Psychology of Learning
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleSOW-DGCN31
Credits (ECTS)6
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Social Sciences; Cognitive Neuroscience;
Contactperson for the course
P.A.K.M. Janssen
Other course modules lecturer
dr. J.H.R. Maes
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2016
SEM2  (30/01/2017 to 09/07/2017)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-

This course will focus on behavioural and psychological processes underlying the acquisition of new knowledge in human and non-human animals. Although the focus is on a psychological level of description, where possible attempts will be made to integrate this level in a multidisciplinary framework, searching for neurobiological and neuropsychological evidence supporting psychological theories. Additionally, the application of learning paradigms in clinical and cognitive research will be discussed. After this course, the student is able to (1) explain and relate key experimental paradigms, empirical phenomena, neurocognitive mechanisms, concepts, and theories concerning the acquisition of new knowledge, (2) apply experimental paradigms, neurocognitive mechanisms, concepts, and theories from the psychology of learning to anecdotal, experimental, developmental, and clinical data, cases, and studies, (3) combine the knowledge implicated in (1) and (2) for the purpose of explicating a novel research question and associated experimental research design to address this question.


The course starts with an overview of behavioural phenomena, basic principles, and current psychological theories and (computational) models in the research fields of classical and operant conditioning. Thereafter, a number of topical lectures will be presented, largely building on concepts and basic principles discussed in the initial lectures. The topical lectures address a discussion of the distinction between implicit and explicit learning (also in a clinical context), the neuropharmacology of behavioural flexibility in learning contexts, the learning capacity across the lifespan, second-language learning, and the learning capacity of psychopathic individuals.


• Lecture notes
• Relevant chapters from handbooks / key papers

Teaching formats
Lecture, writing essays

Additional comments
March 20 - June 19, 2017; Monday 15.45-17.30

Test information
Written examExam: Tuesday June 27, 2017; 10.45-12.30Retake: Wednesday August 16, 2017; 10.45-12.30

Note: enrollment for a course automatically registers you for its exam. If you don't want to do the first exam you have to deregister for the exam in OSIRIS, but do not forget to sign up for the retake in OSIRIS.
Via STUDENT PORTAL untill 5 working days before the start of the course

Note: this course is for CNS students only. Non-CNS students can contact Ellen Janssen ( or Arno Koning (

Required materials
Course material
Lecture notes
Relevant chapters from handbooks / key papers

Instructional modes
Attendance MandatoryYes

Attendance MandatoryYes

Lecture, writing essays

Test weight1
OpportunitiesBlock HER, Block SEM2