Case study

Campus Coffee Shop: Caffeine Conundrums


Speak Up! Mini Cases in Language

This series of mini cases focuses on language deficits (aphasias) and their likely organic causes (problems in specific brain areas). Students read one of the six cases, which are based on actual cases reported in the literature, and connect the symptoms described in the case to a specific aphasia and the affected brain area(s). The cases could be used in a variety of courses, including physiological psychology, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, cognitive science, sensation and perception, and cognitive neuropsychology/neuroscience.



Sonic Hedgehog: Genetic Abnormalities and Tissue Donations

In this case study about a baby born with the genetic condition holoprosencephaly, students explore the “Sonic hedgehog” gene, signal transduction, and the ethics of body and tissue donation. The assignment involves students writing an informed consent document that explains the science behind this congenital abnormality. Designed for an upper-level undergraduate biology course, the case could also be used in a cell biology, developmental biology, neurobiology, or other related upper-level course.

Mini Cases in Movement Disorders


I Can See Clearly Now: Mini Cases in Perception


A Case of Cerebrovascular Accident

"Samuel Dexter" is 52 years old, overweight, and a heavy smoker. He wakes one morning with weakness on his right side.  When he attempts to walk to the bathroom, he stumbles and then falls. His wife, who suspects he has suffered a stroke, calls 911. Students read the short case scenario, including a brief clinical history of the patient and description of his injury, then answer a set of directed questions designed to probe the students’ knowledge of the anatomy, physiology, and pathology underlying the patient’s condition.

A Case of Seasonal Affective Disorder

“Melanie Johnson” is a 32-year-old accountant who has moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin, from her hometown of Sarasota, Florida.  For the first time in her life, she has been experiencing periods of depression, lethargy, and excessive sleeping. Students read about these symptoms then answer a set of directed questions designed to teach facts and principles of anatomy and physiology using reference books, textbooks, the Internet, and each other as sources of information.

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