Amsterdam, Netherlands

Interpersonal Neuroscience: Connecting People Via Their Bodies and Brains

online course
when 5 July 2021 - 16 July 2021
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 700

How can friends understand each other without words? Are lovers’ brains literally ‘on the same wavelength’? Why does communication sometimes fail despite people’s best intentions?
These and other fascinating questions are central to the study of interpersonal neuroscience.

Interpersonal neuroscientists use innovative techniques such as hyperscanning and mobile physiological measurements in their work. These techniques allow them to analyse people’s brain and body activity while engaging in shared activities.
In this course, we will bring you up to date on the latest developments in the intriguing field of interpersonal neuroscience. You will also be taught basic research skills so that you can both analyse and conduct your own interpersonal neuroscience studies. We will provide you with essential tools for understanding the applications of interpersonal neuroscience in real-world domains such as psychotherapy, romantic relationships, teaching, and team work.

Is cognitive activity confined to single brains, or is it distributed across brains and bodies? Do behavioral problems stem more so from the difficulties one brain has in coupling with other brains than they do from a single brain’s malfunctioning?
These questions demonstrate the new, interpersonal approach to thinking about the brain which could lead to novel ways of intervening and improving human functioning.

Furthermore, interpersonal neuroscience could pave the way for a new generation of communication technologies geared toward optimizing brain-to-brain-coupling. We will explore these possibilities in a series of engaging lectures, discussions, and workshops throughout the course."

Course leader

Prof. Dr. Sander L. Koole, Dr. Suzanne Dikker

Target group

This course is primarily intended for students, Ph.D. candidates and professionals in (social) psychology, (social-cognitive and cognitive) neuroscience, and linguistics. It can be a great course especially for Advanced Bachelor (Honors) students who are interested in writing their thesis on interpersonal neuroscience.

We also invite students from other backgrounds who are curious about the topic to apply.

The course is intensive and requires active participation and a strong desire to learn.

The field of interpersonal neuroscience is highly inter-disciplinary, so we welcome the input of participants irrespective of academic backgrounds.

If you have doubts about your eligibility for the course, please let us know. Our courses are multi-disciplinary and therefore are open to students and professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds.

Course aim

This summer course aims to provide students with:

a) Knowledge of the latest developments in interpersonal neuroscience.
b) Basic research skills which they can use to conduct and analyse interpersonal neuroscience studies.
c) Tools for understanding the real-world applications of interpersonal neuroscience.
These general aims are translated into the following specific learning objectives:

Knowledge Objectives

1) To grasp the main theoretical perspectives of interpersonal neuroscience. This includes perspectives such as dynamical systems theory, embodied and situated cognition, and coregulation theory.
2) To be up to date regarding the latest key research findings in interpersonal neuroscience. This includes brain-to-brain coupling, interpersonal physiological, interpersonal movement dynamics, and linguistic alignment.
3) To integrate insights from these theoretical perspectives and research findings.

Research Skills Objectives

1) To understand the basics of EEG hyperscanning, interpersonal cardio-assessment, and interpersonal movement dynamics.
2) To have hands-on experience using these interpersonal neuroscience techniques.
3) To engage in the statistical analysis of the data that is generated by interpersonal neuroscience paradigms.

Application Objectives

1) To learn about applications of interpersonal neuroscience in psychotherapy and art.
2) To design a biofeedback application of interpersonal neuroscience.
3) To develop new applications of interpersonal neuroscience.

Credits info

3 EC
Contact hours: 45
Do you want to make the most out of your summer? You can combine this course with a course in session 2 to create a 4-week summer school.

Fee info

EUR 700: The tuition fee of a two-week course depends on your situation and ranges from €700-950. This tuition fee includes:

- Two week course;
- Exclusive content for a limited number of students;
- Transcript of records with a maximum of 3 ECTS (European study credits);
- Certificate of attendance after completing the course;
- Individual/group guidance from professor;
- Interactive classes;
- Full support from the summer school team;
- Exciting social activities online

Register for this course
on course website