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Unit information: Theoretical Neuropsychology in 2016/17

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Theoretical Neuropsychology
Unit code PSYCM0018
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Kit Pleydell-Pearce
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Psychological Science
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences


This Unit focuses upon key theoretical issues within Neuropsychology. The Unit involves 10 seminars, and each focuses upon a basic cognitive-affective function (e.g. attention, memory, emotion) while also focusing upon a major neuropsychological syndrome that is related to that function (e.g. neglect, amnesia and emotional disorders). This means that students will learn both about theories of brain function, and about particular syndromes that might be typically observed following various kinds of brain damage or dysfunction. The Unit will involve coverage of both cortical and subcortical function and will emphasise system-wide contributions to integrated cognition and behaviour.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will have an understanding of a range of contemporary theories concerning cerebral bases of cognitive, affective and psychomotor function. Students will also realise that making inferences about underlying function can be problematic, and will appreciate the need for a critical approach to interpretation of empirical data.

Teaching details

Teaching will involve seminars that will be led by research-active members of the School of Experimental Psychology. In addition to lecturer-led tuition, students are expected to take turns in providing weekly summaries of relevant background reading, providing a starting point for structured discussion.

Assessment Details

2000 words coursework essay which requires students to provide evidence of critical understanding of a topic in theoretical neuropsychology (100% of total unit mark).

Reading and References

  • Kolb, B. and Wishaw, I.Q. (2009). Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology. Worth Publishers, New York (6th Edition).
  • Feinberg, T. E. & Farah, M. J., editors (2003). Behavioural Neurology and Neuropsychology. New York: McGraw-Hill (Second Edition).

Note: By this stage of the course (Term 2) students will be expected to focus upon key research reports and reviews provided within peer-reviewed journals.