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Cognitive Neuroscience

Module WZ2693

This Module is offered by Chair of Zoology (Prof. Luksch).

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Basic Information

WZ2693 is a semester module in English language at Bachelor’s level and Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Catalogue of non-physics elective courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
90 h 30 h 3 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


computation of sensory information in the mammalian cortex; differences between cortical and non-cortical structures in the forebrain of vertebrates; Structure of the Cortex, canonical circuits, processing principles in the Cortex, Models of cortical function, malfunctions of the cortex in pathological situations, Role of the prefrontal cortex, Role of the hippocampus, Cortical processing of sensory input, Sleep, Food intake, Decision making, Cravings and Addiction, Emotions, Consciousness and Free Will. In addition, we will demonstrate options for technological interactions with the brain, and give an overview of the current approaches for analysing brain functions in the behaving organism.

Learning Outcome

After the exam, students can sketch cortical processing, derive these computations from the underlying neurobiological foundations, and explain their functions for the organism. The students will aquire special knowledge on the role of the cortex, can integrate new information into this knowledge framework, and have an overview of pathologies and the possibilities to manipulate cognitive processes.


Students should have a basic knowledge of neurobiological processes in general, at least on the level of a physiology course, better though on the level of the "neurobiology" lecture held at the WZW (or a comparable lecture series).

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 2 Cognitive Neuroscience Fenzl, T. Kreuzer, M. Luksch, H. Rammes, G. Mon, 12:30–14:00, virtuell
Tue, 12:30–14:00, virtuell

Learning and Teaching Methods

Teaching mode: Lecture Teaching method: Presentation. Learning activities: Reading of basic texts, preparation and review of lecture materials, internet searches, summarizing of subjects.


The powerpoint presentations of this lecture series will be made available on Moodle. Additional information (URLs, additional texts, self-assessments etc.) will be available on Moodle as well.


The basic textbook for this lecture is "Neuroscience. Exploring the brain" from Bears, Connors and Paradiso, published by Lippincott, Williamsn and Wilkins. However, all other modern neurobiology textbooks are also appropriate.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

Students will demonstrate an overview of cognitive processes in the brain during a written exam (60 min.). They can describe the cellular basis and the network architecture in the brain that lead to cognitive processing, and elaborate on the scientific status quo of cortical processing during various cognitive tasks. In addition, they can evaluate and predict the consequences of lesions and pharmacological interventions in the cortex for psychological processes and mental states. Finally, they will demonstrate an overview of the various methodological approaches to study the cognitive functions in the (human) brain.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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