We will study significant findings in the field, noting that technological improvements have often enabled substantial advancements in field research. You may, for example, take MRIs or PET scans—devices used to diagnose medical problems—for granted, but these have only relatively recently enabled researchers to study the brain in greater detail. While a formal background in biology is not required for this course, you will find that neuropsychology relies heavily on the discipline. In fact, psychologists and biologists have often explored similar issues, though typically from vastly different perspectives. Accordingly, you may find supplemental biology materials useful if you are entirely unfamiliar with the brain and the nervous system. This course will begin with a brief history of neuropsychology. We will then study the nervous system and the structure of the brain, identifying its different lobes and cortices, before concluding with a discussion of how the brain provides us with higher functioning abilities (i.e., learning, remembering, and communicating).
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- explain the development course of the science of neuropsychology;
- describe the basic organization of the nervous system;
- explain the mechanisms of communication within the nervous system;
- explain the mechanisms of communication between the nervous system and other parts of the body;
- describe historical and modern research techniques for investigating nervous system structure and function;
- describe the basic operation of each of the five (5) primary sensory systems;
- describe the basic operation of the motor system;
- discuss the importance and role of asymmetry in cerebral structure and function;
- describe the basic functions of each of the four (4) lobes of the cerebral cortex; and
- discuss the neuropsychology of higher behavioral functions, such as language, emotion, learning, and consciousness.
Requirements: Have completed the Introduction to Psychology course. Prior completion of Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology is strongly recommended.