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Summary: Human Neurophysiology

The overall aim of the course is twofold. Firstly, to provide a theoretical understanding and hands-on practical experience with Cognitive Neuroscience research in humans and, secondly, to facilitate that you develop generic and important academic skills. In terms of Cognitive Neuroscience, you should at the end of the course be able to: 1. Explain how human neurophysiology can be investigated and explain the relative strengths and weaknesses of different neuroimaging techniques. 2. Argue why it is important to perform neurophysiological research on both healthy people and patients. 3. Differentiate between exogenous (stimulus-driven) and endogenous (spontaneous) brain activity, and experimental paradigms and analysis tools required for their study. 4. Argue why the phenomenon of ‘daydreaming’ and its neuronal basis is important to investigate. In addition, you should have acquired the skills to perform research on this relationship. 5. Explain the relationship between brain activity and EEG signals. 6. Explain how to prepare a subject for an EEG measurement and understand acquisition settings such as sampling frequency, filters, impedance, etc. 7. Use MATLAB-based software for qualitative analysis of EEG, e.g., to differentiate between EEG signals that originate from muscle and brain activity, respectively. 8. Perform quantitative and statistical analysis of own data and use the results to make conclusions about the relation between brain activity and cognition. 9. Provide an overview of the possibilities and challenges for applying EEG technology (1) in the diagnosis and therapy of disorders such as epilepsy, attention disorders and dementia, and (2) for controlling machines or computers with your thoughts. he course aims to provide you with theoretical knowledge of how the human neurophysiology and cognition can be studied with current techniques. In addition, an important component of the course is to teach you how to perform recordings on normal human subjects using high-density electroencephalography (EEG) and relate the electrical signal of the brain to cognition. The emphasis is on non-sensory cognitive experiences such as "daydreaming". Through a competition early in the course, students agree on an experimental paradigm in which this type of cognition can be influenced and you will record, analyze and present both data on EEG and cognition at the end of the course. The importance of non-stimulus driven brain activity and cognition for brain-related disorders such as depression, dementia, insomnia or attention deficit and hyperarousal disorder (ADHD) is discussed.

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