BCSC 242: Neuropsychology

Cross-listed: PSYC/NSCI 242
Prerequisites: BCSC 110 or BCSC 240 (NSCI 201) or permission of the instructor*
Offered: Fall

While there have been rapid advances in our understanding of the anatomy, physiology and chemistry of the central nervous system, the relationship between brain dysfunction and the resulting cognitive and behavioral consequences have only recently begun to be better understood. Thus, while we may understand fully the pathophysiology of a specific neurological disease, how this translates into specific cognitive and behavioral deficits for the individual continues to dominate the field of clinical neuropsychology.

This course will introduce students to the field of clinical neuropsychology which bridges the domains of neurology, neuroscience and clinical psychology. It begins with a general overview and history of clinical neuropsychology. Then, principles of neurpsychological assessment and the interpretation of cognitive and behavioral findings as they relate directly to brain dysfunction will be discussed. The remainder of the course will be "syndrome" oriented and will focus on specific neurological syndromes including: Neurodegenerative disorders, cerebrovascular disorders, memory disorders, epilepsy, head trauma, toxic disorders, infectious processes, pediatric neuropsychology, psychiatric syndromes, and forensic neuropsychology. In addition to conventional course instruction (e.g., lectures, readings), patient presentations (videotape and in-person interviews) will be used. Students will also have an opportunity to observe specific neuropsychological procedures.

*Students with this background obtained through courses other than those prerequisite listed above may consult the instructor for permission to enroll. This course assumes familiarity with the basic structure and function of the nervous system including such topics as nerve impulse construction, synaptic transmission, and localization of function.