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Unit information: Theoretical and Clinical Neuropsychology. in 2018/19

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Unit name Theoretical and Clinical Neuropsychology.
Unit code PSYCM0067
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Kit Pleydell-Pearce
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit comprises two components described as “Part A - Clinical Neuropsychology in Practice” and “Part B - Theoretical Neuropsychology”.

Part A: Clinical Neuropsychology in Practice

Part A seeks to provide students with a detailed understanding of a diverse range of issues connected to clinical neuropsychology in practice. One component of the teaching provides students with taught content provided by subject matter experts across a range of medically relevant disciplines (e.g. neurosurgery, neurophysiology, dementia, epilepsy, movement disorders, sleep disorders, radiology, MRI). Candidates can discuss and probe the experts’ roles and knowledge and in particular explore how these various related disciplines interface with the role of a clinical neuropsychologist in a day to day medical context.

Attendance of lectures for Part A is compulsory.

Part B: Theoretical Neuropsychology

Part B focuses upon key theoretical issues within Neuropsychology. The Unit involves weekly lectures, and each focuses upon a basic function (e.g. attention, memory, emotion) while also focusing upon a major neuropsychological syndrome that is related to that function (e.g. neglect, 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.

The aim of the unit is to provide an overview of theories concerned with the cerebral bases of some key cognitive, affective and psychomotor processes. This will provide students with an understanding of issues that are at the frontiers of contemporary research and theory. These questions are not simply issues associated with functional neuroanatomy. For example, there may be agreement that a particular brain region or system is associated with a particular function (e.g. vision). However, the functions and algorithms underlying processing of visual information remain controversial. It is the attempt to specify these processes, within a hypothesis-testing scientific framework, that is the focus of this unit.

Intended learning outcomes

Part A:

The principal learning outcome is to develop competence in clinical practice and how that practice relates to interactions with a range of allied medical specialities.

Part B:

At the end of the unit, candidates will have an understanding of a range of contemporary theories concerning cerebral bases of cognitive, affective and psychomotor function. Candidates 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

Part A:

A series of lecturesdelivered in a week block by clinical subject matter experts.

Part B:

Weekly lectures.

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




Part A: Clinical Neuropsychology in Practice

  • Andrewes, D. (2016) Neuropsychology: from theory to practice (2nd ed). Psychology Press. Arts and Social Sciences Library, oversize QP360 AND.
  • Bush, S. (2007) Ethical Decision Making in Clinical Neuropsychology. Oxford University Press. Arts and Social Sciences (RC386.6N48 BUS)
  • Gurd, J., Kischka, U. & Marshall, J. (2010) The Handbook of Clinical Neuropsychology (2nd ed). Oxford University Press. Arts and Social Sciences (RC386.6N48 HAN) ONLINE ACCESS
  • Heilman, K. M. & Valenstein, E. (2012) Clinical Neuropsychology (5th ed). Oxford University Press. Arts and Social Sciences (RC341 CLI)
  • Morgan, J. & Ricker, J. (2008) Textbook of clinical neuropsychology. Taylor and Francis. Arts and Social Sciences Library, oversize RC341 TEX.
  • Stucky, K. & Bush, S. (2017) The neuropsychology fact-finding casebook: a training resource. Oxford University Press. Arts and SS Lib, RC386.6N48.
  • Resources in Evidence Based-Healthcare. Available online at:
  • Site accompanying Sackett, D.L., Straus, S.E., Richardson, W.C., Rosenberg, W., & Haynes, R.M. (2000).Evidence-based medicine: How to practice and teach EBM. (link last accessed 15/05/2018)
  • Ebmmental health journal: (link last accessed 15/05/2018)
  • Cochrane reviews: (link last accessed 15/05/2018)
  • The TRIP Database direct, hyperlinked access to the largest collection of 'evidence-based material on the web’ as well as articles from premier on-line journals such as the BMJ, JAMA, NEJM etc (link last accessed 15/05/2018)
  • EB Users' Guides published as a series in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). on behalf of the Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group. (link last accessed 15/05/2018)

Part B: Theoretical Neuropsychology

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