Clinical Neuropsychology of Executive Dysfunction and Other Disorders
August 20-24, 2012
The course will focus on a broad state-of-the art overview of clinical neuropsychology with forays into cognitive neuroscience and with particular emphasis on executive functions and dysfunction. The focus will be on clinical issues and how they are informed by the cutting-age scientific breakthroughs. The course is designed to be both relevant and accessible to practicing neuropsychologists, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, as well as other professionals interested in state-of-the-art issues of brain and cognition.
Introduction: The changing role of neuropsychology. Frontal lobe primer: General review of the frontal lobes and executive functions. Classic neuropsychology of the frontal lobes and executive functions.
New ideas in the cognitive neuroscience of the frontal lobes:
Decision making in novel and ambiguous situations. Actor-centered decision making. Lateralization of frontal-lobe functions in cognition and emotion.
Going beyond universals:
group differences in the functional organization of the frontal lobes. Cleaning up the working memory muddle. “Theory of mind” and “mirror neurons.” Neuroeconomics and other “neuro’s.”
Neuropychological assessment of executive functions:
What currently available instruments can and cannot do. A little wishful thinking: Implications for future test design.
Lifespan cognitive changes.
Healthy cognitive aging. Brain plasticity and its ramifications. “Cognitive fitness” - a new trend.
Diagnosis of major dementias: Alzheimer’s, Lewy body, Pick’s, fronto-temporal, multiinfarct, hydrocephalic, neurotoxic. The emphasis will be on executive functions and dysfunction, even though other aspects of dementias will also be addressed.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and executive deficit:
Mechanisms of TBI. Cognitive impairment in TBI. Executive deficit and personality changes. Forensic aspects of TBI.
Neurodevelopmental disorders - facts and fads:
Language-based learning disabilities. Non-verbal learning disabilities. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Memory based learning disabilities. Executive deficit in neurodevelopmental disorders. Taxonomies can be misleading!
The neuropsychology of neuropsychiatric disorders with the emphasis on executive dysfunction:
Cognitive impairment in schizophrenia. Affective disorders - a curse and occasional blessing. Tourette’s syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive disorder. Differential diagnoses involving dementia, seizure disorder and other conditions.
Challenges facing clinical neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience.