Why this programme?
In the Cognitive Neuroscience specialisation you acquire a unique combination of in-depth knowledge on human brain function, perception and cognition, paralleled with an extensive and hands-on training for using the most advanced non-invasive brain imaging (including fMRI, fNIRS, DWI, EEG/MEG) and brain stimulation (TMS, tDCS) techniques. The obtained knowledge and skills provide an excellent background to flexibly apply these techniques in fundamental as well as applied and clinical research settings.
This teaching programme covers relevant topics of Cognitive Neuroscience and reflects the research expertise of the ‘Cognitive Neuroscience’ group at the Maastricht Brain Imaging Center (M-BIC). By addressing key issues in perceptual and cognitive brain research, you will build a detailed understanding of how the ‘working’ brain perceives, feels, moves, learns and creates a conscious mind. Specific course topics include auditory and visual perception, attention, language, sensorimotor functions, learning and memory as well as brain connectivity and connectomics and neuroimaging in disorders of consciousness.
Moreover, you learn to translate this knowledge in empirical research by extensive hands-on training in all aspects of the experimental cycle, including experimental design, recording and manipulating brain activation, and advanced data analysis. Methods that you will learn to apply include (f)MRI, fNIRS, DWI, TMS, tDCS, EEG/MEG as well as data analysis in Matlab, EEGLAB, Brainvoyager and Turbo-BrainVoyager (neurofeedback).
Thanks to the local research infrastructure as well as an exceptionally rich international network, you have ample opportunities for internships in cognitive neuroscience and related fields in our center and at top universities throughout the world (including Cambridge, Harvard, NIH, Stanford, University College London). Internship research topics range from fundamental brain research (e.g. neural basis of perceptual learning, layer-specific attention effects in visual cortex at 7T fMRI) and applications of advanced neuroimaging methods (e.g. brain-computer interfaces, multi-modal imaging) to clinical research (e.g. tDCS-based alleviation of phantom pain, neurofeedback training in Parkinson patients). We will help you find a topic and location that best fit your own interests and career goals. Curious about the kinds of projects students have conducted? At the bottom of the page you will find a list of research topics.
Since I graduated from the research master programme I have stayed at Maastricht University and am now a post-doctoral researcher at the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience. The research master’s programme, specialisation Cognitive Neuroscience, was an excellent stepping stone which prepared me really well for a PhD position, as it gave me a thorough background in advanced research methods as well a detailed understanding of the structure and function of the human brain in the coursework in the first year. I love the fact that every day I still use much of the knowledge I learnt during my research master studies.
Martin Frost (Australia)
Post-doctoral fellow, Maastricht University