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Module PPP-4009:
Behavioural Neurology

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Martyn Bracewell

Overall aims and purpose

The module will provide a background in clinical neurosciences including basic knowledge of: • Functional human neuroanatomy relevant to common neurological and neuropsychological disorders; • Major neurological and neuropsychological disorders such as those involving memory, language, visuospatial abilities, object recognition, control of movement, executive control and emotional regulation; • The pathophysiology of major neurological disorders causing neuropsychological disability such as cerebro-vascular accident, cancer, closed-head injury and degenerative disorders; • The principles of the neurological examination in localization of brain lesions. • structural neuroimaging as a tool in clinical practice and neurobehavioural research

• working with neurological and neuropsychological patients

• ethical issues surrounding working with neurological patients

Course content

Students will be introduced to the principles of taking a neurological history and performing a neurological examination, via the demonstration of illustrative neurological and neurobehavioural patients in case conferences. Patients with neurological and neuropsychological disorders such as those involving memory, language, visuospatial abilities, object recognition, control of movement, executive control and emotional regulation will be presented. Students will be introduced to working with such paitents, and to the ethical issues surrounding working with neurological patients. Through lectures, case conferences, and an MRI practical class, students will learn functional human neuroanatomy relevant to common neurological and neuropsychological disorders, and structural neuroimaging as a tool in clinical practice and neurobehavioral research. The pathophysiology of major neurological disorders causing neuropsychological disability will be discussed.

Assessment Criteria


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


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


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

Learning outcomes

  1. Apply the principles guiding the use of information from the neurological examination to determine lesion localization

  2. Compare and appraise the diagnostic features of neurological and neuropsychological syndromes such as: aphasia, hemispatial neglect, Balint’s syndrome, agnosia, apraxia, and amnesia.

  3. Apply the principles guiding the selection of patients for neurological and neuropsychological research.

  4. Demonstrate competence in the basics of interpretation of CT and MRI brain scans.

  5. Use computerised reconstruction of neuroimages for research studies

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Neuroimage Analysis

The student will produce a figure of the lesion of an MRI scan on a standard template using MRIcron software. The figure will be accompanied by a legend that will include an analysis of relevant gyral and sulcal landmarks used. Word count 300

CASE STUDY Case Report

A case report and discussion of a patient seen in the case conferences or from the student’s own practice, with a review of the literature of neurological and/or neuropsychological disorders relevant to the patient, and suggestion of a potential research project for which the patient would be appropriate. Word count 3000.

EXAM Final Exam

MCQ assessing knowledge and understanding of neurological and neuropsychological conditions demonstrated during the module; functional neuroanatomy (including CT and MRI interpretation); pathophysiology of neurological disorders. The MCQ will happen during the final exam period of Semester 2. The 2 hour paper will consist of about 70 questions.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


For all but one of the weeks, teaching will be in the form of a teaching case conference and related lecture. A patient with a neurological or neuropsychological syndrome will be presented by a clinician (usually Dr Bracewell). He will conduct a clinical evaluation of the patient, including taking a history from the patient and family/carers, examination of the patient, and a review of the results of any investigations (typically neuroimaging studies). This assessment of the patient demonstrates how a neurological and/or neuropsychological assessment is made, leading to the formulation of a diagnosis. The functional and psychological impact of the condition on the patient and family will be assessed. During the case conference, students are encouraged to interact with the patient, for example, demonstrating certain clinical signs and asking questions of the patient and family/carer. There is a more traditionally didactic component of the class (the lecture) in which the lecturer discusses the syndrome, in the light of the particular features of the patient presented. In the other week, there is an MRI practical class. Students will use the MRIcron programme to examine the scan of a patient with a lesion. This class teaches and reinforces relevant neuroanatomy for behavioural neurology.

Private study

Students will study the various topics associated with the course, and are expected to contribute approximately 10 hours per week across the course of the semester.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • 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.
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • 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.
  • Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Be sensitive and react appropriately to contextual and interpersonal psychological factors.
  • 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.
  • Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.


Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: