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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Psychology

Postgraduate Course: Imaging Mind and Brain (PSYL11081)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryImaging Mind and Brain will be a highly interactive, participatory course which aims to give students a deep understanding of what Brain Imaging can - and cannot - tell us about the mind. Its goal is to engage students critically in discussion around several cutting-edge conceptual and methodological issues, with use of eclectic examples from cognitive science and neuroscience.
Course description It uses a 'flipped classroom' approach to provide instruction in the core issues and technical aspects each week online prior to the class, whilst freeing up the contact teaching hours for structured student-led discussion.

The primary course reading will be current articles in the area. Students who have a weak background will be able to draw upon an optional textbook.

These are examples of the topics to be covered:
1. Brain imaging and its Critics
2. Uses and Abuses of Reverse Inference
3. Decoding the Brain: Patterns, Representations - and Truth?
4. The Brain's Default Mode and Cognition
5. Brain Imaging and Cognitive Ontologies

This course assumes basic knowledge of brain imaging techniques, particularly fMRI and EEG/ERPs. This knowledge is most easily obtained by taking the relevant modules of Specialist Techniques in Psychological Research.

Students are also highly recommended to take the Brain Imaging in Cognitive Neuroscience course, to build their knowledge of how brain imaging is used before taking this more advanced course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Block 4 (Sem 2)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 15, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 81 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Performance when leading discussion group (10%)

Participation in discussion groups during the other weeks (10%)

Coursework assignment: write a critical blogpost on a topic from the course along the lines of Neuroskeptic ( or Neurocritic ( (80%)
Feedback The active, participatory discussion format provides formative feedback on understanding of the issues and ability to communicate them. Written formative feedback will also be given on performance when leading the class discussion.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand and evaluate different ways in which brain imaging can be used to study cognition
  2. understand important controversies about the use of brain imaging, and some fundamental limitations
  3. lead and participate in small discussion groups
  4. produce accessible but scientific writing
Reading List
Hanson, S.J. & Bunzl, M. (Eds.) (2010) Foundational Issues in Human Brain Mapping. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. Available online at University of Edinburgh library
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Ability to analyse complex scientific issues

Verbal presentation and group work

Accessible scientific writing
Keywordsbrain imaging,fMRI,EEG,ERPs,PET,cognitive neuroscience
Course organiserDr Alexandra Morcom
Tel: (0131 6)51 1907
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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