Neuroscience of Behaviour
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleSOW-BS038
Credits (ECTS)4
CategoryMA (Master)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Social Sciences; Behavioural Science;
PreviousNext 1
dr. G. Janzen
Other course modules lecturer
dr. S.B.J. Koch
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. K. Roelofs
Other course modules lecturer
dr. H.T. van Schie
Other course modules lecturer
dr. H.T. van Schie
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2018
PER1  (03/09/2018 to 04/11/2018)
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksFor Behavioural Science RM students only, non-BSRM students interested in the course, please mail to
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
On finishing this course successfully, students will be able to confidently read, discuss and report verbally and in written text on research articles in neuroscience, in particular articles in the domain of developmental neuroscience, affective neuroscience and the neuroscience of action. Furthermore, students will be able to critically evaluate the strengths and weakness of research methods in neuroscience and in particular their application to understanding behaviour. Finally, students will be able to use the neuroscience literature to answer questions of personal interest in written text
The content is structured along three major domains in behavioural neuroscience: (1) Developmental Neuroscience, (2) Affective Neuroscience, and (3) Neuroscience of Action. 
Developmental Neuroscience addresses the development of different memory systems and intelligence in support of learning abilities in developing children. Children acquire the basic principles of complex skills, such as thinking and reasoning in a short amount of time, namely in the first years of life. Within the scope of developmental neuroscience the following topics will be discussed: 1) development of spatial memory, 2) the development of executive functioning and motivation and 3) development of mathematical skills. 
Affective Neuroscience explores cognitive, psychophysiological and neural aspects of emotional processing. Emotion perception as well as the voluntary control of emotional responses are crucial for everyday social interaction and may deviate in various forms of psychopathology. Important topics that will be covered within the affective neuroscience theme are: 1) neurobiological correlates of human fight-flight-freeze reactions, 2) voluntary control of automatic approach-avoidance behaviour, and 3) altered emotion processing in social psychopathologies (i.e. social phobia and psychopathy).
Neuroscience of Action is directed at uncovering the basic mechanisms supporting action and body representation. It addresses both individual action and social actions performed with others. Understanding the mechanisms underlying action and body representation can have diverse applications such as the development of prosthetic limbs, the design of robots with social action abilities, and the understanding of autism. A variety of fascinating topics will be discussed including (1) illusory body representation, (2) mechanisms of agency, (3) and the development of action repertoire in children.
All three domains will focus on the relationship between neuroscience and behaviour by zooming in on different developmental stages and psychopathological conditions. Furthermore each domain will address the societal and clinical applications of discoveries in this new field of study.

Teaching format
Per domain three class meetings are scheduled. In the first meeting a researcher in the field of behavioural neuroscience will give a lecture presenting recent findings in his/her domain of expertise. The second and third class meeting will consist of additional lectures and group presentations. Each student will be involved in two presentations. The first presentation involves chairing a class discussion that is based on discussion points submitted by all participating students. The second presentation involves presenting an original idea for a study in neuroscience of behaviour, again based on ideas submitted by all students. In addition to presenting, each student writes a position paper on a topic of personal interest in one of the three domains. There is no final exam. 
Required materials
To be announced
The papers and book chapters that will be discussed in this course are announced at the start of the course. See the Literature section at the end of the course manual.

Instructional modes

Presentation (Research proposal)
Test weight1
Test typePresentation
OpportunitiesBlock PER1, Block PER1

Presentation (discussion)
Test weight1
Test typePresentation
OpportunitiesBlock PER1, Block PER1

Position paper
Test weight2
Test typePaper
OpportunitiesBlock PER1, Block PER2

Discussion points and research ideas
Test weight0
OpportunitiesBlock PER1, Block PER1