General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Behavioral & Cognitive Neuroscience
Language English
Module lecturer prof. dr hab. Grzegorz Króliczak; dr Maciej Raś
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position Professor
Faculty Faculty of Psychology and Cognitive Science
Semester 2024/2025 (summer)
Duration 60
USOS code 23RCSS.22O.15959.24


Lectures are typically held on Mondays, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Building D, room 004 (or E, lecture hall A) 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:

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 behavior 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.


  1. Contemporary Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience (BCN) as a discipline at the crossroads of neurobiology, neuroscience, neuropsychology and experimental psychology. Achievements of BCN research, critical thinking, and scientific inference. Nonhuman and human subjects / participants, research, and its ethical oversight
  2. Research methods in biopsychology, neurobiology, behavioral and cognitive neuroscience. Methods for visualizing, stimulating and recording psycho-physiological activity of the brain and its major functions. Advantages and disadvantages of the studied methods and research approaches
  3. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), research safety, introduction to data acqusition, analyses, and visualization; MRI/fMRI research terminology/jargon
  4. Somatosensory system: tactile and haptic processing. Cutaneous receptors, major somatosensory pathways, and the effects of damage to the related cortices and associated neural processing streams
  5. Lateralization of basic behavioral and cognitive functions. Theories of the evolution of cerebral asymmetries. Left-hemisphere dominance for communication in humans and other species. Exceptions to classical accounts of interhemispheric and between hemispheric functional interrelationships
  6. Hormones and sex, “sex” and “gender”, developmental and activational effects of sex hormones. Sex determination at conception vs. sexual development; bipotential precursor for the development of external reproductive structures. Gender identity and (sexual) preference from the neurobiological perspective
  7. Hunger, eating, and related health issues. The basics of the control of eating, digestion, and energy metabolism. Hunger as a response to an energy need and an epidemic of eating disorders. Sham-eating tests and the insights on factors influencing how much we eat. The effects of diets on body weight and physiological research on hunger and satiety
  8. Sleep, dreaming, and circadian rhythms. How much sleep do we need? Why do we sleep when we do, and how it affects stages of sleep? Dreaming, sleepwalking, and sleeptalking. The effects of sleep deprivation and sleep efficiency. Jet lag, shift work, and circadian clocks. Sleep disorders
  9. Emotions, stress, and related health issues. Biopsychology of emotion: Introduction to classic and contemporary case studies, damage reconstruction methods, and theories of emotion. Lie detection as an emotion detection method; studying facial expressions; fear, defense, aggression, and testosterone. Neural mechanisms of fear conditioning. Stress and its impact on health
  10. Drug addiction and the brain’s reward circuits. Drug abuse and addiction as goal-directed behaviors. Basic principles of drug action, administration and absorption. Drug abuse, drug tolerance, withdrawal effects and physical dependence. Addiction: risk factors for compulsive drug use. Commonly abused drugs and the effects of long-term use. Biopsychology of addiction
  11. Psychiatric disorders, disorders of thinking and mood; mood vs. anxiety disorders; antipsychotic drugs - their history and effectiveness. Epigenetic and/or environmental factors involved in mood and anxiety disorders; primary and secondary mood disorders, recurrence risk ratios, and possible therapies
  12. Brain damage and cerebrovascular disorders, closed-head injuries, infections of the brain, and neurotoxins. Neuropsychological diseases and their animal models. Most common diseases and damage of the nervous system, and their current / prospective treatments
  13. Recovery of brain functions: regeneration, reorganization, and neural prostheses

Reading list

The recommended textbooks:

  1. Kandel, E.R.; Schwartz, J.H.; Jessell, T.M.; Siegelbaum, S.A.; Hudspeth, A.J. Principles of Neural Science, Fifth Edition. McGraw Hill LLC. Kindle Edition.
  1. Pinel, J.P.J.; Barnes, S., Biopsychology, Global Edition. Pearson. Kindle Edition.


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.
  19. Classes related readings: Lester, G. L., & Gorzalka, B. B. (1988). Effect of novel and familiar mating partners on the duration of sexual receptivity in the female hamster. Behavioral and Neural Biology, 49(3), 398-405.
  20. Bartels, A., & Zeki, S. (2004). The neural correlates of maternal and romantic love. Neuroimage, 21(3).
  21. Morris, R. G., Garrud, P., Rawlins, J. A., & O'Keefe, J. (1982). Place navigation impaired in rats with hippocampal lesions. Nature, 297(5868), 681-683.
  22. Avena, N. M., Rada, P., Moise, N., & Hoebel, B. G. (2006). Sucrose sham feeding on a binge schedule releases accumbens dopamine repeatedly and eliminates the acetylcholine satiety response. Neuroscience, 139(3), 813-820.
  23. Deroche-Gamonet, V., Belin, D., & Piazza, P. V. (2004). Evidence for addiction-like behavior in the rat. Science, 305(5686), 1014-1017
  24. Holmes, A. J., & Pizzagalli, D. A. (2008). Spatiotemporal dynamics of error processing dysfunctions in major depressive disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry, 65(2), 179-188.
  25. Anguera, J. A., Boccanfuso, J., Rintoul, J. L., Al-Hashimi, O., Faraji, F., Janowich, J., Kong, E.,Larraburo, Y., Rolle, C., Johnston, E., & Gazzaley, A. (2013). Video game training enhances cognitive control in older adults. Nature, 501(7465)
  26. Aeschbach, D., Cutler, A. J., & Ronda, J. M. (2008). A role for non-rapid-eye-movement sleep homeostasis in perceptual learning. The Journal of Neuroscience, 28(11), 2766-2772.
  27. Siuda-Krzywicka, K., Bola, Ł., Paplińska, M., Sumera, E., Jednoróg, K., Marchewka, A., Śliwińska, M., Amedi, A., Szwed, M. (2016) Massive cortical reorganization in sighted Braille readers. eLife, 5, e10762
  28. Kroliczak, G., Buchwald, M., Kleka, P., Klichowski, M., Potok, W., Nowik, A. M., ... & Piper, B. J. (2021). Manual praxis and language-production networks, and their links to handedness. cortex, 140, 110-127.
  29. Verma, A., Van der Haegen, L., & Brysbaert, M. (2013). Symmetry detection in typically and atypically speech lateralized individuals: A visual half-field study. Neuropsychologia, 51(13), 2611-2619
  30. Króliczak, G., McAdam, T. D., Quinlan, D. J., & Culham, J. C. (2008). The human dorsal stream adapts to real actions and 3D shape processing: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Journal of neurophysiology, 100(5), 2627-2639.