Psychology 3224A-001

Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.


Neural mechanisms in human perception, spatial orientation, memory, language and motor behaviour.


Antirequisite: Psychology 3227A/B


Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit. So if you take a course that is an antirequisite to a course previously taken, you will lose credit for the earlier course, regardless of the grade achieved in the most recent course.


Prerequisites: Psychology 2820E, or both Psychology 2800E and 2810, and one of Psychology 2220A/B, 2221A/B or Neuroscience 2000

3 lecture/discussion hours, 0.5 course.


Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enroll in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.


Instructor:                                                     Dr. Elizabeth Hampson


Office and Phone Number:                            SSC 9218

519-661-2111 Ext. 84675


Office Hours:                                               By appointment





Teaching Assistant:                                      Evan Houldin


Office:                                                         NSC, by appointment*

Office Hours:




Time and Location of Classes:                      Tuesdays, 2:30 – 5:30 PM

Rm 1056, Biological & Geological Sciences (B&GS)



**If you wish to meet with the instructor or TA outside of regular class hours, please e-mail to arrange an appointment.

If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, there are several resources here at Western to assist you.  Please visit: for more information on these resources and on mental health.

Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 519-661-2111 ext 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.





Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind (4th ed.), by Michael S. Gazzaniga, Richard B. Ivry, & George R. Mangun (2014). New York: W.W. Norton & Co.


Occasionally extra readings or diagrams will be required and they will be posted on OWL in PDF format (see Class Schedule).


The objective of this course is to familiarize students with some of the symptoms that follow acquired brain damage in human beings, with an emphasis on understanding what these symptoms can tell us about the normal functional organization of the human brain.


  1. To provide an introduction to the principal methods, research findings, theories, and contentious issues in the field of neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscienc


  1. To encourage the reading of primary source material; to stimulate critical thinking and encourage the use of logical scientific inf


By the end of the course, the successful student should be able to:



  • Identify parts of the human nervous system using standard terminology (Assessed by quizzes and exams)


  • Explain techniques and methods used in the field of cognitive neuroscience (Assessed by quizzes and exams)


  • Recognize, name, and be able to differentiate clinical symptoms seen in a neurology clinic (Assessed by quizzes and exams)


  • Predict which brain regions give rise to these symptoms and understand why (Assessed by quizzes and exams)
  • Articulate major historical theories in cognitive neuroscience

(Assessed by quizzes, exams, and written essays or oral presentations)


  • Describe alternative theoretical accounts of the function of discrete brain areas or networks

(Assessed by quizzes, exams, and written essays or oral presentations)


  • Read primary journal articles in the field of cognitive neuroscience (Assessed by written essays or oral presentations)


  • Critically evaluate evidence for and against current theories or topics of controversy (Assessed by quizzes, exams, written essays or oral presentations)


  • Locate and independently read research literature on a particular topic and integrate your ideas in the form of a written assignment or essay (or oral presentation to the class)

(Assessed by written essays or oral presentations)


  • Communicate your ideas clearly using the acceptable vocabulary of cognitive neuroscience (Assessed by quizzes, exams, written essays or oral presentations)



All students should be familiar with the basic neuroanatomy of the central nervous system upon entering the course. However, the lectures will review basic terminology and major features of the brain and associated tissues.


There will be a test on October 3 (Test #1), worth 20% of the final grade, and a second test on November 7 (Test #2), worth 20%. The final exam in December will be worth 40%. It will be written during the final exam period, and the timing will be scheduled by the Office of the Registrar. The final exam will be 3 hrs in length. All tests and exams will include multiple choice and short-answer questions (e.g., fill-in-the-blanks, definitions, or questions that require a brief written response). Test #1 will also include label-the-diagram questions. No diagrams will appear on the final exam, but the final will include a written medium-length answer section. The two midterm tests will not be cumulative. The final exam will be partially cumulative.


Tests and exams will be based on the lecture material and assigned readings. Extra readings or diagrams that are posted on OWL will be included in the tests and exams.


Another 10% of the final grade will be based on an oral presentation, given in class, on either November 28 or December 5. The class will be divided into teams of 3, and you and your partners will present a journal article to the class, describing the background, method, results, and conclusions of an empirical study, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the work, and any limits to its generalizability.


