Psychopharmacology and Psychopathology
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleSOW-PSB3BC16E
Credits (ECTS)4
CategoryBA (Bachelor)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Social Sciences; Psychology;
PreviousNext 2
prof. dr. A.M.L. Coenen
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. E.L.J.M. van Luijtelaar
Other course modules lecturer
dr. H.E.M. den Ouden
Other course modules lecturer
dr. C.M. van Rijn
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. C.M. van Rijn
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2017
PER1  (04/09/2017 to 12/11/2017)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
After the course, students will be able to
  1. Differentiate the neurobiological targets of psychotropic medications.
  2. Apply fundamental principles of neuropharmacology to the assessment of normal brain functioning and  disease states.
  3. Understand and explain the relation of psychotropic drug mechanisms of action with pathophysiological states of disease.
  4. Identify and evaluate novel research and treatment approaches that are expected to affect clinical practice.
Psychologists working in a clinical setting will undoubtedly encounter patients using psychotropic drugs. Psychologist in charge of scientific research might include central acting drugs as a manipulation or neurochemistry outcomes as variables in their studies. Therefore the course has two goals: First to give insight into the physiological importance of the targets of  psychotropic drugs for normal brain functioning and vice versa to give insight into the working mechanisms of drugs that can be used to alleviate psychopathological disturbances.

The course is structured as follows: first, the basic principles of pharmacology in general and psychopharmacology in particular will be explored. Next, the course is split in two intermingled parts: attention will be paid to the treatment with psychotropic drugs of the most occurring psychopathological disturbances and in coupled lectures the impact of the endogenous neurotransmitter systems involved on normal and pathological behavior will be discussed.

Points of interest will be: principles of neuropharmacology, antipsychotic drugs and the dopamine system, drugs of abuse and the cannabinoid system,  anxiolytics, hormones and stress, antidepressants and the serotonin system. In addition pain and aging will be topics.

Some lectures will be given by guest lecturers, all experts in their field, ensuring that, besides a general overview, the newest insights into this rapidly changing field will be discussed.

Exam information
Open book exam

Additional information
As room space is limited, a registration cap may apply for this course. Make sure to register at your earliest convenience.
This course requires at least a full year (60 ects) of prior study in the field of psychology, medicine or biology. In case of too many enrollments Psychology students have priority over students from other faculties or universities.

Required materials
Stahl, S.M. (2013). Essential Psychopharmacology. Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications, Cambridge Univ. Press.The course is based on the 4th edition. The 3rd edition can be used during the exam, but will not be referred to in the course.

Instructional modes

additional lessons can be scheduled.

Exam: multiple-choice and open answer
Test weight1
OpportunitiesBlock PER1, Block PER2

Open book exam