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Module PPP-4022:
Introduction to Neuroimaging

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Prof Paul Mullins

Overall aims and purpose

“Introduction to Neuroimaging” concentrates on an introduction to use of MRI in modern cognitive and neuroscience research. It includes an introduction to the physics of different MR imaging methods, the physiological basis of imaging signals, the theory of processing and analysis of imaging data, and the design of research studies. The course aims to teach (a) the necessary theoretical knowledge for understanding modern MRI and fMRI research, (b) the ethical issues involved with MRI research, both current and future and (c) the skills to design and analyze your own neuro- MRI and fMRI study.

Course content

1)  Why do Imaging? - An introduction to the uses of neuroimaging in modern cognitive neuroscience 2) Physical principles of MRI imaging 3)   Physiology of MRI contrast in the brain, with a focus on cerebral metabolism and blood flow 4)   Principles and methodologies for measurement of changes in cerebral metabolism 5) The safety and ethical issues that arise in regards to neuroimaging research and how they apply to the researcher, participants and the wider community. 6)   Statistical analyses of functional time-series 7)   Experimental design for functional imaging

Assessment Criteria


Links to C grades Knowledge of key areas/principles only • Limited evidence of background study • Answer only poorly focused on question & with some irrelevant material & poor structure • Attempts to present relevant and coherent arguments • Has several factual/computational errors • No original interpretation • Only major links between topic are described • Limited problem solving • Many weaknesses in presentation & accuracy


Links to A grades. Comprehensive knowledge • Detailed understanding of the subject area • Extensive background study • Highly focused answer & well-structured • Logically presented & defended arguments • No factual/computational errors • Original interpretation • New links to topic are presented • New approach to a problem • Excellent presentation with very accurate communication


Links to B Grades Strong Knowledge • Understands most but not all of subject area • Evidence of background study • Focused answer with good structure • Arguments presented coherently • Mostly free of factual/computational errors • Some limited original interpretation • Well known links described between topics • Problems addressed by existing methods/approaches • Good presentation, accurate communication

Learning outcomes

  1. Be able to evaluate the methodological aspects of Neuroimaging research critically

    1. Know the fundamentals of MRI imaging for cognitive neuroscience research
    1. Have a deep understanding of the ethical issues involved in MRI and fMRI studies
    1. Be able to design a good fMRI study
    1. Be able to report and interpret the results of fMRI studies.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Final Exam 60
Weekly assingments Week 1 4
Weekly assignment week 2 4
Weekly Assignment Week 3 4
Weekly assignment week 4 4
Weekly assignment, Week 5 4
Weekly Assessment Week 7 4
Weekly Assessment week 8 4
Weekly Assessment, Week 9 4
Weekly Assessment, week 10 4
Weekly Assessment, Week 11 4

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study 40
Work-based learning

Weekly assignment and assessment questions to provide the students with directed research.


This course will be a based on Lectures, Seminars, journal clubs and directed research on the basics of MRI for neuroscience research.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  • Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
  • Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
  • Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
  • Understand and investigate the role of brain function in all human behaviour and experience.
  • Employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology.
  • Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: