Back close

Course Detail

Course Name Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience – Part 1
Program M. Sc. Cognitive Sciences, Learning and Technology
Semester I
Credits 3
Campus Amritapuri


Unit I

Unit I – Structure and Function of the Brain and Nervous System

  • Introduction:
    • What is cognition? What is cognitive psychology? What is cognitive neuroscience?
  • Methods of cognitive psychology and instruments of cognitive neuroscience (e.g., neuroimaging)
  • Brain anatomy and functional divisions of the cerebral cortex
  • Structure and function of neurons
  • Early brain development and neuroplasticity: Influencing factors of genes, environment, and experience
    • (e.g., effects of neglect on brain development)
Unit II

Unit II – Perception

  • Senses, sensation, and perception
  • Anatomy of the senses in the cerebral cortex
  • Perception: different types of perception, such as visual, auditory, haptic, olfactory, gustatory, somatosensory (including vestibular and proprioceptive) perception
Unit III

Unit III – Attention and Consciousness

  • Attention from a cognitive psychology perspective:
    • Types: selective attention, divided attention, and sustained attention
    • Theories: early and late selection, capacity, and mental effort models
  • Neural mechanisms of attention
  • Consciousness: Nature, types, and function
Unit IV

Unit IV – Learning and Memory

  • Memory from a cognitive psychology perspective:
    • Encoding, storage and retrieval
    • Short-term forms of memory (sensory, short-term, and working memory)
    • Long-term forms of memory (explicit: episodic and semantic; implicit: procedural)
    • The constructive nature of memory
  • Neural basis of learning and memory:
    • Neural networks in the human brain
    • Neurophysiology of learning and performing new skills
    • The role of the hippocampus in memory
Unit V

Unit V – Neurological Dysfunction

  • Neurological dysfunction and neurocognitive disorders (physiological and psychiatric)
  • Neuropsychological rehabilitation

Course Description and Objectives

Prerequisites: Good reading and writing skills in English; Basic understanding of brain anatomy and neural functioning

Course Description:

In this course, learners will gain an overview of cognitive psychology, which studies mental processes. They will explore human perception, i.e., how we perceive the world through our senses and organize our perceptions. Learners will come to understand how attention influences memory, and how memory is being constructed in the mind. Moreover, this course offers learners the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between brain function and cognition. At the end of the course, they should become familiar with the structure and function of the brain and nervous system. In addition, they should be able to understand the neural basis of cognitive processes, such as perception, attention, consciousness, learning, and memory. They should be able to grasp how social and biological factors impact brain development in children. They should also develop a basic understanding of the methods of cognitive neuroscience, such as brain-imaging techniques. Finally, they should gain an overview of neurocognitive disorders.

Course Objectives:

  1. To develop a working knowledge of the structure and function of the brain and nervous system.
  2. To understand how the human brain develops and adapts to outer circumstances.
  3. To gain a basic understanding of the methods of cognitive neuroscience, such as brain-imaging techniques.
  4. To gain insight into how the human mind perceives the world through the senses.
  5. To gain an understanding of what attention is and what influences attention.
  6. To gain an understanding of human consciousness.
  7. To gain an overview of the different parts of the memory system and how we create memories.
  8. To gain knowledge of the neural basis of learning and memory.
  9. To gain an overview of neurological dysfunction and neurocognitive disorders.

Course Outcomes:

  • CO1: Understand essential concepts of neuroanatomy and brain structure and function. CO2: Acquire knowledge of the cutting-edge technology used in cognitive neuroscience, such as functional and structural brain imaging.
  • CO3: Gain information on how the brain develops and what factors affect brain development.
  • CO4: Gain insights into theories from cognitive psychology that explain cognitive processes, such as perception, attention, consciousness, memory, and learning.
  • CO5: Gain insights into the neural basis of cognitive processes, such as perception, attention, consciousness, memory, and learning.
  • CO6: Understand different causes and types of neurological dysfunction and neurocognitive disorders and rehabilitation.


  • Develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between brain function and cognition.
  • Differentiate between the functional divisions of the brain and gain an understanding of the workings of neurons.
  • Grasp how social and biological factors impact brain development in children and leave a lasting impact into adulthood.
  • Develop a basic understanding of the methods of cognitive neuroscience, such as brain-imaging techniques.
  • Understand cognitive psychology theories and the neural basis of cognitive processes, such as perception, attention, consciousness, memory, and learning.
  • Gain an overview of neurocognitive disorders and rehabilitation.

CO-PO Mappings

Program outcome PO – Course Outcomes CO Mapping

CO1 x
CO2 x x
CO3 x x
CO4 x x
CO5 x
CO6 x x

Evaluation Pattern:

Assessment Internal External
Midterm Exam 30
*Continuous Assessment (CA) 20
End Semester 50

*CA – Can be Quizzes, Assignment, Projects, and Reports, and Seminar


  • Goldstein, E. B. (2015). Cognitive psychology: Connecting mind, research, and everyday experience
    (4th edition). Cengage Learning. esearch-and-Everyday-Experience.pdf
  • Gazzaniga, M. S., Ivry, R. B., & Mangun, G. R. (2014). Cognitive neuroscience. The biology of the mind (4th edition). Norton.
  • Millan, M. J., Agid, Y., Brüne, M., Bullmore, E. T., Carter, C. S., Clayton, N. S., … & Young, L. J. (2012). Cognitive dysfunction in psychiatric disorders: Characteristics, causes and the quest for improved therapy. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 11(2), 141-168.

