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Unit information: Functional Neuroanatomy, Neuroscience Methods and Issues in Neuropsychology in 2020/21

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Unit name Functional Neuroanatomy, Neuroscience Methods and Issues in Neuropsychology
Unit code PSYCM0034
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Kit Pleydell-Pearce
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit covers two core areas.

Part A: Issues in Neuropsychology delivers an understanding of the psychological and neuropsychological impact of living with a neurological disease or disability. The unit will therefore help students understand the common themes of grief, adjustment, depression, anxiety, disability and coping as they pertain to specific neurological diseases and acquired brain injury. Students will also be helped to understand rehabilitation and psychological treatment options across different conditions and at different stages of chronic diseases. The unit also examines a range of conceptual problems within contemporary clinical neuropsychology and encourages students to appreciate and explore the limitations of current knowledge.

Part B: Functional Neuroanatomy and Neuroscience Methods reviews the functional neuroanatomy of the human brain, and thus provides an absolute core set of knowledge for Neuropsychology. This learning is coupled with a comprehensive and critical review of the major techniques and methods employed to study the human brain.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, a student will be able to:

Part A

  1. develop an understanding of a range of issues encountered in clinical practice, including impact of pain, sleep quality, adjustment to diagnosis, depression and psychosis.
  2. develop an understanding of the limits of current knowledge and the impact this has upon clinical reasoning and clinical practice.
  3. demonstrate awareness of critical issues connected to clinical neuropsychology practice and the evidence base which informs our understanding of these issues.
  4. demonstrate an ability to evaluate particular issues in the wider context with appropriate argument and assessment of the significance of each issue. For example, in the context of tests of symptom validity, functional neurological disorders or medicolegal frameworks.
  5. demonstrate an ability to synthesise information from various sources in the generation of a holistic evidence-based understanding of particular issues. For example, to demonstrate a clear understanding of the complexities associated with terms such as executive function.
  6. demonstrate an understanding of other factors which may impact upon a neuropsychological presentation. For example, the impact of pain or sleep quality on cognition and mood and the implications of this for patient assessment and rehabilitation.

Part B:

  1. develop an understanding of the principles of human brain function.
  2. demonstrate knowledge of a range of techniques used to investigate the human brain.
  3. develop a clear understanding of the principles underlying techniques employed to study the human brain and a capacity to evaluate the quality and usefulness of each technique.
  4. demonstrate awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of different neuroscientific techniques and appraise and judge these in the context of formal assessments.
  5. demonstrate a capacity to critically appreciate the kinds of information delivered by different neuroscientific techniques. To evaluate and appraise the ways in which convergence of different techniques provides a more holistic level of understanding at differing spatial and temporal scales.
  6. synthesise information based on brain imaging with our understanding of the consequences of brain injury.
  7. appreciate the limits of current understanding of the human brain how this relates to current limits in spatial and temporal resolution. To produce critical evaluations based upon awareness of these limits.

Teaching details

Part A:

A week block of lectures provided by clinical subject matter experts total of 20 hours.

Part B: Weekly lectures (online) total of 20 hours This meets strict accreditation requirements for professional programmes conferring the highest UK award for professional training in clinical neuropsychology. This unit is also employed on non-accredited programmes but these students may be able to seek retrospective accreditation should they complete a UK DClinPsych.

Assessment Details

"Part A: Short turnaround (24 hour) alternative assessment. Answer one long question from four options (1500 word limit, excluding inline references. Answer 8 short questions (max 500 word limit, excluding inline references) from ten options. Long answer delivers 36% of mark, short answers deliver 64% of mark (8% per question). This mark reflects 20 credits (66%) of total unit mark.

Part B: Short turnaround (24 hour) alternative assessment. Answer two questions from six options. Each answer limited to 1500 words (excluding inline references). Each question delivers 50% and total mark reflects 10 credits (34%) of total unit mark."

Reading and References




Part A: Issues in Neuropsychology

  • Archiniegas, D., Anderson, A. & Filley, C. (2013) Behavioural Neurology and Neuropsychiatry. Cambridge University Press. ONLINE ACCESS
  • David, A., Lishman, W. A. et al. (2009) Lishman’s Organic Psychiatry: a textbook of neuropsychiatry (4th ed). Wiley-Blackwell. ONLINE ACCESS
  • Donders, J. & Hunter, S. (2010) Principles and Practice of Lifespan Developmental Neuropsychology. Cambridge University Press. ONLINE ACCESS. See chapters on neurodevelopmental disorders (ADHD, ASD, learning disorders and intellectual disabilities, as well as sensory impairments).
  • Hallett, M., Stone, J. & Carson, A. (2016) Functional Neurological Disorders. Academic Press. ONLINE ACCESS. The most up-to-date and comprehensive text on functional disorders.
  • Noggle, C. A. & Dean, R. S. (Eds) (2013) The Neuropsychology of Psychopathology. Springer. Arts and Social Sciences (RC467NEU)
  • Richards, D., Clark, T. & Clarke, C. (Eds.) (2007). The Human Brain and its Disorders. OUP. Oxford.
  • Mesulam, M. (2000). Principles of Behavioural and Cognitive Neurology (2nd edition). Oxford University Press.

Part B: Functional Neuroanatomy and Neuroscience Methods

  • Gazzaniga, M. S., Ivry,R. B & Mangun, G. R. (2014). Cognitive neuroscience: the biology of the mind (3rded.). London: Norton.
  • Kolb, B., & Wishaw, I.Q. (2009). Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology. Worth Publishers, New York (6th Edition)

This unit uses references to primary literature and thus core reading cannot be easily specified. The two references above provide quite detailed coverage of the topics covered in this unit. However, these books do not substitute for primary references.