Full course description
Much of what we know about cognitive and affective functions and processes comes from close observation of patients with acquired damage to the central nervous system. This course reviews mechanisms underlying the brain-behavior relationships that form the basis of neuropsychological dysfunctions in persons who suffer from acquired brain damage across the lifespan. Perceptual and cognitive dysfunctions after focal or diffuse cortical and subcortical lesions and/or in connection fiber tracts are discussed together with the neurocognitive assessment procedures that are commonly used to identify such deficits, including disorders of memory, praxis, language, visual spatial abilities, and executive functions. Students are introduced to the fields of Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychology and will work on central questions such as: What do different neurological pathologies entailing functional and/or structural brain changes tell us about the brain-behavior relationship? The intended learning goals are: (1) acquisition of knowledge about the causes and neurobiological effects of acquired brain lesions, (2) acquaintance with the etiology and taxonomy of common neurological and neuropsychological syndromes, and (3) critical reflection of the consequences of brain lesions for diagnostics and treatment in clinical settings. This knowledge and reflection are essential for understanding the principles of neuropsychological rehabilitation, which can be used to support or even improve residual function after acquired brain damage and can ameliorate the life quality of neurological patients.
Students will be able to understand:
functional brain anatomy, cerebral vascularisation, neurophysiology of brain repair, neurological diseases, stroke, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, alcohol-induced brain dysfunction, Korsakoff’s disease, cognitive control, neuropsychological syndromes, brain plasticity, history of neuropsychology, neuropsychological assessment, cognitive rehabilitation.
Bachelor’s level knowledge of the hierarchical organisation of brain functions, basic brain anatomy and physiology.