Course: PSY331-NEU402
Instructor: Sabine Kastner
F 2015

Description of Course Goals and Curriculum

Much of what we know about the brain systems underlying perception, attention, memory, and language has been first derived from patients with brain lesions or other brain pathology. Despite our advances in functional brain imaging the study of clinical cases in neuropsychology is still important to determine the causal role of certain brain regions in contributing to a given cognitive process. This course will provide an introduction to major syndromes in clinical neuropsychology such as object agnosia (deficits in object recognition), amnesia (memory deficits), visuo-spatial hemineglect (attention deficits), aphasia (language deficits), and others. Each topic will be introduced through a careful analysis of a (true) case study (video material and/or narrative). We will use the case study to characterize the symptoms of a given syndrome and review the cognitive tests to diagnose it. A second major emphasis will be on reviewing the brain systems involved with a certain impaired cognitive function in order to better understand the lesion sites and pathology underlying each respective clinical syndrome. The course is aimed at students with an interest in clinical psychology, pre-meds, and concentrators in the neuroscience program with an interest in clinical applications.   Grading will be based on two quizzes (20% each), a clinical case analysis (take home assignment, 40%), and precept/class participation (20%). Weekly readings of original research and textbook (~50 pages on average per week). Clinical case analysis (~5 pages).

Learning From Classroom Instruction

This class meets twice a week for 50 minute lectures, with one 50 minute weekly precept. In lecture, you will learn about different disorders with corresponding case studies, and in precept you will go more into depth about the cognitive neuroscience behind certain the disorders explained in lecture.

Learning For and From Assignments

The main Dean's Date assignment is a case analysis, in which you have to diagnose and explain a patient's behavioral disorders in a video by their neurological functioning. It is a different type of assignment from typical Princeton courses, which makes this course interesting. The tests are more memorization based, but also involve some case studies.

External Resources

Kolb B & Whishaw IQ (2009), Fundamentals of human neuropsychology, 6th edition, Worth Publishers, New York *** Note that there is a brand-ne

What Students Should Know About This Course For Purposes Of Course Selection

This class is super interesting if you are interested in clinical neuroscience or cognitive behavior in any way! The disorders are super unique, and it is really interesting to learn about them. Definitely take this class!
Introduction to Clinical Neuropsychology: Case Studies in Cognitive Neuroscience

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