General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Behavioral & Cognitive Neuroscience
Language English
Module lecturer prof. dr hab. Grzegorz Króliczak
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position Professor
Faculty Faculty of Psychology and Cognitive Science
Semester 2023/2024 (summer)
Duration 30
USOS code 23-PIE-BCN


Lectures are typically held on Mondays, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., in Building D (or E) on Ogrody Campus, also known as “Szamarzewo” (from the Szamarzewskiego street, where the Campus is situated). They are part of the regular Cognitive Science curriculum.

Module aim (aims)

Contemporary Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience is a discipline at the crossroads of neurobiology, neuroscience, neuropsychology and experimental psychology. Its major achievements come from neurophysiological animal studies, case studies following experimental or naturally occurring brain injuries, and neuroimaging research involving humans. The goals of this lecture series are:
to acquaint students with key concepts related to the variety of approaches in this fascinating area, including neuroanatomy, research methods, and research design;
to get familiarized with the links with neurochemistry, neuropharmacology, and neuropathology;
to broaden the knowledge on the main achievements of behavioral and cognitive neuroscience stemming from the clinical and neuroimaging research;
to learn to critically analyze scientific reports, and their descriptions in the popular press, including the knowledge/understanding that the obtained results are affected by the adopted methods, and a type of the approach, including its limitations;
to obtain basic knowledge on how to take care of one’s health, both physical and mental, to discern dangers for one’s nervous, immune, and reproductive systems, and related problems that may require specialized medical treatments.

Upon the completion of the lecture series, students should know the basic and advanced concepts, major models and approaches to studying the neural bases of behaviour and cognition.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

It is assumed that students already know the most basic neuroanatomical and neuroscientific terminology.


Week 1: Introduction to contemporary Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience
Week 2: Research methods in biopsychology, neurobiology, behavioral and cognitive neuroscience
Week 3: Functional neuroimaging in humans
Week 4: Sensorimotor processing and/or learning and memory
Week 5: Lateralization of basic behavioural and cognitive functions
Week 6: Hormones and sex
Week 7: Hunger, eating and related health issues
Week 8: Sleep, dreaming, and circadian rhythms
Week 9: Emotions, stress, and related health issues
Week 10: Drugs, addiction, and reward circuits in the brain
Week 11: Biopsychology of psychiatric disorders (I)
Week 12: Biopsychology of psychiatric disorders (II)
Week 13: Brain damage and models of diseases
Week 14: Genes and diseases of the nervous system
Week 15: Neuroplasticity

Reading list

The recommended textbook:
(1) Kandel, E.R., Schwartz, J.H., Jessell, T.M., Siegelbaum, S.A., Hudspeth, A.J., (2013). Principles of Neural Science, Fifth Edition. McGraw-Hill Companies, USA. (Only selected and most relevant chapters/sections from this textbook will be reffered to or discussed.)
(2) Pinel, J.P.J. (2010). Biopsychology (8th edition or later). Pearson Education, Limited. (This is a primary background for all discussed topics.)

Supplemental references (This is just a list of recent papers, reviews, or chapters which are related to the topics covered during the lectures. References to classic or more recent papers or critical reviews will be available from course instructor.)

  1. Anafi, R.C., Kayser, M.S., Raizen, D.M., 2019. Exploring phylogeny to find the function of sleep. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 20, 109-116.
  2. Anderlini, D., Wallis, G., Marinovic, W., 2019. Language as a Predictor of Motor Recovery: The Case for a More Global Approach to Stroke Rehabilitation. Neurorehabil Neural Repair, 1545968319829454.
  3. Berenbaum, S.A., Beltz, A.M., 2016. How Early Hormones Shape Gender Development. Curr Opin Behav Sci 7, 53-60.
  4. Boly, M., Gosseries, O., Massimini, M., Rosanova, M., 2016. Functional Neuroimaging Techniques. In: Laureys, S., Gosseries, O., Tononi, G. (Eds.), The Neurology of Consciousness (Second Edition). Academic Press.
  5. Cabrera, F.F., Gamarra, E.R., Garcia, T.E., Littlejohn, A.D., Chinga, P.A., Pinentel-Morillo, L.D., Tirado, J.R., Chung, D.Y., Pande, L.J., McCall, K.L., Nichols, S.D., Piper, B.J., 2019. Opioid distribution trends (2006-2017) in the US Territories. PeerJ 7, e6272.
  6. Cheignon, C., Tomas, M., Bonnefont-Rousselot, D., Faller, P., Hureau, C., Collin, F., 2018. Oxidative stress and the amyloid beta peptide in Alzheimer's disease. Redox Biology 14, 450-464.
  7. Corballis, M., 2017. The Evolution of Lateralized Brain Circuits. Frontiers in Psychology 8:1021.
  8. Dauvilliers, Y., Schenck, C.H., Postuma, R.B., Iranzo, A., Luppi, P.H., Plazzi, G., Montplaisir, J., Boeve, B., 2018. REM sleep behaviour disorder. Nat Rev Dis Primers 4, 19.
  9. Endendijk, J.J., Beltz, A.M., McHale, S.M., Bryk, K., Berenbaum, S.A., 2016. Linking Prenatal Androgens to Gender-Related Attitudes, Identity, and Activities: Evidence From Girls With Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. Arch Sex Behav 45, 1807-1815.
  10. Filmer, H.L., Dux, P.E., Mattingley, J.B., 2014. Applications of transcranial direct current stimulation for understanding brain function. Trends in Neurosciences 37, 742-753.
  11. Gahagan, S., 2012. Development of eating behavior: biology and context. J Dev Behav Pediatr 33, 261-271.
  12. Gurtubay-Antolin, A., Leon-Cabrera, P., Rodriguez-Fornells, A., 2018. Neural evidence of hierarchical cognitive control during haptic processing: An fMRI study. eNeuro 5.
  13. Huang, R.S., Chen, C.F., Sereno, M.I., 2017. Mapping the complex topological organization of the human parietal face area. Neuroimage 163, 459-470.
  14. Petrides, K.V., Mikolajczak, M., Mavroveli, S., Sanchez-Ruiz, M.J., Furnham, A., Perez-Gonzalez, J.C., 2016. Developments in Trait Emotional Intelligence Research. Emotion Review 8, 335-341.
  15. Siegel, E.H., Sands, M.K., Van den Noortgate, W., Condon, P., Chang, Y.L., Dy, J., Quigley, K.S., Barrett, L.F., 2018. Emotion Fingerprints or Emotion Populations? A Meta-Analytic Investigation of Autonomic Features of Emotion Categories. Psychological Bulletin 144, 343-393.
  16. Speth, J., Speth, C., 2016. Motor imagery in REM sleep is increased by transcranial direct current stimulation of the left motor cortex (C3). Neuropsychologia 86, 57-65.
  17. Weinstein, A., Lejoyeux, M., 2015. New developments on the neurobiological and pharmaco-genetic mechanisms underlying internet and videogame addiction. Am J Addict 24, 117-125.
  18. Zhang, H.Y., Wang, Z.G., Lu, X.H., Kong, X.X., Wu, F.Z., Lin, L., Tan, X., Ye, L.B., Xiao, J., 2015. Endoplasmic reticulum stress: relevance and therapeutics in central nervous system diseases. Mol Neurobiol 51, 1343-1352.