PSY9221 – Vision and the Brain

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course will focus on the cognitive neuroscience of the human visual system based on convergent evidence gathered with a variety of methods, which include neuroimaging (e.g., fMRI), studies of eye movements, single neural cells’ recordings, computational models, effects of localized brain lesions, as well as the study of unusual subject populations (e.g., split-brain patients, synaesthetes) and evidence from studies with non-human primates. These topics will be dealt with from both the angle of normal performance and of pathology. The course will survey interdisciplinary material from evolutionary biology, medicine, psychology, computer science, philosophy, and the visual arts. The lectures will particularly focus on the processes of visual attention, perception (of colors, object forms, and faces), mental imagery, and visual memory, and how the human brain achieves awareness of visual objects.

Learning outcome

The goal of the course is to present knowledge and principles of the functioning of our brains on how we see and understand our visual world.


This course is an elective course in the PhD-programme in psychology. We welcome applicants from PhD-programmes at other institutions.


This course has joint lectures with the Master's course PSY4303 – Vision and the Brain (discontinued).


The requirements to pass this PhD course, are an oral presentation during the course and an approved essay (about 15 pages) handed in by a time limit. In order for the essay to be approved, its quality should be equivalent to an A or B at Master's level.
In the beginning of the course, the course leader will give an orientation to the PhD students.
PhD students who have fulfilled the courses PSY4303 or PSYC6510 will not be given any credit points for this PhD course.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

It is recommended to request an explanation of your grade before you decide to appeal.



The deadline to request an explanation is one week after the grade is published. For oral and practical examinations, the deadline is immediately after you have received your grade.

The explanation should normally be given within two weeks after you have asked for it. The examiner decides whether the explanation is to be given in writing or verbally.

Facts about this course






Every autumn

This course is taught together with the master's course PSY4303.

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