Cognitive Neuroscience 512

Dr. Stephen José Hanson & Dr. Catherine Hanson

We are now at an unprecedented point in the field of neuroscience: We can watch the human brain in action as it sees, thinks, decides, reads, and remembers. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is the only method that enables us to monitor local neural activity in the normal human brain in a noninvasive fashion and over cognitively relevant time spans with excellent spatial resolution. The goals of this course are to help students become savvy and critical users of the current neuroimaging methods, to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the technique, and to design their own cutting-edge, theoretically motivated studies. Lectures and discussions will cover fMRI methods and experimental design. The course is primarily intended for students who will use neuroimaging (fMRI) techniques in their own thesis projects, and need to have a solid understanding of the physical and computational and mathematical principles behind these tools in order to acquire good data and analyze them appropriately. The basic statistical considerations for neuroimaging and new methods that use multivariate analysis (MPVA/PD) and Network/Connectivity analysis will be discussed. Students will be expected to do a project using the RUBIC facilities and develop a testable hypothesis using methods discussed in the course.