There are a variety of ways to study the relationship between the brain and behavior, many of which are discussed in this course. Perhaps one of the most interesting ways to investigate the biological underpinnings of behavior is to study the strange things that happen to behavior when things go wrong with the brain, either from disease or following an accident. For this assignment, groups of 3 to 4 students will be assigned one of the case studies listed below. Copies of your case studies can be found on the D2L page for this course. You will be asked to write a three-part paper to help you and the class (through a class presentation) to better understand the brain and psychopathology. The length of each paper will vary depending upon the detail provided in each case study and the amount of information available for the relevant disorder/condition. General guidelines for length are provided below.
Major Parts of the Neuropsychology Case Study Paper
Part I (one paragraph)
Describe the most important aspects of the case study you were assigned. Who is this person? What happened to them? How did their behavior change and how did this influence their lives?
Part II (one paragraph)
In this section describe what is known regarding the pathology of the person described in your case study. For example: What causes this condition? What areas of the brain are affected and how? Is this a common condition? What are typical behavioral symptoms of this neurological disorder? How is this condition treated and what is its prognosis? In addition, you should also discuss what is known about the normal functioning of those brain areas affected by this psychopathology. If you find other case studies of your condition, you might also describe them and compare them to the one you described in part I of your paper.
For this section you are required to use at least six sources of information other than the assigned case study. This section should be written as an APA style research paper. The source of all information should be clearly cited. The final page(s) of your paper should be a reference page. Some good resources to use for your literature search are PsycINFO, Biological Abstracts, Medline, as well as relevant texts in Clinical Neurology and Biological Psychology. Internet sources are acceptable and must be appropriately referenced. You are expected to go into the professional (scholarly, peer reviewed) literature for your resources and not rely extensively on non-scholarly sources!
Part III (one paragraph)
This section is your chance to get a bit creative. No doubt, as you learned about your assigned neurological condition you realized that there are many unknown and interesting questions regarding this condition. For the last part of your paper I would like you to design a research study to address one unanswered question about your assigned neurological condition. Begin with a paragraph (or a few) describing the rationale, purpose, and hypotheses of your experiment. Then, write a methods section for the study you would like to conduct. Include all relevant sections, such as participants, materials and apparatus, and procedures. Your methods should include those details required for others to replicate your study. When designing your study, consider the neuroscience techniques discussed throughout this course and what information they provide.