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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Psychology

Undergraduate Course: Frontal Lobe Functions: Clinical and Experimental Approaches (PSYL10137)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe frontal lobes of the brain play an important role in our ability to formulate, achieve and carry out plans in everyday life, our memory abilities and our ability to successfully engage in social interactions. The aim of this course is to introduce the study of frontal lobe functions, drawing upon empirical evidence from cognitive and neuropsychological studies of typical and abnormal brain functioning.
Course description The aim of this course is to introduce the study of frontal lobe functions through cognitive and neuropsychological investigations of executive abilities, memory and social processing. The student will be introduced to the methods used clinically and experimentally to assess and understand frontal lobe functions and the neurological conditions that can result in frontal lobe impairments. Different theoretical views of frontal lobe function will also be discussed, and some functional neuroimaging of healthy individuals will be related where possible.

Topics that will be covered in the course include: Frontal lobe assessment; Real-world executive control; Social cognition; Frontal lobes and memory; Confabulation; Frontal lobes and aging; Cognitive reserve and frontal lesions; Frontal lobes and neurological conditions.

Each topic will be explored through studying a particular topic in depth, including in-class discussions.

This course will help students to develop the following skills: listening, discussing and reading to acquire foundational knowledge of a new topic; learning how to think critically; understanding methods that may be used to study scientific controversies; organising and presenting an argument in writing, supported with appropriate evidence.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Psychology 2A (PSYL08011) AND Psychology 2B (PSYL08012)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students who are Psychology majors and in their third or final year at their home university are welcome to take this course.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Complete a neuropsychological assessment of frontal lobe functions and discuss some of the issues regarding existing tests.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of experimental methods for studying frontal lobe functions.
  3. Know and understand the neuropsychological presentation of a range of clinical neurological disorders related to frontal lobe dysfunction.
  4. Recognise the main theoretical concepts underlying the study of frontal lobe functions and the way in which they influence the interpretation of frontal lobe impairments.
  5. Critically discuss the possible implications of frontal lobe research for our models of normal frontal lobe function in the brain.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and enquiry: students will learn how to draw on empirical evidence to answer theoretical questions.

Personal and intellectual autonomy: students will be encouraged to make their own evaluations of published research.

Communication: students will be encouraged to communicate their ideas effectively in their discussions during class activities and written work.
Keywordspsychology; frontal lobe; brain
Course organiserDr Sarah MacPherson
Tel: (0131 6)50 9862
Course secretaryMiss Susan Scobie
Tel: (0131 6)51 5505
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