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OnderwijsOpleidingenMaster en PhD opleidingenBehavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences - Research
Header image Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences

Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences

Becoming an expert in one specific track

This programme is characterised by its interactive setting with a strong accent on scientific research, offering the unique chance of a truly multidisciplinary education, while becoming an expert in one specific track.

This research master programme concentrates on three focal and closely related areas of particular strength within Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences (BCN):

Animal and Human Behavioural Neurosciences (B-track)

Designed for students who are familiar with the theoretical foundations and basics of behavioural research. They follow the "four why's" of the evolution, function, causation and development of behaviour.

Thorough evolutionary insight is necessary for guiding the causal analysis of behaviour, just as we cannot understand its evolution without physiological knowledge. Hence we link the functional and physiological analysis of behaviour. This holds also for human behaviour where particular emphasis is placed on evolutionary psychology. Development of behaviour is a further key to understand the complex regulation of behaviour in adulthood, the origins of individuality and the constraints and plasticity in behavioural adaptation.

The coordinator of the B-track is Prof. Anton Scheurink

Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Modelling

This research track focuses on cognitive processing from psychological, neurological and modelling perspectives.

The psychological aspect is covered in expert courses on psychological phenomena such as learning, memory and attention. The neurological aspects entail specialized courses on neuroscience, both from functional, clinical and biological perspectives, and training in different methodologies (e.g., fMRI, TMS, EEG) to study brain processes. The modelling aspect focuses on abstract characterisation of cognitive processing. These characterisations can take the form of statistical or computational models. This enables researchers to establish causal relations between behavioural and neurological phenomena and cognitive theories.

The coordinator of the C-track is dr. M.R. (Mark) Nieuwenstein 

Molecular and Clinical Neuroscience (N-track)

The Neuroscience track is designed for students interested in molecular mechanisms of brain function and of the neuropathology of diseases.

The brain and the central nervous system are the key players in behaviour and cognition. The programme focuses on molecular and functional neurosciences, neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases, neuro-inflammatory processes and stem cell biology. The courses emphasize the anatomy of the nervous system, neurotransmission and transduction cascades, neurophysiology, neuropharmacology and neuropathology. The latest insights in Parkinson's disease, sleep and sleep disorders, obesity, aggression, anxiety, multiple sclerosis, and stroke related pathology will be discussed.

The coordinator of the N-track is dr. Liesbeth Veenhoff

  • Testimonial van

    See what our students have to say about BCN

  • Testimonial van Udo Böhm

    The Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences programme gave me the chance to follow my own interests

    The Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences programme gave me the chance to follow my own interests and develop the skills that are needed for a career in science. BCN is an unique programme in many ways, starting with its size. I've experienced it as a comparably small program with a very good teacher-student ratio, and close interactions between students and teachers. This allowed me to start working on a relevant network early on in my career.

    The personal way of educating has made my studies in Gronigen very enjoyable. I love the fact that there is a lot of emphasis on the idea of a group. Every year a cohort of students start their studies together, share the same initial set of courses and are encouraged to work as a team.

    The structure of the programme is very well thought through. Your start with introductory courses, which provide a good overview of the fields of behavioural and cognitive neurosciences. In the first year you also get the chance to follow a minor research project, which provides a great opportunity to gauge your abilities in conducting research. The second year gave me the freedom to follow my  own interests and to specialise in a field that I would like to do a future PhD project on.

    – Udo Böhm
  • Testimonial van Celina Pütz

    The perfect programme for a career in academia

    I chose the BCN Research Master because it is interdisciplinary and full of opportunities. I am part of a research team for one semester every year, in which I can focus solely on gaining skills and first-hand experience in conducting research. I enjoy having a say in the process, whilst being taught by researchers themselves during both the research internship and the preceding courses.

    I have the chance to develop my skills in whichever direction I want them to go. But it is not only the research experiences I gain; BCN is more than just a Master's degree programme. It is a community of students and researchers who meet for social events and exchange experiences during the courses and internships. You never feel alone or lost in your work, and there is always someone to help you out if you are stuck. Everyone interacts on a first-name basis, and thanks to the small number of study groups, everyone is fully included in the programme and its process. It’s the perfect programme for someone that wants to start a career in academia, or is thinking about doing so. For me, it convinced me that academia is the direction I want to go, and thanks to BCN, the whole world is open for me after I graduate!

    – Celina Pütz
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