PSYC6012 Human Neuropsychology and Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Masters Course Unit

PSYC6012 Human Neuropsychology and Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Level: 6th year

Duration: 1 trimester

Unit co-ordinator: Dr Damith Woods

Prerequisites: Enrolment in MPsych(Clin)

Credit points: 3 (out of total of 48 points)

Mode(s) of delivery: On-campus

Core/elective: Core


Introduction

This unit is a core subject unit in the 6th year of the Master of Psychology (Clinical) program.  The main objective of PSYC6012 is to assist students to consider the neuropsychological approaches to examining and interpreting functional problems associated with changes in neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and neuropharmacology and the clinical syndromes associated with brain injury, neurological illness, substance use, language impairment, and neurodegenerative disease.

Unit description

Contemporary neuropsychological theories, methodologies and assessment tools will be considered. The neuropsychological consequences of psychopathology will be examined in relation to schizophrenia, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, substance abuse, traumatic brain injury, language impairment, and neurodegenerative disease. Neuropsychological assessment and its use with children and adults in clinical settings will be considered, along with the use of neuropsychological assessment for hypothesis testing. Students will learn to administer a standardised psychological test of memory (Wechsler Memory Scale-IV, 2009) and will develop an understanding of neuropsychological deficits and brain injury.

Learning and teaching process

On completion of the unit students will be able to:
a)    demonstrate understanding of neuroanatomy and neuropharmacology and the clinical syndromes associated with brain injury, neurological illness, substance abuse, dyslexia, and neurodegenerative disease;

b)   demonstrate understanding of neuropsychological theories, methodologies and assessment tools explain and justify the selection of an assessment instrument appropriate to the individual, the setting, and the purpose of the assessment with reference to empirical findings;

c)    demonstrate understanding of neuropsychological consequences of psychopathology in relation to schizophrenia,  major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, substance abuse, dyslexia, and neurodegenerative disease;

d)   explain and justify the choice of neuropsychological assessment tools appropriate to the individual, the setting, and the purpose of the assessment;

e)   demonstrate familiarity with major neuropsychological assessment tools;

f)     demonstrate understanding of neuropsychological rehabilitation and management of neuropsychological deficits and brain injury;

g)    demonstrate skills in information literacy and academic writing;

h)   demonstrate skills in communication suitable for professional development;

i)   demonstrate skills in working with a team.

Recommended Textbook

Kolb, B. & Whishaw, I. Q. (2008). Fundamentals of human neuropsychology (6th ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

Recommended Readings

  • Baron, I. S. (2004). Neuropsychological evaluation of the child. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Sohlberg, M. M. & Mateer, C. A. (2001). Cognitive rehabilitation: an integrative neuropsychological approach. New York, NY: Guilford Publication.
  • Crowe, S. (2010). Evidence of absence: A guide to cognitive assessment in Australia. Bowen Hills, QLD: Australian Academic Press.
  • Purves, D. (2008). Neuroscience (4th ed.). MA, USA: Sunderland Publishers.
  • Lezak, M.D., Howieson, D., & Loring, D. (2004). Neuropsychological assessment (4th ed.). Oxford: OUP.
  • Strauss, E., Sherman, E., & Spreen, O. (2006). A compendium of neuropsychological tests (3rd ed.). Oxford: OUP.
  • Research papers will be provided throughout the unit and uploaded onto Moodle.

Study schedule

Week Topic
Week 1 Introduction to human neuropsychology
Week 2 Neuropsychological functions, testing, and assessment: A comparative approach
Week 3 Organisation of the human central nervous system: An introduction to basic functional neuroanatomy
Week 4 Language Impairment: What is Dyslexia?
Week 5 Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) and cognitive rehabilitation
Week 6 Cognition in ageing and the dementia syndromes
  Mid-trimester
Week 7 Depression: neuropsychological deficits, assessment, formulation, and management
Week 8 Substance use: neuropsychological deficits, assessment, formulation, and management
Week 9 Schizophrenia: neuropsychological deficits, assessment, formulation, and management
Week 10 Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: neuropsychological deficits, assessment, formulation, and management
Week 11 Study week
Week 12 Exam week

Assessment summary

Assessment Type

When assessed 

Weighting

Learning Outcomes  Assessed

Group seminar presentation (with class discussion/question time) of a standardised neuropsychological test used to assess cognitive function

Weeks 4 to 10

15%

(a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h)

2000 word essay reviewing the neuropsychological and neuroanatomical changes associated with a neurological disease, psychiatric condition or brain injury and the evidence for effectiveness of management and rehabilitation for the condition.

Week 9

 

35%

(a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h)

Administer and score the findings of a standardised memory test WMS-IV

Week 9

10%

(d), (e), (g)

2 hour multiple choice and short answer examination covering all unit content

Exam week

30%

 

(a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f)

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. This includes plagiarism of any nature. It is your responsibility to make sure that you understand what constitutes plagiarism in order to ensure that you do not engage in it. Please refer to http://currentstudents.acap.edu.au/assets/Managing-My-Course/A-Z-Policies/Academic-Misconduct-Policy.pdf for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.

Disclaimer

This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it throughout the trimester. Your lecturer will advise when there are updates on the site and also when readings are available for class discussion.