nl en

Methods in Clinical Neuropsychological Research


Entry requirements

Open to master’s students in Psychology.

Course description

This course enhances students’ academic foundation in preparation of writing the master’s thesis, evidence-based work in clinical practice, and/or research career paths.

Neuropsychological research aims to understand the relationship between brain (dysfunction) and behavior. More fundamental neuropsychological research focuses on understanding cognitive and behavioral mechanisms, and how these are impacted by changes in brain structure and function, while more clinically oriented research studies (improvements in) neuropsychological performance, diagnostics and treatment. This course will discuss a range of study designs and methods that are commonly used in neuropsychological research of both types. This includes observational designs, both cross-sectional and longitudinal, and treatment evaluation designs, ranging from case reports and single case experimental design to randomized clinical trials (RCTs). Furthermore, a strong focus on physiological measurements will highlight contemporary ways in which the link between brain and behavior is studied, in the lab but especially in applied clinical settings. Examples of topics are meta-analysis, longitudinal cohort studies, randomised control markers, biomarkers, MRI, EEG, etc.

Strengths and weaknesses of these designs and methods will be discussed. The course also addresses relevant issues regarding research ethics and scientific integrity. At the end of this course, students will be able to identify strengths and weaknesses of published neuropsychological research and formulate suggestions for improvement. It also offers the opportunity to further explore personal affinity with research, which helps preparing for career choices.

Course objectives

At the end of the course, students:

  • can review research designs and methods typically used in clinical neuropsychology and reflect upon their strengths and weaknesses;

  • can assess research strategies, designs, ethical aspects, and adherence to reporting standards described in papers in the field of neuropsychology;

  • assess the relevance of research papers for possible integration in clinical practice.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course.


You must register for each exam in My Studymap at least 10 days before the exam date. You cannot take an exam without a valid registration in My Studymap. Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

  • 8 lectures (2 hours each). Attendance is not mandatory.

Assessment method

100% Exam – 40 MC questions (course objectives 1, 2 and 3).

All literature (book chapters, plus relevant articles as mentioned in the yearly-updated reading list on Brightspace), as well as the contents of the lectures will be part of the exam. The grade should be 5.5 or higher.

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. All students are required to take and pass the Scientific Integrity Test with a score of 100% in order to learn about the practice of integrity in scientific writing. Students are given access to the quiz via a module on Brightspace. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

Relevant articles.

Contact information

Dr. Julie Hall Dr. Ineke van der Ham