Course syllabus for

Social and Affective Neuroscience, 7.5 credits

Social och affektiv neurovetenskap, 7.5 hp
This course syllabus is valid from autumn 2024.
Course code
Course name
Social and Affective Neuroscience
7.5 credits
Form of Education
Higher Education, study regulation 2007
Main field of study 
Not applicable 
Second cycle, in-depth level of the course cannot be classified 
Grading scale
Fail (U) or pass (G)
Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Decided by
Education committee CNS
Decision date
Course syllabus valid from
Autumn 2024

Specific entry requirements

A minimum of 120 credits in psychology, biology, neuroscience, cognitive science, or computer science. And proficiency in English equivalent to English B/English 6.


Module: Introduction to Social and Affective Neuroscience

Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • define and explain central concepts and theories in social and affective neuroscience
  • describe the current knowledge of the psychological and biological basis of social and affective behaviors.

Module: Method and Theory

Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • explain central methods, such as brain imaging and computational modeling, in social and affective neuroscience.


The course aims to provide an introduction to the psychological and biological basis of social and affective behaviors. During the course the functional organization of brain systems involved in social and affective behaviors, including processes such as social learning, decision-making, communication, and conformity will be explored. The course addresses research questions, study designs, research methods, and analyses in the field and promotes discussion and reading of research articles.

Module: Introduction to Social and Affective Neuroscience (5 ECTS)
This module introduces social and affective neuroscience. The functional organization of the neural systems involved in social and affective processes are surveyed. Theories regarding the brain's role in social learning and social decision-making are covered. Additionally, emphasis is placed on neural mechanisms for communication and social interaction, including how the brain responds to social influencing factors and how conformity arises.

Module: Method and Theory (2.5 ECTS)
This module provides an overview of various methods for measuring brain activity, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG), used to study social and affective processes. The use of computational modeling in the field is highlighted. Furthermore, the use of formal theory to understand social and affective processes is discussed, focusing on learning theory, evolutionary theory, and game theory.

Introduction to Social and Affective Neuroscience, 5.0 hp

Grading scale: GU

Method and Theory, 2.5 hp

Grading scale: GU

Teaching methods

Learning activities take place online and through a digital learning platform. Lectures are pre-recorded or recorded. Supervised seminars are followed by group discussions. Mandatory seminars occur regularly throughout the course to help students achieve the course objectives. The course requires independent reading of specified course literature and active participation in the classes.


The course is assessed through:

Module: Introduction to Social and Affective Neuroscience (5 ECTS)

1) Mandatory and active participation in seminars.
2) Written online exam. Graded as F/P.

Module: Method and Theory (2.5 ECTS)

1) Mandatory and active participation in seminars.
2) Written online exam. Graded as F/P.

For the grade P on the course, both modules need to be passed.

Absence from Mandatory Educational Components
Absence from or non-fulfillment of mandatory course elements. The examiner decides whether, and if so how, absence from compulsory course elements can be made up for. Study results cannot be reported until the student has participated in compulsory course elements or compensated for any absence in accordance with instructions from the examiner. Absence from a compulsory course element could mean that the student can not retake the element until the next time the course is offered. 

Limitation of the Number of Examination Opportunities
A student who is not approved after the regular examination has the right to participate in up to five additional examination opportunities. If the student has completed six failed exams/tests, no further examination opportunity will be provided. Each time the student participates in the same exam is counted as one examination opportunity.

Possibility of Exceptions from the Course Plan's Regulations on Examination
If there are special reasons or a need for adaptation for a student with a disability, the examiner may decide to deviate from the course plan's regulations on examination form, number of examination opportunities, possibility of supplementation, or exemption from mandatory educational components, etc. The content and learning objectives as well as the expected level of skills, knowledge, and abilities must not be changed, removed, or lowered.

Transitional provisions

If the course is discontinued or undergoes significant changes, information about transitional provisions will be specified here.

Other directives

Course evaluation will be conducted according to the guidelines established for education at Karolinska Institutet.

The course is conducted in English.

Literature and other teaching aids

Ward, Jamie The student's guide to social neuroscience

Additional mandatory literature

Additional mandatory literature, i.e., articles and other learning material, will be provided through the digital learning platform.