Nutrition, Brain Development and Cognition

Faculteit Science and Engineering
Jaar 2021/22
Vakcode WMBM020-05
Vaknaam Nutrition, Brain Development and Cognition
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I b
ECTS 5
Rooster rooster.rug.nl

Uitgebreide vaknaam Nutrition, Brain Development and Cognition
Leerdoelen At the end of the course, the student is able to:
1) explain the importance of nutrition during development, healthy aging, during brain disease, and in relation to cognition;
2) select appropriate literature to compose a grant proposal addressing novel scientific research questions and
hypothesis;
3) critically judge, and debate grant proposals;
4) design and perform an experiment with emphasis on food on female reproductive behaviour;
5) analyse and evaluate the obtained data and results from their own experiments.
Omschrijving The major incentive of the Nutrition, Brain Development and Cognition course is getting acquainted with the aspects of nutrition in

brain development and cognitive functioning, in relation to health and general neuroscience aspects.
The Lectures include:
1) Basic principles of brain development (2 HC) (Olivier)
2) Basic principles of cognition (2 HC) (Havekes)
3) Nutritional influences on epigenetic alterations in the placenta (2 HC) (Plösch, UMCG)
4) Early-life programming of cognitive function and the role of nutrition (2 HC) (Korosi/Olivier, UvA)
5) Nutrition and Alzheimer disease (2 HC) (vd Zee)
6) Sleep and nutrition (2 HC) (Havekes)
7) Healthy aging and nutrition (2 HC) (vd Zee)
8) Effects of meals on cognition (1HC) (vd Zee)
9) Modulation of amino acids-deficient diets (1 HC) (vd Zee)
10) Role of Dietary Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in brain and cognitive function (2 HC) (Olivier)
11) Micronutritions in the brain (2 HC) (Havekes)
Aside from lectures, students will write in small groups (max 4 students) a grant application. This includes an introduction (explaining
the state of art), description of experiments, innovative aspects, and the social impact. The students will present their application
to a broader audience of other students. One proposal will be picked to receive the grant, therefore all students will present and
defend their proposal in a debate-style setting. After a short explanation a debate will take place, and students are required to ask
critical questions to each other.
Students will also prepare and conduct an experiment in Drosophila melanogaster. Because of the nutritional cost of reproduction,
different kinds of food (selected by the students) is assessed for their influence on female sexual receptivity. To achieve this,
students have to read literature and prepare a hypothesis driven experiment based on literature. The results of the experiment need
to be analyzed, described in a report and presented to a larger audience
Uren per week
Onderwijsvorm Hoorcollege (LC), Practisch werk (PRC), Werkcollege (T)
(Lectures: 20 hours, Tutorials: 50 hours, Practical: 50 hours, Self study: 20 hours. See remarks.)
Toetsvorm Practisch werk (PR), Presentatie (P), Schriftelijk tentamen (WE), Verslag (R)
(The final grade exists of an exam (ST, ST-MC, 50%), grant writing (V,20%) and presenting (P, 10%) and designing and performing an experiment including report writing (PR and V, 20%). The presentation of the grant application will be graded by peers (50%) and teachers (50%). To pass the course a grade of at least 5.5 for each item (exam, grant writing, report writing, and presenting) is required)
Vaksoort master
Coördinator prof. dr. R. Havekes
Docent(en) prof. dr. R. Havekes ,prof. dr. J.D.A. Olivier ,prof. dr. T. Plosch ,prof. dr. E.A. van der Zee
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
Nutritional Neuroscience Harris R. Lieberman, Robin B. Kanarek, Chandan Prasad 9780415315999
Extensive information is available on Nestor
Entreevoorwaarden The course unit assumes prior knowledge acquired from Biology or Life Science-oriented programs.

Preparation for: The course unit is often followed by, or prepares students for, Advanced Metabolism & nutrition, Neurobiology of
Nutrition and in Nutrition in Medicine in which the learning objectives attained are required as prior knowledge. It does require the understanding of basic neurobiology.
Opmerkingen Pass mark: The final grade exists of an exam (ST, ST-MC, 50%), grant writing (V,20%) and presenting (P, 10%) and designing and performing an experiment including report writing (PR and V, 20%).
The presentation of the grant application will be graded by peers (50%) and teachers (50%).
To pass the course a grade of at least 5.5 for each item (exam, grant writing, report writing, and presenting) is required
Mandatory presence: Yes , Attendance for the labs and meetings related to the labs are mandatory. Likewise, the students are required to attend the
presentations of the grant proposals. Missing labs or not attending these presentations could lead to a failure to pass the course.

Max. capacity: 50 students. This is a MSc. Biomedical Sciences course unit: see student portal for priority regulations in place.
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
MSc Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences: Behavioural Neurosciences  (Electives: courses from other programmes) 2 semester I b keuze
MSc Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences: Cognitive Neuroscience & Modelling  (Electives: courses from other programmes) 2 semester I b keuze
MSc Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences: Molecular & Clinical Neurosciences  (Electives: courses from other programmes) 2 semester I b keuze
MSc Biology: Research  (Electives/Optional modules) - semester I b keuze
MSc Biology: Science, Business and Policy  (Compulsory master courses) - semester I b keuze
MSc Biomedical Sciences: Biology of Ageing  (Electives (10 ECTS)) - semester I b keuze
MSc Biomedical Sciences: Biology of Cancer and Immune System  (Electives ) - semester I b keuze
MSc Biomedical Sciences: Biology of Food and Nutrition  ( Masters Courses) - semester I b keuzegroep
MSc Biomedical Sciences: Neuroscience  ( Masters Courses) - semester I b keuzegroep
MSc Biomedical Sciences: Research  (Electives) - semester I b keuze
MSc Biomedical Sciences: Science, Business and Policy  (Electives (10 ECTS)) - semester I b keuze
MSc Ecology and Evolution: Ecology and Conservation  (Electives/optional modules) - semester I b keuze
MSc Ecology and Evolution: Evolutionary Biology  (Electives/optional modules) - semester I b keuze