Module PNP-3001:
Clinical & Cog Neuro of Vision

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Prof Charles Leek

Overall aims and purpose

Imagine that you are sitting in a room observing the scene around you. You see a cup, and a guitar, and you instantly recognise them. If you want to, you can reach out across space and pick them up. In fact, this is something that most of us can do effortlessly. But how do we do it? How does our visual system work? How can we perceive, recognise and interact with objects so easily? How do we know where particular objects are in space, and how to reach them? And what happens to our visual system when we are no longer able to recognise objects as is the case of some individuals following an injury to the brain? Why does the visual agnosic IES think that the guitar is a tennis racket, and that the cup is a bucket? And why does AH, an otherwise neurologically normal individual, systematically reach in the mirror-opposite direction when asked to indicate the location of an object that is placed in front of her? What do these disorders tell us about object and spatial vision in the normal and dysfunctional brain? This module provides an advanced introduction to theoretical and empirical developments in studies of object and spatial processing in human vision from the perspectives of current research in clinical and cognitive neuroscience. We focus our investigation on object perception, recognition and spatial processing – some of the most important and fundamental functions of human vision, and critically examine current evidence from studies of the neurologically normal brain in experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience (e.g., fMRI, PET, TMS and ERP), and from clinical studies of cognitive impairments following brain injury (visual agnosia, prosopagnosia, Parkinson’s disease and developmental deficits).

The course is particularly relevant for students interested in clinical and cognitive aspects of human vision, and those wishing to develop a broader understanding of current research methodologies in clinical and cognitive neuroscience in preparation for clinical training or a research career (e.g., PhD).

Course content

Full module content, including the week-by-week syllabus is detailed on Blackboard. The module provides an advanced introduction to theoretical and empirical developments in studies of object and spatial processing in human vision from the perspectives of current research in clinical and cognitive neuroscience. We focus our investigation on object perception, recognition and spatial processing – some of the most important and fundamental functions of human vision, and critically examine current evidence from studies of the neurologically normal brain in experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience (e.g., fMRI, PET, TMS and ERP), and from clinical studies of cognitive impairments following brain injury (visual agnosia, prosopagnosia, Parkinson’s disease and developmental deficits).

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Adequate answer to the question, largely based on lecture material. No real development of arguments.

good

Reasonably comprehensive coverage. Well organised and structured. Good understanding of the material.

excellent

Comprehensive and accurate coverage of the area clarity of argument and expression. Depth of insight into theoretical issues.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an advanced level of understanding of current theories and empirical evidence from cognitive and clinical neuropsychology concerning object and spatial vision.

  2. Accurately summarise and critique current research in this domain.

  3. Compare and contrast the merits and limitations of different research methodologies in the cognitive and clinical neuropsychology of vision with reference to current studies in the field.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Seminar Presentation, Attendance 30
EXAM Final Exam 70

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture 11
Workshop 22
Private study 167

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  • Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in oral form.
  • Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
  • Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
  • Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
  • Understand and investigate the role of brain function in all human behaviour and experience.
  • Comprehend and use psychological data effectively, demonstrating a systematic knowledge of the application and limitations of various research paradigms and techniques.
  • Employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology.

Resources

Courses including this module