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PS30085: Cognitive neuropsychology

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2012/3
Follow this link for further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Psychology
Follow this link for further information on credits Credits: 6
Follow this link for further information on unit levels Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Follow this link for further information on period slots Period: Semester 2
Follow this link for further information on unit assessment Assessment: ES 80%, OR 20%
Follow this link for further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Follow this link for further information on unit rules Requisites: Before taking this unit you must take PS10086 and take PS20106 and take PS20108
Follow this link for further information on unit content Description: Aims:
This unit will examine how models of normal brain function can be informed through an analysis of the different ways in which those functions are impaired following brain injury. The pattern of intact and impaired processes suggest hypotheses concerning the existence of separate cognitive subsystems or modules responsible for different cognitive operations. Cognitive neuropsychology forms one branch of the modern field of cognitive neuroscience which aims to relate brain and cognition in a mechanistic way. In addition to brain injured patients, this course will also look at how the theoretical methods employed in cognitive neuropsychology have also helped to provide a framework for understanding certain psychological disorders, such as schizophrenia.
Aim 1. To provide students with a solid grounding in the methods used by neuropsychologists to assess patients and to use these findings to inform normal brain function.
Aim 2. To provide students with the opportunity to develop and explore skills and confidence in using relevant bibliographic databases and other IT resources (e.g. MEDLINE, PSYCHINFO, etc.) for the access and retrieval of psychological and medical literature.
Aim 3. To provide students with the opportunity to develop critical and analytical skills in dealing with their own and others' theoretical ideas.

Learning Outcomes:
On completion of the unit the students will be able to:
(i) Critically evaluate how cognitive neuropsychology informs normal brain function.
(ii) Develop a critical analysis of theoretical positions in neuropsychology
(iii) Critically understand the role of research methods in neuropsychology
(iiii) will have developed a). Critical thinking skills; and b). Skills in aspects of oral communication, presentation, debating, and negotiation.

Understands the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline, its historical origins, development and limitations. (T/F) Can demonstrate systematic knowledge and critical understanding of a range of influences on psychological functioning, how they are conceptualised across the core areas, and how they interrelate. The core knowledge domains within psychology include (i) research methods, (ii) biological psychology, (iii) cognitive psychology, (iv) individual differences, (v) developmental psychology and (vi) social psychology. In addition to these core areas it is expected that students will gain knowledge of conceptual and historical perspectives in psychology. (T/F) Has detailed knowledge of several specialised areas and/or applications, some of which are at the cutting edge of research in the discipline. (T/F A) Can reason scientifically, understand the role of evidence and make critical judgements about arguments in psychology. (T/F A) Can adopt multiple perspectives and systematically analyse the relationships between them. (T/F A) To reflect upon new technology and innovation within psychology and to make decisions regarding legitimacy, reliability and effectiveness. (T/F) To effectively and efficiently apply principles of psychological analysis within a variety of environments. (T/F) To develop sensitivity to the values and interests of others. (T/F) Can communicate ideas and research findings both effectively and fluently by written, oral and visual means. (T/F A) Is computer literate and is confident in using word processing, database and statistical software. (T/F) Can solve problems by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions and evaluating outcomes. (T/F) Can undertake self-directed study and project management in order to meet desired objectives. (T/F) Is able to take charge of their own learning, and can reflect and evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses for the purposes of future learning. (T/F)

The unit is organised in 2 parts. The first part of the course comprises 6 two-hour lecture-seminars exploring key questions in human cognitive neurropsychology. These seminars will provide students with a sound knowledge of the field. Following an introduction to the methods used in this field, students will explore well-established deficits that have been reported in the areas of object recognition, memory, language and attention and the implications these impairments have for our understanding of normal processing. They will also learn how cognitive neuropsychological approaches can provide a theoretical framework for understanding more complex disorders such as schizophrenia. In the second part of the course, students will be asked to present neuropsychological case studies and to explain how the case has informed an aspect of normal brain function. They will subsequently be asked to write up their presentations in essay format which, together with their presentation, will form the basis of their marks. Below is a brief course outline;
Week 1. Introduction to cognitive neuropsychology: the relevance of associations and dissociations, the role of case studies, issues relating to modularity of the mind
Week 2. Disorders of perception: the agnosias
Week 3. Disorders of attention and awareness
Week 4. Disorders of language: aphasias, dyslexia, agraphia
Week 5. Disorders of memory: the amnesias
Week 6. Disorders of thought: cognitive neuropsychology of schizophrenia
Weeks 7-12 Students will present neuropsychological case studies.
Follow this link for further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PS30085 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Psychology
  • UHPS-AKB03 : BSc (hons) Psychology (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2012/13 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2013/14 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2012/13.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.