Reference Books

  1. Groome, D. (2014). An introduction to cognitive psychology. Processes and disorders (3rd edition). Psychology Press. Cognitive-Psychology_-Processes-and-Disorders-Psychology-Press-Taylor-Francis-c2014.pdf
  2. Hebb, D. O. (1949). The organization of behavior. Wiley.
  3. Kandel, E. R., Schwartz, J. H., & Jessell, T. M. (2000). Principles of neural science (4th ed). McGraw-Hill.
  4. Knafo-Noam, A., Daniel, E., & Benish-Weisman, M. (2024). The Development of Values in Middle Childhood: Five Maturation Criteria. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 33(1), 18-26
  5. Kok, A. (2020). Functions of the brain. A conceptual approach to cognitive neuroscience. Routledge. Krebs, C., Weinberg, J., & Akesson, E. (2012). Lippincott’s illustrated reviews of neuroscience.
  6. Wolters Kluwer.
  7. McCandliss, B., & Toomarian, E. (2020, April 13). Putting Neuroscience in the Classroom: How the Brain Changes as We Learn. Trend Magazine, Spring 2020(5).
  8. Mesulam, M.-M. (2000). Behavioral neuroanatomy: Large-scale networks, association cortex, frontal syndromes, the limbic system, and hemispheric specialization.
  9. Association Cortex, Frontal.
  10. Miller, G. (2003). The cognitive revolution: A historical perspective. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7,
  11. Passingham, R. (2016). Cognitive neuroscience: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press.
    Raichle, M. E. (1998). Behind the scenes of functional brain imaging: A historical and physiological perspective. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 95, 765–772.
  12. Shaw, P., Greenstein, D., Lerch, J., Clasen, L., Lenroot, R., Gogtay, N., Evans, A., Rapoport, J., & Giedd, J. (2006). Intellectual ability and cortical development in children and adolescents. Nature, 440,
  13. Streidter, G. (2005). Principles of brain evolution (pp. 217–53). Sunderland, MA: Sinawer.
  14. hagard, P. (2009). Why cognitive science needs philosophy and vice versa. Topics in Cognitive Science, 1(2), 237-254
  15. Ward, J. (2020). The student’s guide to cognitive neuroscience (4th edition). Routledge.
  16. Zimmer, C. (2004). Soul made flesh: The discovery of the brain – and how it changed the world. New York: Free Press.

Academic Papers

  1. Alexander, R., Aragón, O. R., Bookwala, J., Cherbuin, N., Gatt, J. M., Kahrilas, I. J., … & Styliadis,
    C. (2021). The neuroscience of positive emotions and affect: Implications for cultivating happiness and wellbeing. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 121, 220-249
  2. Barack, D. L., & Krakauer, J. W. (2021). Two views on the cognitive brain. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 22(6), 359-371
  3. Bayne, T., Brainard, D., Byrne, R. W., Chittka, L., Clayton, N., Heyes, C., … & Webb, B. (2019). What is cognition?. Current Biology, 29(13), R608-R615.
  4. Domes, G., Schulze, L., Böttger, M., Grossmann, A., Hauenstein, K., Wirtz, P. H., … & Herpertz, S.
    C. (2010). The neural correlates of sex differences in emotional reactivity and emotion regulation.
    Human brain mapping, 31(5), 758-769
  5. Fox, S. E., Levitt, P., & Nelson III, C. A. (2010). How the timing and quality of early experiences influence the development of brain architecture. Child development, 81(1), 28-40
  6. Friedman, N. P., & Robbins, T. W. (2022). The role of prefrontal cortex in cognitive control and executive function. Neuropsychopharmacology, 47(1), 72-89
  7. Keunen, K., Counsell, S. J., & Benders, M. J. (2017). The emergence of functional architecture during early brain development. Neuroimage, 160, 2-14
  8. Koenig, J., Parzer, P., Haigis, N., Liebemann, J., Jung, T., Resch, F., & Kaess, M. (2021). Effects of acute transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation on emotion recognition in adolescent depression. Psychological medicine, 51(3), 511-520
  9. Milner, B., Squire, L. R., & Kandel, E. R. (1998). Cognitive neuroscience and the study of memory.
  10. Neuron, 20(3), 445-468.
  11. Mussel, P., & Hewig, J. (2019). A neural perspective on when and why trait greed comes at the expense of others. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 10985
  12. Nelson, C. A., Fox, N. A., & Zeanah, C. H. (2023). Romania’s abandoned children: The effects of early profound psychosocial deprivation on the course of human development.
  13. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 32(6), 515-521
  14. Paas, F., & van Merriënboer, J. J. (2020). Cognitive-load theory: Methods to manage working memory load in the learning of complex tasks. Current Directions in
  15. Psychological Science, 29(4), 394-398
  16. Rich, A. N., & Mattingley, J. B. (2002). Anomalous perception in synaesthesia: a cognitive neuroscience perspective. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 3(1), 43-52.
  17. Robbins, T. W. (2011). Cognition: The ultimate brain function. Neuropsychopharmacology, 36(1), 1-2
  18. Ryan, J. D., & Shen, K. (2020). The eyes are a window into memory. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 32, 1-6
  19. Schlaug, G., Norton, A., Overy, K., & Winner, E. (2005). Effects of music training on the child’s brain and cognitive development. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1060(1), 219-230.
  20. Sturman, D. A., & Moghaddam, B. (2011). The neurobiology of adolescence: changes in brain architecture, functional dynamics, and behavioral tendencies. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 35(8), 1704-1712
  21. Vaidya, A. R., Pujara, M. S., Petrides, M., Murray, E. A., & Fellows, L. K. (2019). Lesion studies in
    contemporary neuroscience. Trends in cognitive sciences, 23(8), 653-671
  22. Vuust, P., Heggli, O. A., Friston, K. J., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2022). Music in the brain. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 23(5), 287-305.

DISCLAIMER: The appearance of external links on this web site does not constitute endorsement by the School of Biotechnology/Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities, the Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. These links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this web site.

Admissions Apply Now