Full course description
This course focuses on brain-behaviour relationships from a developmental perspective. It aims at increasing one’s understanding of how healthy children and adolescents (or brains) function and how brain disease, brain injury or developmental disorders, such as ADHD, autism and learning disabilities, express themselves and interfere with the demands of daily life. Relevant catchwords in this context are behaviour, higher cognitive functions (e.g., executive functions, memory, attention), affect, and the level of interactions a child has with his environment, since these elements determine how well individuals cope and participate in daily life situations. Normal and abnormal brain and cognitive development will be discussed in pre-schoolers, school-aged children and adolescents. During the course, students will gain insights into: (1) developmental changes in brain structure, brain functioning and cognitive functions; (2) The clinical phenomenology of the most important developmental disorders; (3) The underlying brain-behaviour relationships in these disorders; and (4) Diagnosis and treatment. Students will also gain experience in the selection, administration and interpretation of commonly used tests, measuring the above-mentioned domains of higher cognitive functions, affective functions, and behaviour.
Students are able:
- to explain (ab)normal development of the brain and cognitive functions such as memory, executive function and attention;
- to apply and plan different steps in diagnostics, neuropsychological assessment, and treatment;
- to distinguish different neurodevelopmental disorders (i.e., ADHD, behavioural disorders, learning disabilities, autism, brain injury) and to form hypotheses about these disorders based on case material.