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DPSY5162 - Neuroanatomy for the clinical neuropsychologist

SCA Band 2, 0.000 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Dr Russell Conduit


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


This unit will review neuroanatomical principles, with emphasis on established structure-function relationships. Students will use brain specimens and a computer simulation program to become familiar with brain regions including the cerebral cortex, spinal cord, brainstem, basal ganglia, cerebellum, hypothalamus, limbic system and thalamus. Students will also learn about fibre systems in the brain, the meningeal brain coverings, the cranial nerves, the blood supply to the brain and the ventricular system. The principles of cerebral asymmetry and hemispheric specialization will be discussed, as will the behavioural consequences of localized damage to each defined brain region.


The aim of this unit is to familiarise students with the human brain.
At the completion of this unit, students will:

  1. Be familiar with the gross external anatomy of the brain to the extent that they are able to name and identify each major region and describe its main contribution to behavioural and cognitive regulation;
  2. Be able to identify major subcortical regions and, again, describe the main functions of each area;
  3. Be familiar with the nerve fibre systems which allow communication between different brain regions;
  4. Understand the structure and function of the meninges covering the brain and the ventricular system;
  5. Be able to identify each major blood vessel in the brain and describe how infarction of each vessel may affect the person's cognitive state;
  6. Be familiar with each of the cranial nerves and with their roles in regulating behaviour;
  7. Understand in broad terms the principles of cerebral dominance and hemispheric specialisation;
  8. Be fluent with respect to the terminology used to navigate the brain and describe brain structures; and
  9. Feel confident in using a computer simulation package to further explore brain structure-function relationships.


Continuous assessment practical test (50%)
Theory exam (25%)
Spot test (25%)