The remaining 10% of the final grade will be based on a written mini-review, due on December 8. This should take the form of a written scholarly essay of ~ 1200-1500 words (not counting References), which critically analyzes and discusses a topic of current controversy within cognitive neuroscience. A selection of appropriate topics will be provided, but students may also design their own topic (with the prior agreement of the course instructor). You will be required to independently research your topic and synthesize the material into a scholarly critique, citing references to support your arguments. Your mini- review is due December 8 (the last day of the fall term) and must be submitted both in hardcopy and by electronic submission to Turnitin. A late penalty of 10% per day will be applied to papers submitted after the deadline.

Although the Psychology Department does not require instructors to adjust their course grades to conform to specific targets, the expectation is that course marks will be distributed around the following averages:

70%     1000-level and 2000-level courses
72%     2190-2990 level courses
75%     3000-level courses
80%     4000-level courses
The Psychology Department follows Western's grading guidelines, which are as follows (see ):

A+  90-100      One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level
A    80-89        Superior work that is clearly above average
B    70-79        Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory
C    60-69        Competent work, meeting requirements
D    50-59        Fair work, minimally acceptable
F    below 50    Fail





Test #1




October 3





Test #2

November 7


Final Exam



Oral Presentation

November 28 or December 5



December 8



PowerPoint slides will be posted on OWL, before or after each day's lecture. All weekly readings described below can be found in the textbook, Cognitive Neuroscience (4th ed). Any additional required readings or diagrams (not in the text) will be posted on the OWL website in PDF format:



September 12:                                                    Course organization and evaluation scheme Review of brain anatomy and vascular system


Reading: Chapter 2: Structure and Function of the Nervous System



September 19:                                                    Neurological disorders

Diagnostic and imaging techniques


Reading: Chapter 3: Methods of Cognitive Neuroscience



September 26:                                                    Hemispheric specialization in the normal brain Individual differences - sex and handedness


Reading: Chapter 4: Hemispheric Specialization

October 3:                                                          Test #1


Reading: No readings assigned for this week



October 10:                                                         Fall Reading Week (No class)



October 17:                                                         The modular organization of the visual system Visual field defects


Cortical lesions and the extraction of object features


Reading: Chapter 5: Sensation and Perception, pp. 184-215 only (the section on Vision)



October 24:                                                         The “Two Visual Systems” model Visual agnosias

Balint’s syndrome, contralateral neglect Visuomotor areas in the parietal cortex


Reading: Chapter 6: Object Recognition



October 31:                                                         Neural mechanisms involved in speech and language Aphasias; acquired impairments in reading

Limb apraxia, relations between speech and praxis


Reading: A chapter on Language from a different text- book will be available in OWL in PDF format (and it will be the only reading assigned for this week)



November 7:                                                       Test #2


Reading: No readings assigned for this week



November 14:                                                     Memory and the temporal lobes Disorders of memory, amnesias

The role of the hippocampus in memory Diencephalic amnesia

A neural model of explicit memory


Reading: Chapter 9: Memory



November 21:                                                     The frontal lobes and disorders of emotional and behavioural regulation


Reading: Chapter 12: Cognitive Control



November 28:                                                     Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia

Oral Presentations – I


Reading: A reading on dementia will be available in OWL in PDF format (no chapter available in textbook)



December 5:                                                       Oral Presentations - II



December 8:                                                       Last day of fall term - **Mini-Reviews Due**


Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offenses. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offenses because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offense are described at the following link:

As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offenses. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and

Possible penalties for a scholastic offense include failure of the assignment, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University.


Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at: 

Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation:


Office of the Registrar web site:

Student Development Services web site:

Please see the Psychology Undergraduate web site for information on the following:

- Policy on Cheating and Academic Misconduct
- Procedures for Appealing Academic Evaluations
- Policy on Attendance
- Policy Regarding Makeup Exams and Extensions of Deadlines
- Policy for Assignments
- Short Absences
- Extended Absences
- Documentation
- Academic Concerns
- 2017 Calendar References

No electronic devices, including cell phones and smart watches, will be allowed during exams.