Curriculum  

Teaching program: Timetable

1 Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology: Block lecture 30 Sept - 2 October and 4 October 2019
Multiple Choice Test: Friday 4 October

2  Philosophy of Mind: Block lecture 7–11 October 2019
Multiple Choice Test: Friday 11 October

3  Cognitive Neuroscience: Mondays 12.30–14.00 hrs during the winter semester 2019/20, start: 21 October 2019
Multiple Choice Test: February 2020

4  Clinical Neuroscience: Mondays 10.00–11.30 hrs during the winter semester 2019/20, start: 21 October 2019
Multiple Choice Test: February 2020

5  Ethics and Neuroscience: Block lecture 17–21 Feb 2020
Three-page essay

6  Language and the Brain:  Mondays during the summer semester 2020
Multiple Choice Test

7  Neuroimaging:  Mondays during the summer semester 2020
Multiple Choice Test

 

Content of courses
 

1 Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology

Course description:
The course provides a basic understanding of where (anatomy) in the brain what (physiology) happens. It is of particular value for those students whose background is mainly in a “mind” science such as linguistics, philosophy, or economics.

Qualification aims:
Participating students will learn about the fundamental units of brain anatomy, such as lobes, areas, columns, etc. A special emphasis will be put on structure function relationship, i.e., which brain area is responsible for which aspect of brain function. It will be explained how brain areas interact, and what theories exist about bringing together aspects of information from different brain areas into one percept or thought (binding). The physiology part of the course will address fundamentals of neuronal functioning, interaction of neurons, neurotransmission, and will provide an understanding of neurovascular coupling, a basis of the most important functional neuroimaging method, fMRI.

Course components:
This course intends to provide basic knowledge about brain structure (anatomy) and function (physiology).
This comprises:
(a) Labelling of brain lobes, cytoarchitectonically defined brain areas, microscopical cortical architecture, structure–function relationship of brain areas,
(b) Function of neurons, groups of neurons, neuronal networks. Role of neurotransmitters, anatomical distribution of neurotransmitters. Neurovascular coupling as basis of functional magnetic resonance imaging.

This course addresses the following Mind and Brain research topics:
Topic 1: Conscious and unconscious perception
Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 3: Language
Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction

Faculty representative for this course: Professor Arno Villringer

2 Basic Philosophical Concepts and Philosophy of Mind

Course description:
The course provides a systematic overview over the most central issues in the philosophy of mind.

Qualification aims:
Participating students will learn to apply relevant philosophical concepts, they will be taught to construct a valid argument; they will learn how to distinguish between the most important positions in the mind–body debate and how to assess the consequences of neuroscientific research.

Course content:
This course intends to provide basic knowledge about basic philosophical issues and basic questions in the philosophy of mind.

Course components:
Part I: Basic philosophical concepts: knowledge, explanation, argument, or causation.
Part II: Basic problems: interactive dualism, epiphenomenalism, eliminative materialism, identity theory.
Part III: Specific issues: self-consciousness, explanatory gap, emergence, reduction, free will.

This course addresses the following Mind and Brain research topics:
Topic 1: Conscious and unconscious perception
Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 3: Language

Faculty representative for this course: Professor Michael Pauen

3 Cognitive Neuroscience

Course description:
The course provides an introduction to the field of cognitive neuroscience where the focus is on the neural basis of cognitive and emotional processing in the intact human brain.

Course content:
(a) The field of cognitive neuroscience,
(b) How neuroscientific methods can be used to study the neural basis of cognitive processes.
The course comprises lectures and discussions.

Course components:

  • Sensory processing (in particular visual perception)
  • Attention
  • Learning and memory
  • Decision-making
  • Executive functions
  • Motor behaviour
  • Emotion
  • Cerebral lateralisation

This course addresses the following Mind and Brain research topics:
Topic 1: Conscious and unconscious perception
Topic 2: Decision-making

Faculty representative for this course: Professor John-Dylan Haynes

4 Clinical Neuroscience

Course description:
The course provides basic knowledge about the neuroscience of clinical psychiatry and neurology. Participating students will learn how alterations of different cognitive systems result in psychiatric and neurological disorders, e.g., dementia.

Qualification aim:
Doctoral candidates will learn the basisc pathophysiology of important disorders of the brain and how the brain reacts to these challenges.

