2023-2024 / PSYC1087-2

Behavioural neuroscience and preclinical research


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in psychology (120 ECTS)4 crédits 


André Ferrara, Etienne Quertemont


André Ferrara

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course begins with a presentation of the concept of animal model (typology, validity) followed by an overview of the main behavioral tests used in fundamental research to study learning and memory (in particular spatial and object recognition memory). Some of them, real Swiss army knives for the study of cognitive processes, will be detailed; the objective being to see how, from observable behavior, scientific inferences are made about unobservable processes. The strengths and weaknesses of such functional animal models will be examined using the ARRIVE guidelines.

Secondly, the possibilities of integrative animal models, including for alcoholism (E. Quertemont) and brain pathology (stroke, Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease - A. Ferrara) will then be presented in a more specific manner; the notions of validity and translational preclinical research will be highlighted. The difficulties of the chosen integrative animal models will also be examined in the context of the reproducibility crisis and in that of ethics in animal research (ARRIVE, PREPARE guidelines and 3R rule).

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

To understand where the interest and contribution of cognitive and behavioural animal models lie (without neglecting their limitations and drawbacks) in psychology, neuroscience and pre-clinical research.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Active participation in the seminar. Analysis of scientific texts.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Recommended or required readings

PDF files associated with the oral course available on eCampus; reference articles provided by the teacher related to the ex cathedra course.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

See eCampus for further information.


a.ferrara@uliege.be (tél.: +32 4 366 22 32).

equertemont@uliege.be (tél : +32 4 366 21 05).

Association of one or more MOOCs