Elective Course - Brain and Cognitive Development

Course content

Infancy is the period of most dramatic brain and cognitive development, and where we see the biggest changes in cognition. Understanding this period of cognitive development and what drives cognitive development is crucial for understanding human cognition more broadly. This course is focused on the topic of infant and early childhood cognition, and will draw on our knowledge of the developing brain, and findings from neuroimaging.  We will begin with an introduction to the field of infant cognitive development, an overview of brain development, and current methodology for studying infants and their brains. In subsequent weeks, we will cover a new topic each week, including both domains of knowledge (including objects, number, faces, social reasoning, morality) and mechanisms of early learning (information expectation, information seeking, statistical learning). The course is aimed at providing a state-of-the-art on cognitive development and will be focused on the most recent research that has transformed our understanding of what and how infants learn. 

Learning outcome

The purpose of these modules is to expand knowledge or put the psychological subject area into perspective through theoretical or empirical specialisation within subject areas within or related to psychology.

Upon completion of the elective subject module within the Department of Psychology, students are able to:

  • describe and account for relevant concepts and themes within the elective subject
  • describe and account for relevant methodological approaches in relation to the subject matter for the elective subject
  • explain contexts, analyse and/or conduct procedures relevant to the elective subject under supervision.
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
For BA students, a total of 1000 pages comprising both compulsory (700 pages) and elective literature (300 pages). For Master students an additional 200 pages elective literature.
Title: Select one of the themes, theories or/and concepts introduced in the course. Present an argument with a critical review the literature on the chosen theme/concept/theory with one or two illustrative examples. To be submitted according to the exam schedule.

Interpretation of Marking Criteria for assignments and extended examination questions:
During Session 1, and then again at least one point during the semester, there will be explanation and discussion of the marking criteria in relation to this assignment.

Extent: The course concludes with an assignment of max. 14 pages for one student, 21 pages for two students and 24 pages for three students.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 30
  • English
  • 30