UCL Institute of Neurology


Higher Functions of the Brain (CLNEG017)

(15 credits)

Module Convener: Dr Nick Ward


The module covers the following areas: (i) Stroke & Head Injury, (ii) Cognition, (iii) Neuropsychiatric diseases, specifically forms of dementia.


The aim of the module is for students to acquire an understanding of the scientific basis for the study of higher functions of the brain, and its clinical context in Stroke and neuropsychiatric diseases, specifically forms of dementia.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the module students will have an understanding of the mechanisms, epidemiology & prevention, and treatment of stroke, and had an introduction to neurological rehabilitation and neurological outcome measurement. They will also have an understanding of cognitive processes including early visual processing, face recognition and prosopagnosia, memory and the hippocampus, the limbic system, language and language abnormalities, executive functions, and cortical connectivity and cognition.  They will have a basic understanding of neuropsychiatric diseases, with a particular emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, including their treatment and management.

Assessment criteria

3000 word essay


  • Introduction to neuropsychology (B)
  • Early visual processing (B)
  • Spatial coding in the hippocampus (B)
  • Emotion, motivation and decision making (B)
  • Consciousness (B)
  • Attention and neglect (B)
  • Executive functions (B)
  • Visual memory and saccade selection in the healthy and lesioned brain
  • Neural pathways supporting language recovery
  • Neuroanatomy of reading
  • What TMS can teach us about cognitive aspects of motor control
  • Stroke: causes, prevention and treatment
  • Neurological rehabilitation (C)
  • Motor learning in cerebellum and neocortex
  • Motor recovery
  • Prions and neurodegeneration (B)
  • Other degenerative disorders and their genetics (B)
  • Coma: diagnosis and management (C)
  • Head injury: trauma (C)
  • Quantitative MRI workshop
  • Language and language abnormalities (C)
  • Frontal lobar degeneration (C)
  • Alzheimer's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies (C)
  • Dementia pathology (C)
  • Limbic system (B)
  • Auto-immune related cognitive disorders
  • fMRI workshop
  • Non-organic neurological syndromes (C)
  • Organic psychosis
  • Vascular dementia

Please note: Titles of lectures may change from year to year