MSc in Psychology - Cognitive Neuroscience
About This Masters Degree
Cognitive Neuroscience aims at understanding the human brain and how it relates to cognition, perception, and behaviour. In this specialisation you acquire a unique combination of in-depth knowledge on human brain function and cognition, paralleled with practical training in applying non-invasive brain imaging techniques such as EEG and fMRI.
The programme covers relevant topics of Cognitive Neuroscience and reflects the research expertise of the ‘Cognitive Neuroscience’ group. By addressing key issues in perceptual and cognitive brain research, you will build a detailed understanding of how the ‘working’ brain perceives, feels, moves, attends and processes. Specific course topics include auditory and visual perception, attention, cross-modal integration, speech processing and sensory motor functions. Moreover, you will learn to translate this knowledge in empirical research by hands-on training in all aspects of the experimental cycle, including experimental design, recording brain activation data, data analysis and interpretation. Methods that you will learn to apply include fMRI and EEG, as well as data analysis in the software packages Brainvoyager and EEGLAB.
You will work within an international and multidisciplinary team that includes psychologists, biologists, physicians, engineers, physicists, and computer scientists: all members of the Maastricht Brain Imaging Center (MBIC). This center offers a unique research infrastructure with the newest ultra-high field imaging facilities. Whereas our CN specialisation focuses on the normal brain, the acquired knowledge directly contributes to clinical applications such as neurofeedback for the treatment of depression, brainbased communication in locked-in patients, and guiding brain recovery after stroke or brain injury.
Thanks to the local research infrastructure as well as an exceptionally rich international network, you will have ample opportunities for internships in cognitive neuroscience and related fields in our center and at top universities throughout the world (including Columbia University New York, Dalhousie University Halifax Canada, Harvard medical school). Over the last years, internship research topics have ranged from fundamental brain research (mapping auditory space in the temporal cortex; audio-visual interactions in the brain) to applied brain research (fMRI investigation of food reward processing; EEG investigation of attention biases when perceiving health messages) and clinical research (learning and memory in mice models of Alzheimer’s disease; noninvasive brain stimulation (TMS) in fundamental and clinical research).
The specialisation Cognitive Neuroscience offers an excellent background for any professional career. Its interdisciplinary character is a major advantage for research or teaching careers, because students become experts in cognitive psychology as well as in neuroscientific methods. This specialisation prepares students for employment at universities, research institutes, educational institutes, and the private industry sector as well as employment in clinics.
Is This Programme Right For Me?
The specialisation Cognitive Neuroscience aims at students interested in an academic or related career with a central focus on understanding normal and/or abnormal brain function using brain imaging techniques. Students with undergraduate backgrounds in psychology, biology, or related fields are suited for the programme, provided they are eager to learn and to translate CN theories into empirical research questions and to gain practical knowledge and skills in the acquisition and analysis of EEG and fMRI data.