Full course description
The importance of neuroscientific research within the field of psychology steadily increases, in part due to the development of research techniques that allow to study in vivo the structure and function of the human brain. At a high pace, neural systems and mechanisms are revealed that are ultimately responsible for even the most complex aspects of human experience, cognition and behaviour. This implies that psychology students nowadays need to have a thorough understanding of the structural and functional organisation of the brain.
In recent decennia, it has become clear that specific behaviours and abilities cannot be linked simply to specific brain structures. Instead, behavioural abilities are implemented in brain-wide systems – the components of which are located throughout the brain at all structural levels: cortical, and subcortical. The integrated functioning of these distributed brain structures gives rise to functional systems, e.g., sensory systems, motor systems, memory systems, etc. Students will explore several functional systems involved in the generation of behaviour through multiple tutorial group meetings. Each meeting will focus on a different aspect: structural and functional organisation of the cerebral cortex, the organisation of the motor system, the basal ganglia loops, the cerebellum, and the limbic system. Students will learn how the interrelated functions are structurally and functionally implemented, with what means they can be studied and what consequences damage or dysfunction have for behaviour and psychological well-being.
In order to achieve this it is important to know where these structures are located within the brain, as well as how they are interconnected. To create an optimal blending of structural and functional knowledge of brain structures the course comprises, in addition to the six theoretical group sessions, four practical meetings (PSY2133 - Practical Neuroanatomy). They will complement the theoretical knowledge by hands-on explorations of the complex 3D form of the brain and the interrelated positioning of parts of the functional system within it.
- have a general understanding of the functional and structural organisation of the extended motor system with its functional subsystems;
- can use the correct neuroanatomical terminology;
- are able to explain the macroscopic organisation of the human brain;
- are able to analyse the large-scale functional subsystems, with their unique functional and structural organisation.