Psychology 3224B-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.




Dr. Yves Bureau

       Office and Phone Number:  

E5-136, 268 Grosvenor street (St. Joseph hospital)



519-646-6100 ext 65739

       Office Hours:


By appointment



       Teaching Assistant:


Evan Houldin

       Office Hours:


 By appointment.


       Time and Location of Classes:   

Mondays 1:30-4-30 PM



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 neuroscience.


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


      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 January 29 (Test #1), worth 20% of the final grade, and a second test on March 12 (Test #2), worth 20%. The final exam in April 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. Test 2 and the final may contain diagrams and or brief essay-like questions. 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 April 2 or April 9. 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 April 16. 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 April 16 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                                                       January 29                                           20%

       Test #2                                                            March 5                                           20%

       Final Exam                                                   TBA by Registrar April 14-30                  40%

       Oral Presentation                                            March 26 or April 2                            10%

       Mini-Review                                                    April 9                                                          10%


The topics presented are in part suggestions. I reserve the right to change the course material. Sufficient time will be given prior to changes.


January 8: 

Course organization and evaluation scheme



Review of brain anatomy and vascular system


Reading:  Chapter 2:  Structure and Function of the 




Nervous System

January 15: 

Neurological disorders



Diagnostic and imaging techniques


Reading:  Chapter 3:  Methods of Cognitive 





January 22:   

Hemispheric specialization in the normal brain



Individual differences - sex and handedness


Reading:  Chapter 4:  Hemispheric Specialization 


January 29:


Test #1








Reading:  No readings assigned for this week

February 5


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)




February 12 :


The “Two Visual Systems” model



Visual agnosias



Balint’s syndrome, contralateral neglect




Visuomotor areas in the parietal cortex





Reading:  Chapter 6:  Object Recognition

February 19-23:


Reading week. 

No classes.

February 26


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)

March 5:



Test #2





Reading:  No readings assigned for this week

March 12: 

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 

March 19: 

The frontal lobes and disorders of emotional and 



behavioural regulation  




Reading:  Chapter 12:  Cognitive Control 

March 26: 

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)


April 2:




Oral Presentations - II


April 9:


**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.