Neuropsychology: Brain-Behavior Relationships
Psy 5550
Summer 2012

Instructor: Jeffrey R. Stowell
Office Room:  1055 Physical Sciences
Office Phone: 581-2279 (Office)
Home Phone: 217-348-6286 (Home) or 217-512-0521 (Cell)
Office Hours: Mondays 11-1 pm
Course web site (WebCT):
Textbook Web Resources:

Teaching Philosophy

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled" --Plutarch

Course Materials

Required textbook: Kolb, B., & Whishaw, I. Q. (2009). Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology, 6th ed. NY: Worth Publishers.

Catalog Description

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

Course Objectives

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:


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:

  1. All students can respond to questions posed in class.
  2. Students give more honest answers of what they are thinking and learning because their responses are anonymous to other students.
  3. 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").
  4. 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.

Requirements and Grading

Assignment Points
Exams (4 x 50 pts) 200
Research Paper 100
Neuropsych Assessment Presentation 50
TurningPoint Participation 25
Total 375


Research Paper

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 ( 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.

How to submit your paper and how to see the results after it has been graded.

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:

Technology Policy

Academic Misconduct

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. 

Date Lecture Topic Chapter
May 14-17 Development of neuropsychology 1
  Organization of the nervous system 3
  Imaging the brain's activity 6
  Cerebral asymmetry, Exam 1 11
May 21-24 Occipital lobes 13
  Temporal lobes 15
  Frontal lobes, Exam 2 16
May 28 No class-Memorial Day  
May 29-31 Learning & memory, Research Paper Due 18
  Language 19
  Attention and consciousness, Exam 3 (Chapters 18, 19) 22
June 4-6 Attention and consciousness 22
  Brain development 23
  Developmental disorders 24
June 7 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.