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Department of Psychology Professorship for Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience

Topics for Bachelor's Theses

Overview of the bachelor thesis topics of this professorship

Click on the individual topics to display detailed information.

Please send an email to Prof. Dr. Paul Sauseng in case you are interested in writing your bachelor thesis at the Chair of Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience.

  • Themenvergabe durch OLAT
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    Betreuungsperson der Bachelorarbeit: Prof. Dr. P. Sauseng

 


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  • The human brain in high altitude

    Beschreibung: The human body is not designed to function optimally in high altitude. Low air pressure and lack of oxygen have a negative impact particularly on brain functions. This literature review shall investigate how hypoxia changes brain processes that are relevant for cognition and behaviour, and how the human body and the nervous system adapt to high altitude.
    Kontakt: Prof. Paul Sauseng, E-Mail

    [ Einzelthema ]
    Status: offen (erfasst / geändert: 01.11.2023)
  • High-up Cognition: How does high altitude influence human cognition?

    Beschreibung: A train ride plus a journey on a cable car will get you from Zurich up the Jungfrau-Joch within a few hours. Without any acclimatization you will, however, lack oxygen that is needed by the brain to optimally function. In this literature review you will try to find out how hypoxia (lack of oxygen) influences higher cognitive processes, particularly executive functions in the short-term as well as in the long-term.
    Kontakt: Prof. Paul Sauseng, E-Mail

    [ Einzelthema ]
    Status: offen (erfasst / geändert: 01.11.2023)
  • Functions of the prefrontal cortex in social cognition and working memory processes

    Beschreibung: The aim of this literature review is to review different functions of the Dorsomedial and left/right Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DMPFC versus left/right DLPFC), especially - but not limited to - working memory (visual, verbal, social), social cognition and mentalizing tasks. Literature from behavioral results and all kinds of neurophysiological methods should be included (EEG, MRI, TMS,?). The aim is to find out if one of the brain areas has unique functions or if both brain areas operate in the same way and take over similar functions in working memory, social cognition and mentalizing tasks.
    Kontakt: Dr. Elisabeth Friedrich-Higgs, E-Mail

    [ Einzelthema ]
    Status: offen (erfasst / geändert: 01.11.2023)
  • Interpersonal predictive coding in different psychiatric conditions

    Beschreibung: The aim of this literature review is to get an overview over different psychiatric conditions (e.g., schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, ADHS, ?) in respect to (interpersonal) predictive coding. Interpersonal predictive coding deals with the ability to predict other people?s actions from nonverbal cues and to optimize the response behavior accordingly, which is critical in social interactions. According to predictive coding idea, the brain generates hypotheses (e.g., what action one person will perform based on a communicative gesture of another person) and compares these priors to sensory input, which is especially important in noisy environments.
    Schizophrenia and Autism Spectrum Disorder for example were suggested to be different poles on a predictive coding continuum: Individuals with schizophrenia could rely more on predictions, whereas individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder could rely more on sensory input.
    The aim is to review if the predictive coding really can explain the symptoms of Schizophrenia, Autism and how ADHS could fit into this framework. Moreover, what are the factors contributing to putting more weight on predictions than on sensory information or the other way around. How was this investigated so far, where are the gaps?

    Kontakt: Dr. Elisabeth Friedrich-Higgs, E-Mail

    [ Einzelthema ]
    Status: offen (erfasst / geändert: 01.11.2023)
  • Is visual working memory activity-dependent or activity-silent? And how can neural oscillations help us to distinguish between these two concepts?

    Beschreibung: Maintaining a mental representation of a previously presented visual stimulus in working memory (WM) has traditionally been believed to require sustained neural activity. Recent findings, however, suggest that WM representations might also exist in the absence of sustained activity (i.e., hidden in activity-silent states characterized by dynamic functional connections between the respective neural populations).
    The aim of this Bachelor?s thesis will be to compare the evidence for activity-dependent versus activity-silent visual WM with a particular focus on how neural oscillations can help to distinguish between these two concepts and thereby improve our understanding of WM processes more generally.

    Kontakt: Dr. Charline Peylo, E-Mail

    [ Einzelthema ]
    Status: offen (erfasst / geändert: 01.11.2023)
  • Transcranial alternating current stimulation: Which factors influence its efficacy as a tool to study the causal role of neural oscillations in healthy cognition?

