Kaisa_2012_3_photo by Veikko Somerpuro

Functioning sensory systems: Visual neuroscience

Introduction to visual processing in human brain with emphasis in modern brain research methods.

Vision is one of the most studied and best understood disciplines in neuroscience. This course aims to give an introduction to current research methods and knowledge in visual neuroscience. The lecturers are active researchers that use behavioral/psychophysical, modelling, brain imaging and neurophysiological methods. Each give one lecture on their own specialty topic (such as low-level processing, colour vision or cortical functional specification) with an emphasis on explaining research methods. The course will give a comprehensive view of visual information processing at different levels and brain regions and how various research methods can be used to investigate visual information processing.

Organizers: Ilmari Kurki and Linda Henrikkson (Aalto University). Lecturers: Petri Ala-Laurila, Linda Henriksson, Markku Kilpeläinen, Ilmari Kurki, Maria Olkkonen and Viljami Salmela.

4.12.2019 at 10:00 - 10.1.2020 at 23:59


The seminar consists of seven weekly meetings, where participation is compulsory. Students are expected to read an article or book chapter for each meeting and take part in a quiz before each meeting. Students also prepare a 15-minute presentation in small groups to be presented in the last meeting.


Here is the course’s teaching schedule. Check the description for possible other schedules.

Fri 7.2.2020
14:15 - 15:45
Fri 14.2.2020
14:15 - 15:45
Fri 28.2.2020
14:15 - 15:45
Fri 13.3.2020
14:15 - 15:45

Conduct of the course

Course completion requires participation in the seminar meetings, writing a learning diary, completion of quizzes and giving a short (15 minute) presentation in small group. Grades 0-5 on the basis of quiz answers and presentation.


Optional for Bachelor students in Psychology

Course belongs to the Optional Studies in Psychology.

Basic Studies in Psychology (25 cr) and Cognitive neuroscience and clinical neuropsychology, or equivalent knowledge

Havaitsemisen neurotiede (5 tai 10 op)

Opintojakson suoritettuaan opiskelija

  • on perehtynyt yhteen havaintopsykologian osa-alueeseen, esim. näköön, kuuloon, tuntoon tai aistien yhteistoimintaan ja
  • tuntee osa-alueen keskeisimmät löydökset ja ymmärtää niiden merkityksen.

Second or third year of the Bachelor Programme

To be agreed with the teacher.

To be agreed with the teacher. Eg.

  • Bruce V., Green P. R., Georgeson M. A. (2003) Visual perception: physiology, psychology and ecology, 3. or more recent ed.
  • Moore B. C. J. (2013) An introduction to the psychology of hearing, 6. ed.
  • Stein B. E. (Eds) (2012) The new handbook of multisensory processing

Aktiviteetit ja opetusmenetelmät riippuvat toteutustavasta. Opiskelija voi vaikuttaa opintojakson sisältöön ja toteutustapaan opettajan kanssa sopien.

The written review or exam is graded on the scale 0-5.

For exchange students:

The course is not an introductory course, so some previous knowledge of the topic is required. The course also requires a sufficient level of proficiency in English (writing coursework, working in a group, presentation).

Therefore, after signing up in WebOodi, please send the responsible teacher (Ilmari Kurki, ilmari.kurki@helsinki.fi) a short motivational letter with at least the following information by 13 January 2020. Please include the course code PSYK-421 on the subject line of your message.

  • Main subject, home university and year of studies
  • List of previous studies in cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience and perceptual psychology
  • Self-assessment of your skills in English

The estimated maximum number of accepted exchange students is 5.

In English:

a) Literature review or

b) Literature exam

To be agreed with the teacher.