indicating that you are currently a student at VU Amsterdam or at a partner university in the online application.

All courses include excursions. We will also organize trips and excursions as part of our social programme, which is a great way to get to know your fellow students and learn more about Amsterdam and the Netherlands. The social programme is not included in the tuition fee.

Furnished accommodation is available. Various housing options will be offered, starting at €425 for two weeks.


The Amsterdam Summer School offers ten scholarships that cover the full tuition fee of one course. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is 31 March. Information about how to apply for the scholarship will be posted on the Summer School Website.