BSc Psychology / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Cases in Clinical Neuropsychology

Course unit fact file
Unit code PSYC31161
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
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 Behaviour 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 through creating a poster and through reading groups.



Topics may vary, but will be likely to include: What do phantom limbs tell us about representation of the body? Can alien hand syndrome tell us about free will?

Teaching and learning methods

This unit will be delivered via lectures and seminars.

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 an argument or debate using a poster; 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 poster and essays; 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

Reading group paper questions worth 5%, coursework poster worth 35%, and exam worth 60%

Feedback methods

Reading group paper questions - Individual feedback not provided, but cohort level feedback (e.g. common/interesting questions) covered in weekly reading group session.

Coursework poster - Students will receive a grade and written feedback.

Exam - Students will receive a grade and can request a summary of their feedback after the exam board.

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:

Assal, F., Schwartz, S., & Vuilleumier, P. (2007). Moving with or without will: functional neural correlates of alien hand syndrome. Annals of Neurology, 62:301-306.

Bisiacha, E., Luzzattia, C. (1978) Unilateral Neglect of Representational Space. Cortex, 14:129–133.

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.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 160

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Ellen Poliakoff Unit coordinator

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