Netherlands, Nijmegen

Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience: From Molecule to Behaviour

when 8 August 2016 - 12 August 2016
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 ECTS
fee EUR 400

How do you perceive and act? How do you speak and listen? How do you remember? What goes wrong when you would suffer from aphasia, Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease? Answers to these questions are to be sought in your brain, the most complex, intricate and fascinating organ in the universe. During the past few decades, several different scientific disciplines, including psychology, neurology, physics, biology and genetics have joined forces in trying to understand the neural basis of perceiving, acting, speaking, listening, remembering and other cognitive processes, from molecule to behaviour. This research enterprise, called Cognitive Neuroscience, seeks to understand the biological underpinnings of cognition and behaviour in terms of explanatory principles ranging from small-scale levels, including molecules and neurons, to larger-scale levels, including brain networks.

At the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour at Radboud University Nijmegen, over 500 researchers use a variety of cutting-edge techniques, such as electrophysiology, brain imaging and genetics methods to unravel cognition and behaviour as well as its breakdown due to strokes or neurodegenerative diseases for example. Research in cognitive neuroscience in Nijmegen is at the scientific forefront and the Donders Institute is one of the world-leading institutes in this research area. The summer school course on cognitive neuroscience aims to provide a thorough introduction to this exciting research field in general and to the actual research in Nijmegen in particular. Faculty members in this summer school course are investigators at the Donders Institute and lecturers in the corresponding Research Master programme within the Donders Graduate School for Cognitive Neuroscience.

Following a general orientation (Introduction: History, basics, and overview), you will receive introductions to four specific topics, which correspond to the major research themes of the Donders Institute and the educational tracks of the Research Master programme and the Graduate School: Language and communication; Perception, action, and control; Plasticity and memory; and Brain networks and neuronal communication. In addition, you will be provided with hands-on demonstrations at research labs of the Donders Institute. After completing this course, you should have gained a basic understanding of cognition and behaviour in terms of elementary operating principles of the brain, be able to relate operating principles at smaller and larger scales in the brain, and to apply the operating principles to the breakdown of cognition and behaviour in neurodegenerative diseases.

Course leader

Dr. A. Koning
Programme Coordinator MSc
Cognitive Neuroscience
Donders Centre for Cognition

Target group

Students starting or just having finished their final bachelor year (in cognitive, behavioural, biomedical, language, or natural science or related disciplines); Master students/aspiring PhD students outside cognitive neuroscience, but with a strong interest in the domain.

Course aim

After this course you are able to:
- Analyse cognition and behaviour in term of basic operating principles of the brain.
- Relate explanatory principles at small-scale brain levels, including molecules and neurons, to larger-scale levels, including brain networks.
- Explain cognitive and behavioural disorders in, for example, aphasia, Alzheimer disease and Parkinson's disease in terms of these operating principles of the brain.

Fee info

EUR 400: The course fee includes the registration fee, course materials, access to library and IT facilities, coffee/tea, lunch, and a number of social activities.

10% discount for early bird applicants. The early bird deadline is 1 April 2016.
15% discount for students and PhD candidates from Radboud University and partner universities.
EUR 195: Housing (optional)