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fMRI Data and Statistics


Admission requirements

  • Master’s students in Psychology

  • Knowledge of the Linux/Unix computer environment.
    People with no previous experience of UNIX should spend a few hours, before the course starts, working through at least the first 5 sections of a basic unix tutorial


The use of fMRI has become a very important technique for functional brain imaging. The special nature of the data collected by this method requires very specific, often recently developed, statistical methods for data analysis. In this course several statistical methods for analysing fMRI data will be discussed. The course takes place in 8 sessions. On most days, the first two hours theoretical issues will be addressed. In the last two hours students are trained in how to analyse data in practical situations.

Topics which will be discussed are:

  • Why and when fMRI

  • BOLD response

  • preprocessing

  • design for a single-subject experiment

  • making statistical inferences

  • statistical analysis of fMRI data by GLM

  • group analyses.

Course objectives

  • Students become familiar with the basics of fMRI statistics.

  • Students learn how to analyse fMRI data.

  • Carrying out analyses and interpreting the results.


fMRI Data and Statistics (2013-2014):

Mode of instruction

Lectures and supervised work groups.

Assessment method

Practical assignment during course and an examination (tentamen) in week 8 of the course.
Obligation to attend all lectures and all practical sessions for all students.

From January 1, 2006 the Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted the Ephorus system to be used by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .


Information on

Reading list

  • S.A. Huettel, A.W. Song, G. McCarthy. (2009). Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging 2nd Revised Edition. Sinauer Associates Inc.,U.S.

  • Lecture notes

The book is available via the bookshop of the study association Labyrint on presentation of your membership pass. Otherwise they can be bought from academic booksellers.


Course enrolment

Students need to enroll for the course via uSis on the master’s introduction and course enrolment day that takes place at the start of each semester. Please, consult the master’s agenda Psychology.

Contact information

Prof. dr. S.A.R.B. Rombouts
Tel: +31 (0)71 526 3309