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Matlab in Biopsychology and Neuroscience

The course will be taught in English.

Why Matlab?

Matlab is one of the most widely used computer programming languages in research. For psychologists and neuroscientists, it is a versatile and increasingly useful tool for controlling advanced experiments and analyzing complex datasets, no matter if you are interested in programming sensory detection or discrimination stimuli, measuring behavioral reaction times, quantifying movement kinematics (e.g. eye tracking), analyzing electrophysiological time series (e.g. EMG, EEG), developing neural models, conducting statistical tests, or visualizing brain imaging data (e.g. fMRI, MEG), etc.

The Course

The course will teach the basics of Matlab and introduce tools that are often used in Psychology and Neuroscience. You will learn the skills needed to understand existing Matlab code and to develop your own Matlab programs.

The course consists of two parts: 

  • a more theoretically oriented lecture with practical examples (2h/week),
  • tutorial in which the weekly homework exercises will be discussed (2h/week).

In order to be able to follow the lecture contents throughout the course period, it will be mandatory that the participants invest significant time into the weekly exercises.

Note: The course will run for the first half of the semester (see Dates). The course will be followed-up by an associated practical course in Psychophysics (see below).

Who should attend?

  • Anyone who wants to get a beginners introduction to Matlab.
  • The course aims for
    • 1st year Masters students in Biology and Psychology.
    • PhD students from the GGNB programs.
    • advanced Bachelor students with experience in empirical data collection and analysis (space allowing).
  • No prior computer programming experience is needed. Basic skills in statistics, math and data handling are helpful.


Pre-registration for this course was open until Sun April 10th.

Pre-registration will allow you to attend a preparatory meeting. Details about the course and the companion course Psychophysics (below) will be introduced during this preparatory meeting. Afterwards you will have opportunity to confirm your interest in joining the course.
The number of participants in this course is limited and participation is only warranted after you received a final confirmation of participation after the preparatory meeting.

Note: Registration via the Course homepage does not replace FlexNow registration for those who are admitted to the course and who want to participate in the exam and receive credits for the course.

Associated Course

After this Matlab course, in the second half of the semester, we will offer an associated course at the DPZ, in which you will be able to apply and intensify the learned skills. The course on Psychophysics by Prof. Stefan Treue will provide you with an opportunity to gather hands on experience in handling and analyzing data that you collected in your own experiments.

Last update: Apr 11, 2016


Prof. Dr. Alexander Gail

Prof. Dr. Alexander Gail Head of Sensorimotor Group +49 551 3851-358 Contact

Matlab Course