Brain and neuropsychology
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Delivery guides are designed to represent a body of knowledge about teaching a particular topic and contain:
- Content: A clear outline of the content covered by the delivery guide;
- Thinking Conceptually: Expert guidance on the key concepts involved, common difficulties students may have, approaches to teaching that can help students understand these concepts and how this topic links conceptually to other areas of the subject;
- Thinking Contextually: A range of suggested teaching activities using a variety of themes so that different activities can be selected which best suit particular classes, learning styles or teaching approaches.
The structure and function of the brain can be challenging and so using creative and interactive activities is advised. Building models from play dough or modelling clay, building a brain using coloured paper to represent the different parts or even using technology to download apps all bring an element of fun to the sub topic.
Common misconceptions or difficulties learners may have:
Learners are likely to find brain structures and function challenging. Using visual aids, such as a model of the brain or laminated posters of the brain structure, and kinaesthetic activities, would be a good way to further understanding. Writing songs to remember parts of the brain and its function is also a good way to aid learning and recall.
Anterograde and retrograde amnesia are often confused and so using case studies to provide context may assist learners in distinguishing between them.
Conceptual links to other areas of the specification – useful ways to approach this topic to set learners up for topics later in the course:
The brain and neuropsychology is assessed throughout the whole specification.
Links to case studies as a research method can also be made.
The structure and function of the brain can be a challenging topic and so the activities suggested in this delivery guide are designed to bring an element of fun.
There is an opportunity for independent research where learners can research case studies of individuals with amnesia. These could be presented to the class as an additional activity.
‘3D brain’ app from App store (Iphone and android) – this free app gives information about the structure and function of all parts of the brain which can help give some context to the role the hippocampus, cerebellum and frontal lobe play in memory.
This app gives learners the opportunity to see the brain in 3D – learners can view individual parts of brain structures as well as information relating to each structure. There is research evidence and case studies to illustrate the functions and associated damage to all parts.
Give students a range of different coloured paper and ask them to ‘build a brain’ by cutting out the paper to represent the different brain parts. Stick them onto an A3 sheet to show the whole brain. The final diagram can then be labelled with the names of the different parts and their functions.
Using an outline of the brain (it may be useful if learners are unable to draw one themselves). Brain outlines can be found on the link on the right.
A short YouTube clip from the film Finding Dory – Dory suffers from short term memory loss (Anterograde amnesia) – a fun way to introduce the topic of amnesia.
Learners could draw their own cartoon characters who suffer from both anterograde and retrograde amnesia or write a cartoon clip to illustrate.
Playdough animations / models could bring these to life.
Research task – learners could conduct some independent research on the case of Henry Molaison (HM). There is a multitude of information available on the web.
Learners could build on their knowledge of the case study method used in psychology.
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