Translational Neuromodeling


This course provides a systematic introduction to Translational Neuromodeling (the development of mathematical models for diagnostics of brain diseases) and their application to concrete clinical questions (Computational Psychiatry/Psychosomatics). It focuses on a generative modeling strategy and discusses (hierarchical) Bayesian models of neuroimaging data and behaviour in detail.

Lectures and Exercises

Lectures take place on Tuesdays 9:15am to 12:00pm in HG F26.3 (ETH main building). Exercises take place on Fridays 2:15pm to 4:00pm in ETZ E6. Lecture slides and exercise sheets will be published here. To download the slides, please use the password distributed during the first lecture.

Date Lecture Date Exercise
02/19 Introduction to Translational Neuromodeling & Computational Psychiatry (slides) 02/22 No exercise
02/26 Psychiatric nosology and pathophysiology (slides) 03/01 Basics of statistical modeling (slides)
03/05 Generative models and principles of Bayesian inference (slides) 03/08 No exercise
03/12 Variational Bayes (VB) (slides) 03/15 Exercise 1: Bayesian inference
03/19 Bayesian model selection (slides) 03/22 Exercise 2: Variational Bayes
03/26 Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) (slides)   03/29 Exercise 3: BMS (DCMs)
04/02 A Bayesian framework for understanding psychiatric and psychosomatic diseases (slides) 04/05 Exercise 4: Monte Carlo (useful functions
04/09 Generative models of behavioural data: HGF and Predictive Coding (slides) 04/12 Exercise 5: HGF (for this week's exercise you will need TAPAS)
04/16 Generative models of fMRI data: DCM (slides) 04/19 No exercise (Easter week)
04/23 No lectures (Easter week) 04/26 No exercise (Easter week)
04/30 Generative models of EEG data: DCM (slides) 05/03 Exercise 6: DCM for fMRI
05/07 Computational concepts of schizophrenia, autism, and depression (slides) 05/10 Exercise 7: DCM for EEG (code) Note: For this exercise, you need SPM
05/14 Clinical neuromodeling: Model-based predictions about individual patients (slides) 05/17 Project work (No presence required)
05/21 Project work (No presence required) 05/24 Project work (No presence required)
05/28 Project work (No presence required) 05/31 Project presentations (2pm - 6pm))


General Information

For the project you may work in groups of up to 3 students. Please sign-up your group until 21 May 2019 by sending an email to the TAs containing the names of all group members and a tentative project title (if available). If you do not sign-up until May 21st, we will assume you are working on your project alone. Each group is expected to prepare a presentation of its project and hand in a report one week after the presentation.

Presentations take place on 31 May 2019 between 2pm and 6pm. Each group will be assigned a slot of 15-20 min (10 min presentation followed by 5-10 min discussion). 3-4 slots will be combined into one session and you will only be required to attend your own session (i.e. you do not have to stay for the entire 4 hours). The schedule for the presentations will be published on this website after May 21st.

For the report, you will be required to also hand in the code and data that was used to obtain the results. Note: The code and data are to be submitted by 30 May 2019 (the day before the presentation). You are encouraged to do this via git (e.g. GitHub). Please also indicate the contributions of each group member. It is recommended to structure your report like a research paper. For more information, please refer to the course catalogue.

For questions concerning your project, we offer consulting hours on Tuesdays from 9am-12pm and Fridays from 2pm-4pm at the TNU. You may, of course, also contact a particular TA directly and make individual appointments (for HGF related questions, please contact Matthias, instead of Lilian). The TNU is located here.

Presentation Schedule

The tentative presentation schedule can be downloaded here. Note that due to a scheduling conflict, the first session starts a bit earlier than planned. Please attend the session your group has been scheduled in. Do not forget to bring a computer to present on. If you are not listed in this schedule, please contact us.

Additional Information

If you have questions concerning the lecture or exercise, you can contact the TAs via email: tnu-teaching(at)

For further information, please consult the course catalogue.