Neuropsychology: Brain-Behavior Relationships
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be
Required textbook: Kolb, B., & Whishaw, I. Q. (2009). Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology, 6th ed. NY: Worth Publishers.
This course examines brain-behavior relationships with an emphasis on the interaction between neurological functioning and specific learning problems. Brain physiology and theories of brain function will be reviewed.
Guidelines for Studying and Test Taking
Neuropsychology is the scientific study of how the brain and behavior are related to each other. This overall goal of this course is to help you apply the principles of neuropsychology to your intended field of study (school psychology). The first part of the course is devoted to learning the processes of the brain in the context of normal behavior. The second part of the course focuses on how changes to the brain from injury, developmental factors, and disease affect behavior. This course is not designed to teach you how to do neuropsychological testing, although you will become familiar with some of the common behavioral tests used to infer underlying brain function.
The specific learning outcomes for this course are to:
- Know the history and development of neuropsychology
- Understand the basic organization of the nervous system
- Compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of different brain imaging techniques
- Analyze asymmetrical differences in the left and right hemispheres
- Know and integrate functions of the occipital, parietal, temporal and frontal lobes
- Describe the underlying function of the brain in higher cognitive functions including learning, memory, language, emotion, attention, and consciousness
- Evaluate how changes in normal function of the brain due to stroke, injury, and disease can lead to developmental disorders and psychiatric disorders
- Integrate your knowledge of brain plasticity, recovery, and rehabilitation with your knowledge of brain disorders
- Assess the neuropsychological causes of psychiatric disorders
- Develop a greater appreciation of your brain.
- Enjoy learning!
TurningPoint is the EIU campus standard for classroom response systems. I use TurningPoint technology combined with peer instruction to create an active learning environment that promotes participation and engagement in class. The benefits of using TurningPoint are:
- All students can respond to questions posed in class.
- Students give more honest answers of what they are thinking and learning because their responses are anonymous to other students.
- I am more aware of how much students are learning and can immediately adjust my teaching strategy based on student feedback (This is sometimes called "agile teaching").
- It works well with peer instruction, which has also been shown to increase student learning.
A portion of your grade will depend on TurningPoint participation. As part of this class, you will be loaned a TurningPoint keypad (aka "clicker"). If you do not return the keypad at the end of the course, you will be charged $35 to your student account. As long as you participate in at least 70% of the class periods that I record participation, you will receive the full participation points. If you participate less, your participation points will be reduced accordingly. Tracking individual participant responses is only done for the purposes of grading, course development, and research.
|Exams (4 x 50 pts)
|Neuropsych Assessment Presentation
- Weekly exams are comprised of essay questions. You will be provided with a list of 6 essay questions from which you will choose 5 to answer on the exam. You may use your book, notes, and other sources (except each other) on the exam. Your exam answers should be detailed, accurate, and comprehensive. Each question is worth 10 points for a total of 50 points for each exam. Exams are available under the "Assessments" link of the WebCT course.
- After the test has been graded, you can view your results by going to the test and clicking on the action menu icon to the right of the test name. Select "View Submission", then click on the attempt number link to see your graded quiz. Watch a brief video on how to do it.
- You may use your textbook, notes, and any other sources on the tests, but you should not collaborate with your classmates.
- You should choose a topic related to neuropsychology that you can critically evaluate in a 4-5 page paper (not counting title page or references). For example:
- Temporal lobe seizures lead to increased violent behavior.
- Variations in serotonin transporter genes lead to differences in susceptibility to depression.
- Early visual deprivation will lead to permanent changes in depth perception.
- Sex hormones influence brain development and sexual orientation.
- Cognitive enhancing drugs should be used in schools.
- Use APA style formatting
- Title page with name
- Times Roman 12 point font
- One inch margins on all sides. Warning: Microsoft Word's default margin setting for a new document is 1.25 inches. Watch a short video on how to change the margins.
- Be sure to remove any extra spacing between paragraphs. Watch the video.
- Proper format of in-text citations (Author's last name, year of publication)
- Reference page in APA format
- Here is another example, with the last names and initials of the authors, the year of publication, the title of the article, the journal name, volume number, and page numbers. Yerkes, R. M., & Dodson, J. D. (1908). The relation of strength of stimulus to rapidity of habit formation. Journal of Comparative Neurology & Psychology, 18, 459-482.
- Support your ideas using original research articles published in professional journals.
- Search online databases such as Psychinfo, Medline, Infotrac, WilsonSelectPlus, ERIC, available from the library's web site.
- Search Google Scholar with EIU electronic journals (you need to search using a computer connected to the EIU network). View a brief video about using Google Scholar.
- At least 6 of your 8-10 sources should come from scientific journal articles. The more reliable references you have, the more persuasive your paper will be. Review articles, in which the author summarizes research findings of others, and book chapters are ok, but are not as persuasive as original research articles.
- View a tutorial on searching for articles in PsycInfo
- To prevent some of the most common grammar problems in your research paper, I recommend the following Grammar Girl lessons (also available as podcasts):
- View the grading rubric
On a volunteer basis, your paper will be critiqued by another member of the class before the final draft is turned in.
You will submit an electronic copy of the research paper to a plagiarism detection web site (TurnItIn.com) through a link in WebCT. This is primarily to help you learn how to properly cite your sources and to ensure that you do not quote extensively from your sources.
- “Eastern Illinois University is committed to the learning process and academic integrity that is defined in the Student Conduct Code (1.1). To encourage original and authentic written work, any written assignment created in this course may be submitted for review to Turnitin.com and will become a searchable document with the Turnitin-protected and restricted use database."
Neuropsychology Assessment Presentation
Your assignment is to find a common neuropsychology assessment and become familiar with how the test is used, how to conduct the test, and the presumed underlying deficits in the brain that it assesses. Also know the criticisms or shortcomings of the assessment. In class, you will have about 5-10 minutes to introduce the assessment and demonstrate it (by giving the test, or a portion of it to Dr. Stowell.) Then, class members will team up with each other and practice giving the assessment for another 5-10 minutes. If you can't get an actual copy of the assessment, then you can make up your own assessment based on the description of the actual test. You should bring 4 copies of the assessment if possible (one for each pair of students). You will be graded according to the following criteria:
- Presentation style (speaks clearly, uses proper grammar, appropriate nonverbal cues): 10 points
- Properly evaluates the purpose, strengths, and weaknesses of the assessment: 20 points
- Effectively demonstrates the test in a way that other students can easily follow: 20 points
- Cell phones should not be used during class, except with the instructor's permission. Texting or talking on cell phones disrupts the learning environment, especially for the person doing it :)
- Laptops may be used in class only for taking notes.
Cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of academic misconduct will not be tolerated. Academic misconduct will result appropriate disciplinary action according to university guidelines.
Reading Schedule, Important Dates
Please read the chapters in the textbook before class to enhance your understanding
of demonstrations, examples, and group discussions. Please note
this schedule is subject to change.
|| Lecture Topic
||Development of neuropsychology
||Organization of the nervous system
||Imaging the brain's activity
||Cerebral asymmetry, Exam 1
||Frontal lobes, Exam 2
||No class-Memorial Day
||Learning & memory, Research Paper Due
||Attention and consciousness, Exam 3 (Chapters 18, 19)
||Attention and consciousness
||Neuropsych Assessment Presentations, Exam 4
If you have a documented disability and wish to receive academic accommodations,
please contact the coordinator of the Office of Disability Services (581-6583)
as soon as possible.