    Beschreibung: Neural oscillations (i.e., rhythmic fluctuations of extracellular field potentials resulting from post-synaptic activity) are intimately linked to cognitive processes like perception, attention and memory. Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) is a popular tool for probing the causality of potential oscillation-cognition links by manipulating the oscillation under investigation and observing its effects on cognition. The efficacy of tACS stimulation, however, seems to vary considerably across studies.
    The aim of this Bachelor?s thesis will be to identify potential driving factors of this inconsistency and to provide recommendations for future tACS research.

    Kontakt: Dr. Charline Peylo, E-Mail

    [ Einzelthema ]
    Status: offen (erfasst / geändert: 01.11.2023)
  • Time flies in the brain: characteristics and mechanisms of high-frequency time perception

    Beschreibung: ur subjective perception of time often differs from its objective definition in physics. Time, as we perceive it, is characterized by a high level of granularity. For instance, people struggle to determine the temporal sequence of two successive visual stimuli when the time gap between them is reduced to 20-60 milliseconds. This phenomenon is known as the temporal order threshold, and its threshold varies across sensory modalities and specific tasks. What underlies the brain's limited temporal resolution? Is there a neural mechanism that defines the temporal framework in the brain, and is it specific to certain sensory modalities or a universal center governing all cognitive processes? This thesis offers a comprehensive exploration of time perception within the domain of sub-100 milliseconds.
    Kontakt: Yifan Zeng, E-Mail

    [ Einzelthema ]
    Status: offen (erfasst / geändert: 01.11.2023)
  • Rhythm in the brain: alpha waves during working memory processing

    Beschreibung: mergence of alpha oscillations (8-12 Hz) is typically observed in the electroencephalogram (EEG) during eye-closed resting states. It is thus widely accepted that alpha oscillations are indicative of cortical idleness. However, alpha waves may play a relatively active role under certain circumstances, e.g., they help protect the content of working memory from the interference of irrelevant information. In this thesis, you will have the opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of the emergence, characteristics, and functional significance of alpha waves during working memory.
    Kontakt: Yifan Zeng, E-Mail

    [ Einzelthema ]
    Status: offen (erfasst / geändert: 01.11.2023)
  • Investigating Causal Evidence for Mechanisms in Prospective Action Planning: Using transcranial magnetic stimulation to unveil the neurophysiology of action planning.

    Beschreibung: he process of planning prospective actions has been shown to manifest through various neural signatures in the motor cortex. To gain deeper insights into the underlying brain mechanisms, physiological signatures, and specific brain regions involved in the planning of future actions in working memory paradigms, this thesis looks into the use of non-invasive techniques like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate prospective action planning. The aim of this thesis is to answer the question: "How does brain stimulation, during the formation of action plans, impact working memory?"

    To achieve this goal, the thesis will:

    (1) Summarize current theoretical accounts: Provide an in-depth overview of the existing theoretical models that explain the mechanisms behind prospective action planning in working memory, exploring both the neural and behavioural facets of these processes.

    (2) Investigate the effects of TMS: Review and analyse the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and potentially other non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques applied to different stimulation targets concerning action plan formation.

    (3) Discuss the implications: discuss the implications and conclusions that can be drawn when using TMS to investigate prospective action planning.
    Kontakt: Lari, E-Mail

    [ Einzelthema ]
    Status: offen (erfasst / geändert: 01.11.2023)
  • Neural and behavioural signatures of safeguarding memory representations from external interference

    Beschreibung: In a chaotic world the cognitive system is constantly challenged to safeguard memorized information from external interference. One mechanism supporting memory retention when interfered is the temporal predictivity of the interfering events. The proposed bachelor thesis should answer the question: How does working memory safeguard information from interfering events and which role plays temporal predictivity?

    The thesis should:

    (1) Summarize current theoretical accounts: Review current theoretical accounts of safeguarding mechanisms in working memory on a neural and behavioural level.

    (2) Outline predictions and testing approaches: The thesis will outline the predictions derived from these theories and propose various methodologies to empirically test these theories.

    (3) Investigate the impact of temporal predictability: Discuss the effects of temporal predictability on safeguarding memory.
    Kontakt: Larissa Behnke, E-Mail

    [ Einzelthema ]
    Status: offen (erfasst / geändert: 01.11.2023)

 


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