Psychophysiological and Cognitive Applications


Course Objective

- Insight in the link between affective state and autonomic nervous
system activity.
- Insight in the link between cognitive state and eye-movement,
psychophysics and reaction time metrics.
- Knowledge of typical experimental approaches and research designs in
psychophysiology and cognitive psychology.
- Practical skills in the laboratory measurement of autonomic nervous
system activity, eye-movement, psychophysics and reaction time as
windows into affective and cognitive processing in the brain

Course Content

In plenary lectures we will outline how affective and cognitive
processing is reflected in observable behavioral and physiological
signals. The lectures are interspersed with a series of practicals,
where the students learn how to record the ElectroCardioGram (ECG),
Skin-conductance Level (SCL), eye movements, psychophysics and reaction
times in experimental designs aimed at isolating specific affective and
cognitive processes. This will be done in a standardized laboratory
setting using the Biopac system for ECG/SCL and the Eyelink system to
measure the different aspects of eye movements. Amongst others, students
will measure (on each other): skin-conductance responses to tonic and
phasic emotional stimuli; eye-movements and reaction times when
performing a xx task. Furthermore, tactile sensitivity will be measured
by using a psychophysical approach. The main principles, strategies and
limitations for data analysis will be covered in the lectures and then
applied in the practicals to the self-recorded data-sets.

Teaching Methods

Lectures and practicals.

Method of Assessment

Written examination (50% of grade) of literature and execution of a
short data collection experiment (25%) and the signal analysis on the
data collected (25%).


1) Psychophysiology Reader with selected articles
a) paper on SCL recording
b) paper on HR recording
c) paper illustrating the use of HR/SCL in practice (likely Critchley or
2) Cognitive Psychology Reader with selected articles
d) paper on psychophysics
e) paper on Eye movement recording (Van der Stighel, Meeter and
Theeuwes, 2006)
f) paper illustrating the use of Eye-movement recording or psychophysics
in research
3) Powerpoints of the lectures
More details on BlackBoard

Additional Information

Course registration must be completed before November 1, as sufficient
assistance and rooms for practicals need to be organized up front.

The course is taught in English

As of 2018-19 this course is no longer part of the University minor.
Students who still need to complete this course for the UM can contact
the course coordinator.

Custom Course Registration

Practicals will be done in groups of 5. You can choose a group in the week before the course starts; if you have not actively chosen a group before the first lecture, you will be assigned to one.

Recommended background knowledge

Finished 2nd year of the Bachelor Psychology, Education sciences or
Movement Sciences, or equivalent knowledge.

General Information

Course Code P_BPCAPP
Credits 6 EC
Period P3
Course Level 300
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Fac. of Behavioural and Movement Science
Course Coordinator prof. dr. J.C.N. de Geus
Examiner prof. dr. J.C.N. de Geus
Teaching Staff prof. dr. J.C.N. de Geus
dr. D.J. Heslenfeld
dr. ing. E. van der Burg

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture, Practical*

*You cannot select a group yourself for this teaching method, you will be placed in a group.

Target audiences

This course is also available as: