PSY3180 - Human neuropsychology: Developmental and neurodegenerative disorders - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Psychological Sciences


Dr Anne-Marie Ternes

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


This unit aims to familiarise students with the assumptions and principles upon which the hypotheses about brain-behaviour relationships are based in the discipline of clinical neuropsychology.

A considerable emphasis is also placed on providing a thorough understanding of underlying brain pathology in a range of neurodevelopmental disorders (eg autism and Tourette's syndrome) and neurodegenerative disorders (e.g. Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases), as well as their neuropsychological consequences.

Both developmental and neurodegenerative disorders will be covered in terms of prevalence, neuropsychological manifestations, neuropathology, assessment techniques and potential treatments. Key skills and techniques relevant to the practice of clinical neuropsychology will also be explored such as the assessment of cognitive functioning and the diagnosis of neuropsychological conditions.


On completing this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Evaluate the clinical and experimental approaches relevant to the study of neuropsychology.
  2. Identify the behavioural consequences of brain dysfunction resulting from neurodegenerative disease and neurodevelopmental disorders.
  3. Describe the underlying neuropathological consequences of neurodevelopment disorders, such as autism, dyslexia, Tourette's syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder.
  4. Compare the normal aging process with the neuropathological consequences of degenerative disorders, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and Alzheimer's disease.
  5. Carry out extensive literature searches to research particular topics relevant to clinical neuropsychology.
  6. Describe the techniques used in the practice of clinical neuropsychology such as the assessment of cognitive functioning, the use of neuropsychological tests, and the diagnosis of neuropsychological conditions.


  • Examination (multiple choice) (50%) (hurdle)
  • Case study essay (1500 words) (25%)
  • Short answer lab assignments (up to 1000 words each) (2x 12.5%)

Hurdle Requirement: Students must pass the examination to achieve a pass for this unit.

Workload requirements

Attendance at labs or tutorials is required in order to successfully complete in-class activities and related assessment tasks.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


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