Universität Wien FIND

180161 SE MEi:CogSci Journal Club (2021W)

Causal inference in cognitive neuroscience (neuroimaging and stimulation)

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung


Hinweis: Ihr Anmeldezeitpunkt innerhalb der Frist hat keine Auswirkungen auf die Platzvergabe (kein "first come, first served").


max. 25 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch


Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

Mittwoch 06.10. 18:00 - 20:30 Digital
Mittwoch 13.10. 18:00 - 20:30 Digital
Mittwoch 20.10. 18:00 - 20:30 Digital
Mittwoch 27.10. 18:00 - 20:30 Digital
Mittwoch 03.11. 18:00 - 20:30 Digital
Mittwoch 10.11. 18:00 - 20:30 Digital
Mittwoch 17.11. 18:00 - 20:30 Digital
Mittwoch 24.11. 18:00 - 20:30 Digital
Mittwoch 01.12. 18:00 - 20:30 Digital
Mittwoch 15.12. 18:00 - 20:30 Digital
Mittwoch 12.01. 18:00 - 20:30 Digital


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

Cognitive neuroscience currently deals with and promises new insights into topics that held human minds captivated for millennia. Among those are perception, awareness, social cognition, emotion and motivation. Despite the continuous gain of knowledge in these domains imaging methods as mentioned below rely on co-occurrence between physiological measures and behavioral variations. When two events occur together, humans often conclude that they have a cause-and-effect relationship.

Neuroimaging methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) have become methods of choice in cognitive neuroscience. However, these methods are merely correlational since they measure brain activity during a specific task or condition compared to another. Neurostimulation methods such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) claim to introduce causality into imaging studies, since they allow to transiently manipulate activity in specific brain areas. Yet, we still know little about the mechanisms of actions of these neurostimulation methods. If we found a specific area for believing in god or empathy in the brain, would it really be possible to enhance or inhibit these phenomena by means of neurostimulation or do we overestimate the potential of our state-of-the-art methods?

The participants of this Journal Club will learn to formulate a scientific question, find and judge literature resources, properly dissect articles, and present research data to finish with an evidence-grounded argument. Reflection, connecting dots and thinking outside the box will be encouraged and enforced.
The journal club will include discussion of current research questions in cognitive science on the basis of primary literature and selection of important current publications in the field of cognitive science as well as presentation and discussion in the course of the journal club.

Learning Outcomes:
- Deeper understanding of current approaches in cognitive science and their influence on the field.
- Basic understanding of the principles of neuroscience methods (fMRI, TMS) and critical awareness of their limitations
- Ability to follow scientific developments in the field of cognitive science in a reflective manner
- Ability to interpret and evaluate results of primary scientific literature at an advanced level
- Ability to choose autonomously and give a condensed account on primary scientific literature
- Ability to communicate one's expertise in order to contribute constructive criticism in the context of scientific debate
- Ability to moderate dicussion on current topics in cognitive science
- Ability to deal with different points of view in an intercultural context

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

- mandatory attendance
- 2 presentations of current publication (final grade: 40%)
- Participation in discussions (final grade: 40%)
- One written review of a publication (final grade: 20%)

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

Minimum requirement for a positive grade are participation in at least 80% of sessions (including proof that all papers were read) and presentation of a current publication (selected in accordance to the student's interest and overall course topic).

Basis for grading will be classroom work 40% (active attendance, answering questions to literature, own good questions), 40% own presentations (2 well-prepared papers presented in front of the class), 20% of the final grade will be based on the quality of a written review of one publication.

Generally student's attendance and deliverables are scored based on the level of understanding. Reading publications and remembering basic concepts are a must-be criterion. A profound analysis, critical appraisal, explanation of concepts derived from multiple publications and the ability to evaluate and use evidence to argue will lead to highest scores.

5 = <60%
4 = 60-69%
3 = 70%-79%
2 = 80%-89%
1 = 90%-100%


Preparation, presentation and discussion of current publications/literature in cognitive science


Will be announced at the first meeting and partly chosen according to the interests of the participants.

Articles will be updated during the seminar; Not all listed references will be discussed in class:

Tik, M., Hoffmann, A., Sladky, R., Tomova, L., Hummer, A., de Lara, L. N., ... & Windischberger, C. (2017). Towards understanding rTMS mechanism of action: stimulation of the DLPFC causes network-specific increase in functional connectivity. Neuroimage, 162, 289-296.

Blumberger, D. M., Vila-Rodriguez, F., Thorpe, K. E., Feffer, K., Noda, Y., Giacobbe, P., ... & Downar, J. (2018). Effectiveness of theta burst versus high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in patients with depression (THREE-D): a randomised non-inferiority trial. The Lancet, 391(10131), 1683-1692.

Numssen, O., Zier, A. L., Thielscher, A., Hartwigsen, G., Knosche, T., & Weise, K. (2021). Efficient high-resolution TMS mapping of the human motor cortex by nonlinear regression. bioRxiv.

Benedek, M., Jauk, E., Fink, A., Koschutnig, K., Reishofer, G., Ebner, F., & Neubauer, A. C. (2014). To create or to recall? Neural mechanisms underlying the generation of creative new ideas. NeuroImage, 88, 125-133.

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

Letzte Änderung: Do 23.03.2023 00:20