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Computational Cognitive Neuroscience -- Spring 2012

Instructor: Peggy Seriès
Lectures : Monday/Thursday 11:10 - 12.00,7GS s.1 , beg Jan 19th 2012
Labs : Fridays 1 pm - 4 pm, AT 5.08, starting Jan 27th then Feb 10th, Feb 17th, March 2nd, March 16th (i.e. approximately every other week except for Feb 17th).
Tutor: David Acunzo .

This is a course for MSc level students. There are no prerequisites but some background in statistics, calculus, linear algebra will help, as a well as some knowledge of matlab.

Computational Cognitive Neuroscience is a growing research field. The aim of this course is to learn the tools and concepts that can be used to model cognitive processes.
This course differs from / complements NC and NIP in focussing on 'higher level' processes and phenomena (e.g. decision making) and more conceptual models (even if we'll try to stay as close as possible to neurophysiology).

see last year's webpage. Also, short course in Buenos Aires.



  • Two assignments (50%) and one report (50%) (no exam).

  • Matlab assignment 1: TBA. Deadline : TBA.
  • The report should look like a scientific report, with description and discussion of the results (not a presentation of the code). The quality of the presentation will be taken into account in the final mark. See an example of a good paper from past years.

  • Report: You will have to write a paper based on one or two papers of your choice. The paper(s) should be related to the themes of cognitive neuroscience and have a significant computational component. Please contact me if you're not sure of your choice or want suggestions. You should explore the context, critically evaluate it, and discuss questions raised by these papers and maybe suggest further experimental or theoretical work.
    Your report should be around 3000 words (4000 words MAX) all included (references, captions etc..). You should write for the interested, but non-specialist reader. You can look at the journal Trends in Neuroscience (TINS) for how to construct such papers. The aim of the paper is that you should demonstrate that you can read a paper in computational cognitive neuroscience, understand its methods, evaluate its claims and place it in perspective.
    deadline for submitting choice of paper: TBA.
    deadline for report: TBA. please submit both pdf via submit and paper copy to ITO.

    Tips for choosing a paper.
    Examples of 2 good papers from last years: paper1 (attention), paper2 (hallucinations in migraines).


The labs will consist mainly of implementation in matlab of simple models of population codes, perception, learning and plasticity and decision making. Attendance and work on this material will help for the assignments.
** Slides of last year -- Subject to changes **


  • You may be interested in some of the talks in the DTC Neuroinformatics course which I am organizing.The DTC students in the course attend these talks already, but other CCN students are very welcome.

  • UK students (or EU having lived here for more than 3 years) are encouraged to apply to the DTC for PhD study. Of course, MSc students taking CCN will often have taken some courses that are part of the DTC MSc year, but we can be flexible in such cases.

This page is maintained by Peggy Series.