Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience

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The details
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
04 October 2018


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

The aim of this course is for the student to become familiar with most of the present-day methods used in Cognitive Neuroscience, e.g. fMRI, PET, MEG, EEG, ERPs, TMS, tDCS, eye-tracking, NIRS, psychophysiological measures and to provide practical experience of some of these methodologies, e.g. EEG, ERPs, TMS, tDCS, eye-tracking, NIRS and their combination.

At the end of this course students will be able to:
Understand the main methods employed in the area
Have a practical knowledge of those methods currently employed at Essex
Have a deeper knowledge of the field relevant to future careers in Cognitive Neuroscience

Module aims

No information available.

Module learning outcomes

No information available.

Module information

Department of Psychology online course materials in ORB

TF/JP 17/8/17

Learning and teaching methods

Lecture 1: Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience Methods This lecture will begin by introducing the rise of Cognitive Neuroscience over the past two decades, exploring also its roots in psychophysiology. The introduction of the new technologies that facilitates this rise will be explained and the methods themselves will be introduced. In order to help students with coursework preparation (oral presentation) a 'journal club' - style presentation and question and answer session will be held. Lecture 2: Brain Imaging and Mapping In this lecture, students will be introduced to two of the main methods for imaging brain functions, namely PET and fMRI. The underlying neuroscience will be explained and examples will be shown. In addition, an appraisal of some of the assumptions and problems associated with fMRI will be given. Lecture 3: The Dynamics of Eye-Tracking Students will be familiarised with the techniques and applications of eye-tracking in cognitive neuroscience. A hands-on, practical demonstration of eye-movement measures will occur. Lecture 4: EEG: Event-Related Potentials and Cortical oscillations This lecture will give a brief history of the EEG and describe the basic principles involved. The advantages of this method, in terms of the temporal scale will be emphasised and event-related potentials (ERPs) and cortical oscillations in perception and cognition will be described and assessed. A practical session involving the recording of ERPs will take place. Lecture 5: ERPs in the developmental population This lecture will provide an introduction to EEG and ERPs recordings in infants and young children. A practical session involving EEG recording in an infant will take place. Lecture 6: The basics of Neuromodulation This lecture will introduce the idea of modulating brain activity using various techniques e.g. TMS, tDCS, etc. A practical session involving TMS will occur. Lecture 7: Advanced Neuromodulation This lecture will explore advanced and novel neuromodulation protocols (e.g. repetitive, patterned and rhythmic TMS, tACS and tRNS) aimed at manipulating brain oscillations and cortical activity in combination with neuroimaging techniques such as multichannel EEG recordings. The scientific advantages and technical challenges of this multi-method approach will be highlighted. A practical session involving EEG recordings and concurrent TMS stimulation will take place. Lecture 8: Sexual Attraction and Arousal The lecture will provide an overview of the assessment of sexual attraction and arousal via the measure of physiological responses. A practical session will introduce some of the equipment employed for male and female participants. Lecture 9: Shining a Light on the Brain In this lecture, students will be introduced to the field of Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), its theoretical underpinnings, applications and limitations. A practical session involving the measurement of blood oxy- and deoxygenated haemoglobin levels using NIRS will take place. Lecture 10: Journal Club Oral Presentations This session will take the form of individual oral presentations by the students, followed by question and answer sessions. Presentations will be in a journal club-style and will be based on an article in a relevant subject chosen by the student.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Tom Foulsham, Steffan Kennett, Nick Cooper, Gerulf Rieger, Silvia Rigato



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 21 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
21 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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