Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Cognitive Brain Imaging Methods (PGT) PSYCH5022

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course will introduce students to key issues in brain imaging, namely: mechanisms of generation of EEG-MEG signals, topographical distribution, relation between evoked magnetic fields and electric potentials, relationship to cognition; physical basics of Magnetic Resonance imaging (anatomical images, gradients, RF); basics of functional MRI - blood oxygenation contrast (BOLD, neurophysiological basis, neuronal responses, local field potentials, etc); basics of fMRI experimental design (block design, event related design, adaptation); recent advances in recording and analysing EEG and fMRI signals simultaneously; application of brain imaging to clinical cases; recent advances in understanding the brain-behaviour relationship by non-invasive transcranial brain stimulation


2 hours per week

Requirements of Entry

Typically a 2:1 honours degree in psychology or related discipline.

For the MSc Brain Sciences, at least a second class (2:2) honours degree in neuroscience, physiology, psychology or acceptable equivalent(s).

Excluded Courses



One piece of coursework (100%, 3000 words). Either a critical review on brain imaging methods with a topic to be chosen from a list of questions set by the course team, or a critical evaluation on the means of adapting a research project, or published research, in order to be addressed in a different imaging technique than originally performed.

Course Aims

This course will introduce students to the following key issues in brain neuroimaging:

a) Physiological basis of MEG and EEG and their usage to study cognition

b) Physical and physiological basis of structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging.

c) Basics of fMRI analyses and experimental design.

d) Clinical applications of imaging techniques.

e) Recent advances in understanding the brain-behaviour relationship by non-invasive brain stimulation.

f) Simultaneous EEG-fMRI recording and analyses.

g) Information processing algorithms in the brain.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

Students will be able to:

■ Discuss the capabilities of various brain imaging approaches such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial direct and alternating current stimulation (tDCS, tACS), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) to advance our understanding of brain function in health and disease.

■ Reflect critically on our current understanding of the physical and physiological principles underlying the measurements obtained in different brain imaging modalities (TMS, tDCS, tACS, fMRI, M/EEG)

■ Critically evaluate the experimental designs typically used with different modalities of brain imaging.

■ For different brain imaging modalities (TMS, tDCS, tACS, fMRI, M/EEG), provide critical evaluation of the steps taken to record, and process the measurement data in light of interpretational confounds.

■ Critically evaluate advantages and limitations of different imaging techniques and how multi-modal approaches might benefit our understanding.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.