Teaching

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  • Title: “Neuroimaging: from image to inference”.
  • Instructor: Chris Rorden :: Office 227 Discovery I
  • Course Code: PSYC589 (Undergrad) PSYC X888 (Grad), 3 credits. In addition, scientists are free to audit this course. Suitable for faculty, post-docs, PhD students and advanced undergraduate students.
  • When: Fall Semester 2014 – Tuesday/Thursday from 1:15-2:30.
  • Where: WMBB Nursing 136
  • Syllabus
  • Course slides: PPT Powerpoint Format.
  • License: the slides and material for this course are distributed under the Creative Commons license. Further details are in the notes section of the PowerPoint file.
  • Textbook: Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging by Huettel, Song, and McCarthy.
  • Supplemental text: Handbook of Functional MRI Data Analysis by Poldrack, Mumford and Nichols.
  • Description: Functional magnetic resonance imaging is a recent and powerful tool for inferring brain function. This technique identifies brain regions that are activated by different tasks – for example we can find the brain regions that activate when someone sees a familiar face. This course is designed to give students an understanding of the potential and limitations of this technique, and the ability to critically evaluate the inferences that can be drawn from fMRI. The course describes all stages of an fMRI study – from the design of the behavioral task (e.g. asking the participant to view faces), to the image processing (e.g. correcting images for head movements that occurred during scanning), through to statistical analysis (identifying brain regions that are activated by a task).

Lectures

Assessment and Assignments

The final grade is weighted 70% on homework assignments and 30% on the essay, with letter grades assigned as follows A = 90-100%, B = 80-90%, C = 70-80%, D = 60-70%, F = <60%. Graduate students (PSYC888) must also present their essay as a class presentation. This presentation is scored as pass or fail that modifies the grade on the essay by x1.0 (pass) or x0.5 (fail), so that a perfect essay (100%) with a failed presentation (x0.5) yields a weighted score of 50%.

Homework description: Students will submit regular homework assignments, which are due at noon on their due date. Assignments are due in the students' dropbox folder unless otherwise specified.

Essay description: Students will write an essay that describes the merits, limitations and potential of a current or potential technique used to infer brain function. Essays should extend beyond the information in the course. Examples include: ERP vs fMRI, MEG, functional connectivity, Independent Component Analysis, Adaptation Designs.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the basic elements of neuroimaging.
  • Understand strengths and limitations of complementary tools used in cognitive neuroscience.
  • Ability to evaluate how contemporary methods can be used to understand cognitive functions.
  • Practice software for viewing, preprocessing and statistically analyzing brain imaging data.
  • Practice writing in the form of scientific report that relates behavioral and biomedical constructs.

    Attendance


    Attendance throughout class is required. By registering for this class you are confirming your availability during class. If you must miss a class, you should talk to the instructor ahead of time. For emergencies (flu, car trouble) it is strongly preferred that you send a text message to the instructor at the time of the class. Failure to meet the “10 percent rule” will have homework assignment scores diminished by the proportion of the absences across the term (e.g. missing 15% of classes will mean your final score reflects 85% of your homework score).

    Plagiarism


    University policy regarding plagiarism, cheating and other forms of academic dishonesty is followed explicitly [See Carolina Community: Student Handbook and Policy Guide, Academic Responsibility]. Any case will be reported to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. A “0″ score will be given on a plagiarized assignment, and may result in an “F” for the course in extreme cases.

    Disabilities


    Students who have disabilities must have certification from the Office of Disability Services and must make clear during the first week of class what accommodations they expect. Students with disabilities must complete the same exams and assignments as other students in order to get course credit.

    Class Schedule Fall 2012

    1. 21 Aug homework1: learning anatomy and viewing brain images. Due 26 August
    2. 26 Aug
    3. 28 Aug
    4. 2 Sept
    5. 4 Sept
    6. 9 Sept
    7. 11 Sept
    8. 16 Sept
    9. 18 Sept
    10. 23 Sept
    11. 25 Sept
    12. 30 Sept
    13. 2 Oct
    14. 7 Oct
    15. 9 Oct
    16. 14 Oct
    17. 16 Oct
    18. 21 Oct
    19. 23 Oct Fall Break – No Class
    20. 28 Oct
    21. 30 Oct
    22. 4 Nov General Election – No Class
    23. 6 Nov
    24. 11 Nov
    25. 13 Nov
    26. 18 Nov
    27. 20 Nov
    28. 25 Nov
    29. 27 Nov Thanksgiving – No Class
    30. 2 Dec
    31. 4 Dec

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