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Imaging in Neurosciences


Admission requirements

  • Thorough basic knowledge of principles of neuroscience is essential; successful completion of the second year course “Introduction in the Neuroscience”, or a similar course is mandatory.

  • Bear, Connors and Paradiso; Neuroscience, Exploring the Brain.; 3rd Ed. 2006; Ch 2-7 and 9-14.

  • Successful completion of How to write a research proposal is strongly recommended.


Period: 25 October 2021 - 19 November 2021

Modern imaging technologies are indispensable for medical research and clinical diagnosis and treatment of most disease processes. Currently, a wide array of imaging modalities is available for studies of humans and animals, including x-ray technology and computer tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine (e.g. PET) and optical imaging.

This course has two objectives. The first objective is to provide a thorough understanding of the physical principles underlying these technologies. This theory is essential in order to understand why a specific technique may be the most appropriate choice for a clinical or research question.

The second goal is to highlight current research and clinical applications of modern imaging modalities in neuroscience, both for routine clinical care and for advanced research applications. Topics will e.g. cover functional MRI for cognitive neuroscience, advanced ultra-high field MRI, the latest developments in PET technologies, but also the use of imaging in clinical care settings such as dementia and neurovascular disease.

Practically, students will attend lectures and read selected papers on each lecture topic. You will collate information gained in small groups, and prepare journal club presentations. Additionally, there are several lab visits where you will get demonstrations of the imaging techniques.

You will also work on several assignments, both in a workgroup setting and individually. The first assignment is a critical appraisal of neuroimaging literature, and the way new neuroimaging research is presented in the popular press. For the second assignment you will be provided with actual research data and background information and be asked to formulate a research hypothesis, to design an analysis strategy to test this hypothesis, to perform the proposed analysis and to report on the outcome with a poster presentation and a written report.

Course objectives

The student:

  • has an overall understanding of the theoretical and practical background of neuroimaging

  • has an understanding of the different techniques used for neuroimaging

  • can implement this knowledge in a written paper about a chosen subject

  • can convey this knowledge and views to the other students

  • can collaborate with peers during Journal Club

  • can implement acquired knowledge in the design of an poster presentation about a chosen subject

  • can present the poster and hold a scientific discussion on the presented research


All course and group schedules are published on our LUMC scheduling website or on the LUMC scheduling app.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, group work, self study assignments, demos, research project.

Assessment method

  • Written paper

  • Student participation in Journal Club

  • Poster, presenting the analysis of experimental data

  • Oral presentation of research assignment during a plenary session with all course participants

Reading list

Will be distributed during the course.


Registration for FOS courses, H2W, Scientific Conduct, Course on Lab Animal Sciences and CRiP takes place in lottery rounds in the beginning of July. After the lottery rounds: if you want to register for a course you are kindly asked to contact the student administration at