Course content:
This course intends to provide basic knowledge of mental dysfunction and brain disorders.

This course intends to demonstrate:
(a) how alterations of different cognitive systems (e.g., emotion regulation, attention, reward), result in mental disorders,
(b) how these alterations can be studied using neuroscientific methods,
(c) how this knowledge may translate into therapeutic applications.

The course comprises:

  • lectures
  • iterature discussion
  • patient interviews
  • film presentations
  • group work
  • presentations by students working in the field of clinical neuroscience
  • visit to a TMS lab

Course components:

  • Physiological and pathological ageing
  • Cerebrovascular system and stroke
  • Cognitive Neurology I: Perception, agnosia and related disorders
  • Cognitive Neurology II: Language, aphasia and frontal lobe disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Coma and brain death
  • Motor system and movement disorders
  • Sensory system and pain
  • Emotion regulation and affective disorders
  • Dopamine, glutamate, and schizophrenia
  • Reward system and substance abuse
  • Personality and personality disorders
  • Sleep
  • Fear/arousal system and anxiety disorders
  • Attention, activity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

This course addresses the following Mind and Brain research topics:
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction

Faculty representatives for this course: Professor Stephan Brandt, Professor Felix Bermpohl, Professor Malek Bajbouj

5 Ethics and Neuroscience

Course description:
Participants will be familiarized with basic ethical concepts and theories and will gain an overview of ethically-relevant aspects of neuroscience. Thereby, participants will learn to know how ethical issues are tackled in philosophical ethics, and they will get an overall view of the theoretical interfaces between ethics and neuroscience.

Course content:
The course provides an introduction to central notions and theories discussed in philosophical ethics and an overview of ethical issues in neuroscience as well as of consequences neuroscience does or might have for ethics.

Course components:
(a) Ethics: basic concepts and foundational issues: metaethics vs. normative ethics, consequentialism, deontology, moral responsibility.
(b) Ethical issues in neuroscience (“ethics of neuroscience”)
(c) Ethical implications of neuroscience (“neuroscience of ethics”).

This course addresses the following Mind and Brain research topics:
Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction

Faculty representative for this course: Professor Thomas Schmidt

6 Neuroimaging

Course description:
The course provides an introduction to a number of key non-invasive research methods in structural and functional neuroimaging.

Qualification aims:
Participating students will learn about the basics of functional MRI, EEG, MEG and TMS including technological and physiological foundations, experimental design and basic and advanced statistical methods. The goal is to provide an understanding of functional neuroimaging that will allow students to design, perform and analyse their own studies.

Course components:

  • MRI: MRI physics, technology and sequences
  • MRI: MRI-safety
  • MRI: Neurovascular coupling and the BOLD-response
  • MRI: Preprocessing of fMRI data
  • MRI: Statistical modelling and hypothesis testing (GLM)
  • MRI: Connectivity analyses (PPI, DCM, Granger causality)
  • MRI: Multivariate methods (ICA, clustering, pattern classification)
  • EEG/MEG: Technical, physiological and bioelectric/biomagnetic principles
  • EEG/MEG: Evoked potentials
  • EEG/MEG: Spectral analyses
  • TMS

This course addresses the following Mind and Brain research topics:
Topic 1: Conscious and unconscious perception
Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 3: Language
Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction

Faculty representative for this course: Professor John-Dylan Haynes

7 Language and the Brain

Course description:
The course provides a road map to basic theoretical concepts of the structure and processing of language and their cognitive and neurological correlates. Participants will be familiarized with current research questions in the field of language and the brain and the appropriate methods and paradigms to address these questions.

Course content:
This course intends to provide basic knowledge about the levels of the description of language structure and the cognitive representation and neural implementation of language processing.

This entails:
(a) The nature of sounds, the structure of sentences, and semantic interpretation,
(b) The nature and acquisition of linguistic knowledge, its use, neural representation, and disorders.
 
Course components:
(a) Language structure

  • Sounds and words
  • Basic sentence structure
  • Structure of complex sentences
  • Meaning

(b) Cognition and neurology of language

  • The mental lexicon
  • Acquisition
  • Production
  • Comprehension

This course addresses the following Mind and Brain research topic:
Topic 3: Language

Faculty representatives for this course: Professor Pia Knoeferle and Professor Friedemann Pulvermüller

 
This page last updated on: 31 August 2019