PSYC 768 - Neuropsychology - (Fall 2010 Course Website)
Cognitive neuropsychology is the study of the relationship between brain and behavior, with a particular focus on evidence from patients with brain pathology. The goal of cognitive neuropsychology is to understand i) the effects of brain pathology within the context of modern theories of cognition; as well as ii) to draw conclusions about normal or intact cognitive function from patterns of dysfunction that arises from brain pathology. At the end of this course I hope you will have learned the following:
- The broad anatomy of the human brain
- The major causes of brain pathology encountered in neuropsychological settings
- The basic structure of the different lobes of the brain, with particular relevance to function (cognitive, motor, emotion/personality)
- The deficits associated with damage to each lobe
- The role of neuropsychological tests in the assessment of functional change following damage
Classes will consist of a combination of lectures, student presentations, class discussion, and demonstration of commonly used neuropsychological tests. Since much of the material covered in the course will be new to students, keeping up with background material will be critical. Prerequisites for the course are: basic (undergraduate-level) knowledge of cognitive psychology and neuroscience (or physiological psychology), or willingless to cover this ground through your own reading, and willingness to participate in class discussion.
PSYC 768 - Neuroimaging
Brain imaging methods, particularly functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), structural MRI, and event-related potentials (ERPs), are becoming common tools to study specialized human brain regions involved in cognitive functions. This course will cover: a brief overview of fMRI methods, experimental design and analysis issues in fMRI, structural MRI techniques and how they can contribute to cognitive neuroscience, and an overview of ERP methods. Throughout the course we will discuss the merits and limitations of neuroimaging as a tool for cognitive neuroscientists. By the end of the class, students should be able to read, understand and critique papers in brain imaging, and have a reasonable understanding on how to successfully design and analyze a neuroimaging study.
PSYC 757 - Advanced Topics in Quantitative Methods: An Introduction to Bayesian Statistics
The Advanced Topics in Quantitative Methods (PSYC 757) covers fundamental probability theory, Bayesian statistics, and Bayesian applications using common social science statistics. Dr. James Thompson and Dr. Patrick McKnight co-teach the course and alternate primary responsibilities each year. We review probability theory using the Cartoon Guide to Statistics (don't laugh - it provides the best introduction and refresher on probability theory). After that introductory material, we intend to cover Bayesian analyses and their applications in social science. The only pre-requisites we expect are 1) successful completion of 611 and 612 and 2) an interest in learning new statistical techniques. We intend to have a very "hands on" approach whereby each student will be running analyses every class period; thus, each student ought to bring a laptop to class. We also plan to distribute supplementary readings that offer both theoretical and practical discussions of Bayesian statistics in social science.