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Methods in cognitive neuroscience

General details of the subject

Face-to-face degree course

Description and contextualization of the subject

Formulating a scientific hypothesis; Key principles, design issues, methods of data analyses, inferences from data, applications; Techniques: Behavioral techniques, eye movements, EEG, MEG, fMRI, fNIRS, TMS, Lesion studies

Teaching staff

NameInstitutionCategoryDoctorTeaching profileAreaE-mail
LIZARAZU UGALDE, MIKELBCBL- Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and
PAZ ALONSO, PEDRO M. (KEPA)BCBL- Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and


CE1. Use of behavioral methods in Cognitive Neuroscience20.0 %
CE2. Use of lesion methods in Cognitive Neuroscience.20.0 %
CE3. Use of electrophysiological methods in Cognitive Neuroscience.20.0 %
CE1. Use of magnetoencephalographic methods in Cognitive Neuroscience.20.0 %
CE2. Use of haemodynamic methods in Cognitive Neuroscience.20.0 %

Study types

TypeFace-to-face hoursNon face-to-face hoursTotal hours
Applied laboratory-based groups202040
Applied computer-based groups205070

Assessment systems

NameMinimum weightingMaximum weighting
Practical tasks50.0 % 50.0 %
Presentations50.0 % 50.0 %


The Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience course is intended to provide students with a solid foundation in state-of-the-art Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Electrophysiological techniques (electroencephalography, EEG; Magnetoencephalography, MEG) used to examine brain structure and function. The course is oriented to students with different backgrounds (e.g., psychologists, psycholinguists, engineers) interested in learning the processes involved in successfully conducting studies in cognitive neuroscience using these techniques.

During the course students will receive a firm grounding in the fundamentals of MRI, EEG and MEG, including the basic physics supporting them, the biology and biophysics of the neural responses, data acquisition, experimental designs, and data analysis. Students will interact closely with the course lecturers in hands-on laboratory exercises, designing cognitive neuroscience studies using these techniques, and data analysis.


Compulsory materials

There is no textbook for this class, a list of readings selected from scholarly articles and book chapters will be provided at the beginning of the course.

Basic bibliography

Chumbley, J. R., & Friston, K. J. (2009). False discovery rate revisited: FDR and topological inference using Gaussian random fields. Neuroimage 44,62-70.

Canolty et al., (2006). High gamma power is phase-locked to theta oscillations in human neocortex. Science, 313, 1626-1628.

Canolty et al., (2007). Spatiotemporal dynamics of word processing in the human brain. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 1, 185-196.

Donders, F.C. (1969). On the speed of mental processes. Acta Psychologica, 30, 412¿431

Gazzaniga, M. S. (2010). Neuroscience and the correct level of explanation for understanding mind. Trends in Cognitive Science, 14, 291-292

Gazzaniga, M. S., Ivry, R. B. & Mangun, G. R. (2002). Cognitive Neuroscience: The biology of mind. 2nd Ed. Norton: New York.

Genovese CR, Lazar NA, Nichols T. 2002. Thresholding of Statistical Maps in Functional Neuroimaging Using the False Discovery Rate. Neuroimage. 15:870-878.

Gervain et al. (in press). Near-infrared spectroscopy: A report from the McDonnell infant methodology consortium. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.

Handy, T. (2004). Event-Related Potentials: A Methods Handbook. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (Chapter 3 and 4).

Hari R. (2005) Magnetoencephalography in Clinical Neurophysiological Assessment of Huma-n Cortical Functions. In Electroencephalography Basic Principles, Clinical Applications, and Related Fields Hardbound, 5Th Edition (eds. Ernst Niedermeyer, Fernando Lopes da Silva).

Luck, S. (2005). An Introduction to the Event-Related Potential Technique. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (Chapter 1 and 2).

Petersen, S. E. et al. (1988). Positron emission tomographic studies of the cortical anatomy of single-word processing. Nature 331, 585¿589

Rayner, K., & Pollatsek, A. (1989). The Psychology of Reading. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Rayner, K. (1998). Eye movements in reading and information processing: 20 years of research. Psychological

Raichle, M. E. (2009). A brief history of human brain mapping. Trends in Neuroscience, 32, 118-126.

Tanenhaus, M. K., Spivey-Knowlton, M. J., Eberhard, K. M., & Sedivy, J. C. (1995). Integration of visual and linguistic information in spoken language comprehension. Science, 268, 1632-1634.

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