Welcome to Neuropsychology 2018!

Our work in this course includes: 1 group presentation, 4 short essays, one individual presentations. Let’s go through each item. After that, there is a list of topics and readings.

1) Group presentation (~15 minutes, 10%). Time of presentation: All groups should be ready on Week 3 (Sept 4th). Group size: 3-4. Each group picks one of the following articles (links below) and presents it to the class. Your presentation should be as simple as possible, so that the rest of the class (who didn’t read the article) can understand the content. Do NOT simply read the article aloud as your presentation. Put it in your own words, and focus on parts that seem more important and interesting.

Cognitive Neuropsychology
Cognition & Emotion
Evolutionary Psychology
Functional Imaging
Mirror Neurons

Evaluation of the group presentations: Accuracy (did you show understanding of the article?), simplicity (was it understandable?) organization (did emphasize what is important about the article and how the different parts are connected?) participation (did all the members contribute to the presentation?)

2) Mini essays (4 essays; 75%). Deadlines will be announced during the term. 

Evaluation of the mini essays: essay is between 400-600 words and it will respond to a specific question. Essays will be evaluated on the basis of your ability to clearly and concisely communicate knowledge of the course material (~50% of the grade for each paper), your ability to compare and synthesize material across different topics (~20%), and your ability to critically treat the material from different perspectives (~30%). Regarding the third component (critical thinking), I essentially want you identify the weakness of your own argument, describe how/why a reasonable person might disagree with you, and respond appropriately to the disagreement. Mini essays are submitted through UMMoodle.

Part of your grade is based on writing concisely. You will lose marks for writing too much (going over 600 words), or if you use your words wastefully (too much repetition). Do NOT email me to ask for an extension – if you have a valid reason for a delay, then email me AFTER you have submitted your late essay, stating your reason (along with any relevant documentation, e.g., doctor’s note).

Here and here, you can see videos of my grading from the previous year (Cognitive Psychology), and these (part 1, part 2, part 3) from the Neuropsychology class.

3) Individual presentation (10 minutes, 15%). I will give you one of your classmate’s mini essays (essay #3), and ask you to present the essay, and then offer a critique and suggestions for improvement. Try to be fair, but I expect you to find weakness in your classmate’s essay. We help each other improve.

Topics & Reading list:

1) Emotion and Decision Making

Striemer, C. L., Whitwell, R. L., & Goodale, M. A. (2017). Affective blindsight in the absence of input from face processing regions in occipital-temporal cortex. Neuropsychologia.

Schneider, B., & Koenigs, M. (2017). Human lesion studies of ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Neuropsychologia.

Etkin, A., Büchel, C., & Gross, J. J. (2015). The neural bases of emotion regulation. Nature Reviews Neuroscience16(11), 693.

2) Self and Others

Rizzolatti, G., & Sinigaglia, C. (2016). The mirror mechanism: a basic principle of brain function. Nature Reviews Neuroscience17, 757-765.

Jimenez, A. M., Lee, J., Wynn, J. K., & Green, M. F. (2018). The neural correlates of self-referential memory encoding and retrieval in schizophrenia. Neuropsychologia109, 19-27.

Vogeley, K. (2017). Two social brains: neural mechanisms of intersubjectivity. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B372, 20160245.

3) Perception & Memory

Moscovitch, M., Cabeza, R., Winocur, G., & Nadel, L. (2016). Episodic memory and beyond: the hippocampus and neocortex in transformation. Annual Review of Psychology67, 105-134.

Robin, J. (2018). Spatial scaffold effects in event memory and imagination. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, e1462. 

Emrich, S. M., Riggall, A. C., LaRocque, J. J., & Postle, B. R. (2013). Distributed patterns of activity in sensory cortex reflect the precision of multiple items maintained in visual short-term memory. Journal of Neuroscience33, 6516-6523.

4) Temperament/Personality

Badcock, P. B., Davey, C. G., Whittle, S., Allen, N. B., & Friston, K. J. (2017). The depressed brain: An evolutionary systems theory. Trends in Cognitive Sciences21(3), 182-194.

Tops, M., Koole, S. L., IJzerman, H., & Buisman-Pijlman, F. T. (2014). Why social attachment and oxytocin protect against addiction and stress: Insights from the dynamics between ventral and dorsal corticostriatal systems. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior119, 39-48.

Harris, S., Kaplan, J. T., Curiel, A., Bookheimer, S. Y., Iacoboni, M., & Cohen, M. S. (2009). The neural correlates of religious and nonreligious belief. PLoS one4(10), e7272.

If you have any question, email me or come to the office hours. Please avoid sending me long emails — a long question is better for a face-to-face discussion. Needless to say, you don’t have to have great questions to come to the office hours. If you feel lost about the presentation or the short essays, you should definitely come and talk to me.