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

Postgraduate Course: Brain Imaging in Cognitive Neuroscience (PSYL11082)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis team taught introduces brain imaging and complementary techniques in the context of applications to the understanding of cognitive functions and dysfunctions. The methods range from functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography to electroencephalography and event-related potentials. Teaching is in a lecture format and provided by specialists in different applications of brain imaging in cognitive neuroscience.
Course description Lecture schedule

Wednesday 15 Jan - Elena Gherri
Studies of attention with ERPs
This lecture will discuss ERP and TMS studies investigating the neural mechanisms underlying visual attention. More specifically we will discuss in which way these techniques can contribute separately and jointly to our understanding of attentional selectivity in visual areas.
Eimer (2014). The time course of spatial attention: Insights from event-related brain potentials. A.C. Nobre & S. Kastner (Eds). The Oxford Handbook of Attention. Sections 4 and 5.
Fuggetta, Pavone, Walsh, Kiss & Eimer, 2006. Cortico-cortical interactions in spatial attention: A combined ERP/TMS study. Journal of Neurophysiology, 95(5): 3277:3280.

Wednesday 22 Jan - Ed Silson
Maps in the human brain: How, why and what it means.
This lecture will discuss the different techniques and methodologies that have been developed to identify maps of the visual field in the human brain. More specifically, we will assess the arguments for and against the notion that the human brain contains unique areas distinct from our nearest ancestral neighbours.
Key readings:
Wandell, B. A., Dumoulin, S. O., & Brewer, A. A. (2007). Visual field maps in human cortex. Neuron, 56(2), 366-383.
Tootell, R. B., & Hadjikhani, N. (2001). Where is 'dorsal V4'in human visual cortex? Retinotopic, topographic and functional evidence. Cerebral cortex, 11(4), 298-311.

Wednesday 29 Jan - Paul Hoffman
Semantic memory: The role of the anterior temporal lobes
In this lecture, we will consider how various brain imaging techniques (lesion-mapping, PET, fMRI and TMS) have informed our understanding of how semantic knowledge is coded in the brain. We will focus particularly on the function of the anterior temporal lobes, using this region as a case study to contrast the advantages and limitations of each technique.
Lambon Ralph, M. A., Jefferies, E., Patterson, K., & Rogers, T. T. (2017). The neural and computational bases of semantic cognition. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 18, 42-55.
Binder, J. R., & Desai, R. H. (2011). The neurobiology of semantic memory. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 15(11), 527-536.

Wednesday 5 Feb - Paul Hoffman
Semantic Memory: Categories, senses and embodiment in the brain
Here we will consider evidence for the distributed nature of semantic processing - i.e., how particular aspects of semantic processing are associated with specific brain areas. In addition to considering patient, fMRI and TMS data, we will discuss how structural connectivity measures (tractography) can be used to constrain models of semantic memory.
Meteyard, L., Cuadrado, S. R., Bahrami, B., & Vigliocco, G. (2012). Coming of age: A review of embodiment and the neuroscience of semantics. Cortex, 48(7), 788-804.
Pulvermüller, F. (2013). How neurons make meaning: brain mechanisms for embodied and abstract-symbolic semantics. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 17, 458-470.

Wednesday 12 Feb - Dan Miram
Mapping the neural organization of language.
Description: Studying associations between the location of brain damage and cognitive deficits is a foundation method in cognitive neuroscience. Contemporary advances in noninvasive neuroimaging methods and analysis techniques have provided new insights into the neural organization of cognitive systems, especially language. This lecture will cover the basics of voxel-based and multivariate lesion-symptom mapping, the neural organization of language processing as revealed by these techniques, and the translational implications of these developments for diagnosis and treatment of aphasia.
Two key references:
(1) Karnath, H. O., Sperber, C., & Rorden, C. (2018). Mapping human brain lesions and their functional consequences. NeuroImage, 165, 180-189.
(2) Mirman, D. & Thye, M. (2018). Uncovering the neuroanatomy of core language systems using lesion-symptom mapping. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(6), 455-461.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Block 3 (Sem 2)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 87 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) At the start of the course, a compulsory quiz about brain imaging and related techniques will be made available, and must be completed before the third lecture. This is to check, and provide feedback on, the basic knowledge of imaging techniques assumed by the course. Answers will be made available, and students encouraged to raise any questions arising in office hours, in class or on Learn.

Evaluative short answer coursework questions will be advertised at the end of the course with a deadline to be announced (2 out of 4, max 1000 words) (100%)
Feedback Please note that completion of the quiz is necessary to obtain a mark for the course.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. gain knowledge of the main brain imaging techniques (EEG/ERPs, fMRI, PET), their uses in cognitive neuroscience, and their limitations
  2. gain knowledge of how brain imaging is used to study normal and impaired cognition
  3. gain understanding of current research in key domains of cognitive neuroscience
  4. read brain imaging papers critically
Reading List
These are provided separately for each topic running in a given year.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Elena Gherri
Tel: (0131 6)50 3340
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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