PSY6162 - Neuroanatomy and models of cognition for the clinical neuropsychologist - 2019

0 points, SCA Band 2, 0.000 EFTSL

Postgraduate - 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

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Julie Stout


Professor Julie Stout

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


This subject has two components. The Neuroanatomy component reviews the neuroanatomy of the human brain and spinal cord at the level of detail required by the practising clinical neuropsychologist. Emphasis is placed on structure-function relationships, and how different brain regions interact to regulate complex cognitive skills. Students also learn about the clinical neurological examination and neuroimaging, with an emphasis placed on what these methods allow us to infer regarding underlying neuroanatomy and lesions. Students learn:

  1. to identify the major features of the brain and spinal cord, using prosected specimens, models and cross-sectional images;
  2. to understand the structural and functional relationships between these features;
  3. to be able to apply this knowledge to the clinical situation.

    The second component of this subject, Models of Cognition considers neuropsychological disorders from perspectives taken in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuropsychology. In particular, there will be an emphasis on establishing conceptual frameworks for understanding neuropsychological, neuropsychiatric, and motor features of neurocognitive disorders, and for approaching clinical assessment and rehabilitation.


At the completion of the subject, students should be able to:

  1. Identify the major components of pathways associated with smell, vision, hearing, touch, balance, taste, movement, memory, emotion, and language;
  2. Be familiar with the external anatomy of the brain, to be able to name and identify each part and describe its contribution to behavioural and cognitive function;
  3. Be able to identify the main subcortical nuclei and their functions;
  4. Be able to identify the fibre tracts in the brain and spinal cord and describe their function;
  5. Be able to identify each major blood vessel in the brain and describe the functional consequences of infarction for each vessel;
  6. Be fluent in the terminology used to navigate the brain and describe brain structures;
  7. Be knowledgeable about the clinical neurological examination and how neurologists denote and interpret their findings;
  8. Be familiar with the most common forms of imaging relevant to clinical neurology and neuropsychology;
  9. Have a view of how cognition and behaviour are implemented in neural tissues from the cellular to systems levels of analysis;
  10. Have knowledge of neural bases of attention, language, visuospatial functions, memory, executive functions, emotion processing, and complex adaptive behaviours, in both in normality and pathology;
  11. Understand the current theoretical models proposed to account for neuropsychological impairments.



  • Weekly Assignments (40%)
  • Final Assessment (10%)


  • Concept Map (15%)
  • Weekly Assignments (25%)
  • Class Presentation (10%)

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