Course catalogue doctoral education - VT22

  • Application can be done between 2021-10-15 and 2021-11-15
Application closed
Title Psychobiology of Intelligence
Course number 3137
Programme Neuroscience
Language English
Credits 1.5
Date 2021-10-19 -- 2021-11-18
Responsible KI department Department of Neuroscience
Specific entry requirements
Purpose of the course In this course, you will be presented an overview of the main concepts and methods in studies of the psychobiology of intelligence. During the course, there will be open discussions with the course organiser, criticisms/evaluations of key peer-reviewed papers, and student oral presentations on the subtopics covered.
Intelligence is, as will be argued for in class, one of the most important human traits. Inter-individual differences in IQ are correlated with school performance, career success, income, health, longevity, and many other outcomes. In addition, modern theories and measurements of intelligence have implications for a wide range of disciplines, from cognitive neuroscience and behavior genetics to clinical psychology, sociology and psychopharmacology. Understanding the basics about intelligence and how it is implemented in biological systems might be useful to you during your career, and will surely be important to you as an informed citizen.
Intended learning outcomes At the end of the course the student should be able to:
- Understand the basic features of methods used in intelligence research: especially methods in psychometrics, neuroscience, and genetics
- Grasp modern theories of intelligence, and how intelligence is measured
- Discuss and evaluate key scientific articles about the psychobiology of intelligence
- Be able to distinguish what is scientifically relevant from what is not in the long-lasting controversy on the nature and nurture of intelligence
Contents of the course Lectures and discussions about these main subtopics: 1) Definitions of intelligence and progress in intelligence test development; 2) Factor analyses and the debate of General Intelligence versus Multiple Intelligences; 3) Verbal abilities, spatial abilities, reasoning, speed of processing, and working memory; 4) Theories of intelligence; 5) Malleability of intelligence; 6) Genetics of intelligence ; 7) Intelligence and the brain: overview and evolution; 8) Neural correlates of intelligence seen in human imaging studies ; 9) The neurophysiological mechanisms of intelligence as glimpsed from animal studies.
In addition, the course will include seminars where students will evaluate, criticize, and discuss key papers about the psychobiology of intelligence, as well as group presentations about one of the subtopics covered in class.
Teaching and learning activities Lectures by the course organiser, seminars guided by students on key peer-reviewed papers, and group presentations.
Compulsory elements The seminars and group presentations are mandatory. If you miss an activity, you can compensate for it by submitting a written report related to the missed material.
Examination The seminars and group presentations count as examination. The course organiser will assess your ability to discuss, to critical thinking and reason about each subject in relation to what will be taught during the lectures.
Literature and other teaching material 1) Nicholas J. Mackintosh. IQ and human intelligence (2nd edition). Oxford University Press, 2011
2) Richard J. Haier. The Neuroscience of Intelligence (Cambridge Fundamentals of Neuroscience in Psychology). Cambridge University Press, 2016
3) Selected peer-reviewed publications
Number of students 8 - 20
Selection of students Selection will be based on 1) the relevance of the course syllabus for the applicant's doctoral project (according to written motivation), 2) start date of doctoral studies (priority given to earlier start date)
More information The course will be spread over 5 weeks, with the class meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 14.00 to 17.00 at Karolinska Institutet, campus Solna.
Additional course leader
Latest course evaluation Course evaluation report
Course responsible Bruno Sauce
Department of Neuroscience
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