Practical Course Human Cognition and Biosignals

Lecturer (assistant)
TypePractical course
Duration5 SWS
TermSommersemester 2016
Language of instructionEnglish
Position within curriculaSee TUMonline
DatesSee TUMonline


Course criteria & registration


"This course will be useful for students in engineering who are potentially interested in the mechanisms of cognition in the human brain or that are interested in analysing any type of bio signals. After this course, the student will have acquired: - the knowedge about experimental procedures of cognitive neuroscience/experimental psychology, - knowledge about selected cognitive mechanisms of the human brain, - skills of acquiring and analysing biosignals (Electroencephalography-EEG, heart rate, Galvanic Skin Response) as well as behavioural data (e.g., reaction times), - ability to design a proper experiment with appropriate experimental control, - skills how to independently and autonomously solve problems related to experimental approach where biosignals are to be used (preparing hardware and software for recording), - ability to operationalise a research question in an experimental design, - skills of how to present methods, analyses and results in the form of conference-like presentation and publication-like report. "


This course is designed to teach master students in engineering about the experimental methods of cognitive neuroscience where data is recorded with biosensors (also possibly in addition to behavioural data). Additionally, students will be taught about the selected mechanisms of human cognition (perception, attention). A large component of the course will be devoted to design of experiments that should target specific mechanisms with specific measurement techniques: behavioural data, biosensors (EEG, EMG, Galvanic Skin Response). Finally, and importantly, the latter part of the course will be devoted to analysis of the data and guidelines on how to present data in a scientific format (see "Learning Methods" above)


"The course completion will have four requirements (1) homework assignments (literature search, design of an experiment, programming of an experiment. Evaluation criterion: implementable design of an experiment targeting a selected cognitive mechanism with the use of behavioural and physiological measures), 25% of the final grade; (2) final written report of the study conducted in class (publication-like format. Evaluation criteria: literature search, appropriate description of methods and results, autonomous interpretation of results, also in the context of state-of-the-art literature), 40% of the final grade; (3) presentation of results in the form of conference-like presenation (Evaluation: clarity of presentation, appropriate report of methods and results, quality of figures), 15% of the final grade; (4) oral exam (theoretical lecture part of the course. Evaluation: acquired knowledge during lectures), 20% of the final grade. "

Recommended literature

(1) Gazzaniga, M.S. Ivry, R, and Mangun, G.R. (2013). Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of Mind. IV edition. W.W. Norton. (2) Luck, S. (2005). An Introduction to the Event-Related Potential Technique. MIT Press; (3) Luck, S. J., Woodman, G. F., & Vogel, E. K. (2000). Event-related potential studies of attention. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 4, 432-440.