Neuropsychology and Neuro-rehabilitation: Hemi-spatial Neglect
The reflective essay question is:
• In a hypothetical scenario, imagine how your life would be affected if you have suddenly developed hemi-spatial neglect.
The way the reflective essay should be structured (please make sure to read carefully!)
You need to relate neuropsychological symptoms to brain dysfunction. The essay needs to be divided into 2 sections:
1) “Reflective section” (around 250 words, excluding references – which is worth 25% of the essay mark)
2) “Analytical section” (around 750 words, excluding references– which is worth 75% of the essay mark)
– “Reflective section” of essay (250 words):
*in this section, please describe the symptoms of the brain damage.
*ONLY describe the attentional loss symptoms
*You need to describe the consequences of such a loss on your own everyday life and social life in general (being a 23y.o female student).
*Only describe the symptoms of the brain damage and consequences in one point in time e.g. three months after the brain damage, one year after brain damage.
*Accounts of possible everyday and social life problems WITHOUT a good scientific foundation for the predictions will NOT be considered a good essay and will not receive a high mark (so please make sure you do include a strong scientific foundation).
*It is very important to make sure to read SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES to write this reflective account.
*You do not have to cite articles in this first 250 word reflective section. You may include the references.
*Like any academic essay, a reflective section needs a THESIS STATEMENT, a sentence placed near the beginning that gives an overview of what you will be discussing, please make sure to include that.
*One way to structure the reflective section is by previewing your experience and how you changed as a result.
– “Analytical section” of the essay (750 words):
*In this sections, you NEED to evaluate both:
1) The brain areas involved in the impairment. (i.e attentional loss)
2) The type of impaired neural process involved
*PLEASE MAKE SURE TO:
– provide EVIDENCE for damage to particular brain areas leading to impaired neural processing.
– provide references for EVERY citation within the text – omissions will be penalized!!
– make sure to critically evaluate key evidence for brain damage to particular brain areas leading to impaired neural processing in memory or emotion.
– THE CRITICAL EVALUATION SHOULD HIGHLIGH CONTOVERSIES AND CONTRADICTIONS IN THE KEY LITERATURE!!
When you write this essay, please make sure that there is a clear link between your arguments and the evidence you used to support this argument. You may use quotations if it is appropriate but do no over use them, you should make sure that you are able to demonstrate that you have understood the research youself, and are able to put it in your own words.
Please make sure you always acknowledge opinions which do not agree with your argument. If you ignore opposing viewpoints, the argument will be weaker. And please make sure to use strong scientific evidence preferably up to date when writing this essay.
Please make sure that you have read everything that I have mentioned above really CAREFULLY, as it will make sure the essay is done correctly.
Thank you very much and I hope you will be able to do an excellent job on this. 🙂
Here are some frequently asked questions about the reflective essay that my university provided me with. Please do make sure to read it because if you have any questions it might answer it for you, and it does give a few good points on writing the essay. I will be copying and pasting it below:
*Do I have to stick to the word limit?
• Please adhere to the word limit +/-10% -so a maximum of around 1100 words.
• Please put the word count at the bottom of the paper.
• You can EXCLUDE references from the word count
• The number of words in the reflective section does not have to be EXACTLY 250 words- it can be a little less if that helps with the essay.
• The word count is set by the university; we cannot alter it.
*Do I have to stick to only 14 references?
• You can use more than 14 references if you need to
*I have never written anything reflective before – what does it mean?
• Within this essay, reflective writing means looking back (reflecting) on an event. .
• ONLY for those of you who are still stuck, here are some suggestions only for what you might want to consider in the reflective section.
• What happened (one sentence only)?
• What is most important / interesting
• What have I learned from this?
• What does this mean for my future?
*How detailed and accurate does the cause of the accident have to be?
• One sentence is enough e.g. car accident or stroke. Do not worry about how likely that particular brain damage is to result following the incident. Please do not describe degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease!
*How can I write an essay if I am pretending to have brain damage?
• You do not have brain damage in the analytical account. Please write objectively in the third person
*How detailed does the specification of the brain area have to be? Can I choose a large area such at the pre-frontal cortex (PFC)? Do I have to choose a small area?
• It is very important that the brain area you choose is consistent with the symptoms you have described in the reflective section and that you evaluate evidence to support this (in the form of previous studies)
• It is possible to choose a large area such as the parietal lobe, pre-frontal cortex or orbitofrontal cortex as an area of brain damage. However you will find easier to critically evaluate a controversy or demonstrate understanding by choosing a specific parts of the parietal lobe or pre-frontal cortex.
*How much critical evaluation do I need to provide?
• An excellent essay must demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of and critical engagement with one or more aspect of attention/executive function or neural processes involved in the brain area you have chosen. Given the word limit you are strongly advised to stick to ONE aspect only or, at most two. So rather than evaluating a little of all types of attention/executive dysfunction involved in your chosen brain area focus on one or two and evaluate this.
*Do I need to mention all the other aspects of attention or executive function that my chosen part of the brain is involved in?
• Yes, list them in a sentence and explain that the essay will focus on one or two. You need to do this as part of demonstrating breadth of knowledge. No need to define each one.
*How much anatomy must I include?
• One sentence to explain the relationship to other relevant brain areas will be useful.
*How important is it to critically evaluate a controversy in the literature?
• This is very important.
• This is deliberately designed to test your level of understanding of the literature. The area of controversy/ evaluation of the literature will vary from topic to topic –we are testing your ability to integrate and evaluate different information. It could be at the level of evaluation key studies/theories/evaluating contradictory findings/unknown issues.
• This part of the analysis is essential for obtaining a good essay-if you do not have space, try to limit other parts of the essay
*Do I need to talk about different brain areas
• We expect that you will bring in other brain areas-the brain is highly interconnected. This may be very important in your critical evaluation