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Imaging in Neurosciences



October 23 - November 17, 2017.

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.


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 and cardiovascular applications, both for routine clinical care and for advanced research applications. Topics will e.g. cover functional MRI for cognitive neuroscience, Alzheimer’s Disease and metabolic syndrome.

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. You will work on two research assignments, in a workgroup setting and individually. For both 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.


This course will work on:

Academic competences:
Creative thinking, rapid acquisition of new knowledge, information gathering

Research competences:
Formulating a relevant and feasible research strategy, data analysis, writing a paper

Professional competences:
Collaboration with peers, commitment, motivation and drive, digesting other peoples opinion, peer review

Communicative competences:
Oral and written presentations; writing a paper

Course objectives

The student:

  • gains a thorough theoretical understanding of the various neuroimaging techniques

  • gains understanding of common applications of state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques used in fundamental research and in clinical practice;

  • is able to design an imaging experiment to resolve hypotheses related to function or pathology;

  • is able to interpret experimental data in one of the neuroimaging techniques and to write a short paper based on these data.

Mode of instruction

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

Assessment method

Oral/poster presentation, active participation during lectures and journal club, written report on research project.