BSc Psychology

Year of entry: 2020

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Course unit details:
Cases in Clinical Neuropsychology

Unit code PSYC31132
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Division of Psychology and Mental Health
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit builds upon the neuropsychological topics introduced in First and Second Year; students will be expected to be familiar with ideas and concepts as covered in PSYC11212 Brain and Cognition and PSYC21022 Cognitive Neuroscience.



Building on previous knowledge (recommended PSYC21022) the unit aims to:

-Extend students’ knowledge of clinical neuropsychology as a methodology

-Show how findings from patients can contribute to our understanding of perception and cognition, as well as leading to better treatments for patients with such disorders

-Enable students’ discussion and evaluation of contemporary research, in particular by presenting research findings in seminars and through reading groups.



Topics may vary, but will be likely to include:

1.         Introduction to clinical neuropsychology

2.         The man who lost his body

3.         Phantom limbs

4.         The man who fell out of bed

5.         The hand with a mind of its own

6.         Out of body experiences

7.         The split brain

8.         Neglect

9.         The case of the duck with four legs

10.       Permanent present tense

11.       The authors who lost their words


Teaching and learning methods

There will be 12 x 2 hour lectures, 12 x 1 hour seminars (involving discussions, activities and groupwork) and 12 x 1 hour reading groups (looking at relevant papers). E-learning provision: Lecture content, supplementary reading and resources, and a monitored discussion board will be provided via Blackboard. Feedback will be provided on the coursework essay before the exam.


Knowledge and understanding

  •  Demonstrate an understanding of the field of clinical neuropsychology
  • Understand how neuropsychological findings can be complemented by experimental and cognitive neuroscience methods
  • Gain knowledge of several topics where neuropsychology has been used to advance cognitive theories

Intellectual skills

  • Critically evaluate the methods used to investigate patients
  • Critically analyse how neuropsychological data is used to support theoretical models of perception and cognition
  • Appreciate the contribution of cutting edge research in the field of cognitive neuropsychology

Practical skills

  • Evaluate research design and methodology in a research paper
  • Present research findings using powerpoint
  • Discuss empirical findings with others within a small group context

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Independently gather and organise primary research evidence from relevant databases
  • Present understanding of a specific area within a presentation and an essay
  • Develop their skills in: Synthesising information; summarising theories and evidence; critical thinking; evaluating research; working in groups; communicating effectively both orally and in writing; presenting concise and persuasive arguments

Assessment methods

A two hour exam worth 67% and a 1500 coursework essay worth 33%.

Feedback methods


Recommended reading

There will not be a single recommended text book as the core course material will be recent journal articles. Some examples of references covered in the course:


Funk, M et al. (2005). Hand movement observation by individuals born without hands: phantom limb experience constrains visual limb perception. Experimental Brain Research, 164, 341-346.


Ramachandran VS, Hirstein W (1998). The perception of phantom limbs: the D.O. Hebb lecture. Brain, 121: 1603-1630.


Dehaene, S., & Cohen, L. (1997). Cerebral pathways for calculation: Double dissociation between rote verbal and quantitative knowledge of arithmetic. Cortex, 33, 219-250.


Bozeat, S., Ralph, M. A. L., Graham, K. S., Patterson, K., Wilkin, H., Rowland, J., et al. (2003). A duck with four legs: Investigating the structure of conceptual knowledge using picture drawing in semantic dementia. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 20:27-47.


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Practical classes & workshops 12
Seminars 12
Independent study hours
Independent study 152

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Ellen Poliakoff Unit coordinator

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