Caution, these contents corresponds to the coursebooks of last year

Scientific literature analysis in neuroscience


Lecturer(s) :

McCabe Brian Donal
Sandi Perez Maria del Carmen




It is not allowed to withdraw from this subject after the registration deadline.


MA3 only. Only one registration per student to a scientific thinking course


The goal is to learn to analyze a paper critically, asking whether the data presented support the conclusions that are drawn. The analysis is presented in the form of a summary abstract and critical, constructive referee's report.


The goal of the course is to teach you to read a paper critically and understand its content. We will examine published papers and discuss which conclusions can be justified and which require some wishful thinking. We will dissect papers in the field of Neuroscience, discussing recent development, as well as classics. Most of the papers will be from fields that are covered in related courses in Neuroscience, so that information from them can be applied to other courses. Each week, we will ask you to evaluate a paper, and one or two of the participants will lead the discussion (oral presentation, journal club). Each of you will be expected to produce a summary of the main findings in the proper context, and an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the paper. You will present the paper from this standpoint. This will require you to study background material so that your presentation places the paper in context.

The assessment will be based on your oral presentations, written submissions and participation in the discussions throughout the course. There will be an exam in the final week of the course, in which you will have to provide a written assessment of a paper.


critical reading, neuroscience

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the student must be able to:

Teaching methods

Lectures to give background information required to read the paper.
Group discussion of paper.
Written exam at the end of the course

Expected student activities

Oral presentation of paper, singly or in group.
Read background literature to preent the paper in an appropriate context.
Prepare a written abstract of the paper, and a critical, constructive evaluation of the paper.

Assessment methods

In course assessment of the quality of the written abstract and referee's report.
In course assessment of the oral presentation, and participation in discussions.
Written examination in the final week of the course. This is likely to be preparation of an abstract and/or referee's report for a paper that will be provided on the day of the examination. More details will be given during the course.

In the programs

Reference week

8-9  CO121  
      Exercise, TP
      Project, other


  • Autumn semester
  • Winter sessions
  • Spring semester
  • Summer sessions
  • Lecture in French
  • Lecture in English
  • Lecture in German