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fMRI Data and Statistics


Entry requirements

  • Only open to Master’s and Research Master’s students from 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

  • task-FMRI and functional brain connectivity

  • group analyses.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will:

  • become familiar with the basics of MRI and FMRI methods;

  • understand FMRI statistics;

  • learn image processing of fMRI data; and

  • be able to carry out analyses and interpret the results.


For the timetables of your lectures, work groups and exams, please select your study programme in:
Psychology timetables

Exams (coming soon)



Students need to enroll for lectures and work group sessions.
Master’s course registration


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date. Students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination.
Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

The course consists of:

  • 6 2-hour lectures,

  • 7 2-hour work group sessions,

  • 1 or 2 1-hour sessions at the MRI scanner. Attendance of all sessions is mandatory.

Assessment method

The final grade is based on a written exam, consisting of open questions.

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has instituted that instructors use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken. Please see the information concerning fraud.

Reading list

  • S.A. Huettel, A.W. Song, G. McCarthy. (2009). Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging 3rd Revised Edition. Sinauer Associates Inc.,U.S.

  • Lecture notes

  • Reader of work group sessions

Contact information

Serge Rombouts

Anne Hafkemeijer