Master of Science (MSc) Biological Psychology
The mutual influences of the psychological and biological fields on one another are at the centre of Biological Psychology. In Biological Psychology the ‘roots of our behaviour’ is studied, by relating all our actions, experiences and feelings to physiological, evolutionary and developmental mechanisms. Biological Psychology contains three specialisations from which students can select one.
MSc Biological Psychology - Specialized in Cognitive Neuroscience
The teaching programme covers relevant topics of Cognitive Neuroscience (CNS), and reflects the research expertise of the group ‘cognitive neuroscience’. Students learn about CNS theories, and how to measure and interpret human brain activity, using imaging techniques to observe (fMRI, EEG/MEG), and modulate (TMS) the brain ‘at work’.
MSc Programme Objective
CNS unravels the cognitive and neural mechanisms that are at work whenever we hear, see, think, talk, attend to others, or move, i.e. core aspects of human behaviour.
The core programme covers attention in ‘neuroimaging: functional MRI (fMRI)’, ‘sensory and motor systems’, ‘auditory and higher order language processing’ and ‘perception and attention’. It introduces important theoretical concepts and includes training for students to develop their own research questions and carry out their own experiments. Students may undertake a master’s thesis on one of the topics. There will be a focus on issues such as motor learning, predicting the actions of others and reacting to errors in performance. One of the goals is to provide knowledge of the basic principles underlying fMRI. Another aim is learning to think critically with regard to recent and ongoing research in the domain of auditory/speech processing and cross-modal integration, including event-related potential (ERP) and fMRI studies. During the second semester, students will complete a research internship and write their thesis.
Links with Research
Ongoing attention research tests ideas from non-human studies in the domains of human vision, audition, and how words are selected for speaking. Language research focuses on dyslexia and self-monitoring. Auditory research investigates how we identify and localise sounds. We also investigate neurofeedback, sensory-motor mapping, neural connectivity, cross-modal integration and real-time imaging of social interactions. The group develops new analysis methods for brain imaging data (‘BrainVoyager’). Because the group has much international collaboration, international student exchange is strongly supported.
This specialisation is an excellent background for any professional career. Its interdisciplinary character is a major advantage for research or teaching careers, because students become experts in cognitive psychology AND neuroscience methods. This specialisation prepares for employment at universities, research institutes, the private industry sector, but also in clinics.
Last updated July 27, 2015