Practical: Neuronal Basis of Decision Making
Full course description
In daily life, a person must (almost) continuously make choices, with respect to his or her actions. Various cognitive processes underlie the choice(s) that a person makes in this context and how the actions are evaluated. These cognitive processes include attention, response inhibition, motor learning, but also the ability to e.g., weigh economic factors while making a choice. These cognitive processes are controlled by multiple brain networks. In this practical, students will gain some hands-on experience with and reflect critically on (a) the selection and the administration of tasks that are used to measure these cognitive processes and (b) the analyses of data sets obtained by using neuroimaging techniques (like EEG). During the practical, students are provided with tests and EEG data sets and (in a small group) will practice with these tests and analyze EEG data. The practical will be tailored to the knowledge of the students and they will be guided while conducting the analyses of the data. Questions that will be raised during the practical are: Which steps need to be taken while analyzing neuroimaging data? Do different brain states induce different (decision making) behaviors? How can we examine such differences in neuroimaging data or test performance? Students will perform statistical analyzes on EEG data sets and write a brief report.
Students are able:
- to explain the cognitive functions underlying action and decision making and how to test them;
- to analyse and interpret data obtained by using neuroimaging techniques (i.e. EEG);
- to write a scientific report of a neuroimaging study on decision making.