Sample Study Schedules

Below are a few examples of study schedules used by members of BRAIN who decided to create small study groups in preparation for a particular written exam date. Typically, the groups had a once-a-week conference call to discuss the notes and to provide encouragement and support. In the interim, they corresponded via e-mail. Keep in mind that the notes are constantly evolving, so these schedules are examples, not prescriptions for how your group should run.

Sample Schedule 1

NAN Conference: November 11-14, 2009 in New Orleans, LA Proposed Study Schedule

BOOKS/MATERIALS: Clinical Neurology for Psychiatrists (David Kaufman – K), Neuroanatomy through Clinical Cases (Hal Blumenfeld – B), Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology (Kolb & Wishaw – K & W), and INS Dictionary (D. Loring Ed.- INS); as well as others as necessary

Week 20: June 21, 2009

  • Neuroanatomy Overview (Ch. 2 & 3, B); Organization of the Nervous System (Ch. 3, K & W); Principles of Neocortical Function (Ch. 10, K & W); The Neurological Exam (Ch. 1 – B & K; Ch. 3 – B; Ch. 2 Snyder and Nussbaum); The Neurologic Exam Outline; read pertinent Brain outlines and review brain atlas; INS Dictionary A; Create 5 questions for group

Week 19: June 28, 2009

  • Cranium, Ventricles, and Meninges (Ch. 5, B); Corticospinal Tract (Ch. 6, B; not found to be particularly helpful); Somatosensory Pathways (Ch. 7, B; not found to be particularly helpful); Disconnection Syndromes (Ch. 17, K & W); read pertinent Brain outlines and review brain atlas; INS Dictionary B; Create 5 questions for group

Week 18: July 5, 2009

  • Cerebral Hemispheres and Vascular Supply (Ch. 10, B); TIA/Stroke (Ch. 11, K); Cerebral Asymmetry (Ch. 11, K & W); Variations in Cerebral Asymmetry (Ch. 12, K & W); Behavioral Neurology of White Matter/Disconnection Syndromes (Filley); read pertinent Brain outlines and review brain atlas; INS Dictionary C; Create 5 questions for group

Week 17: July 12, 2009

  • Visual System (Ch. 11, B); Occipital Lobes (Ch. 13, K & W); Spatial Behavior (Ch. 21, K & W); Auditory System; Smell and Chemical Senses; TBI (Ch 22, K, Lezak P. 157 – 194); read pertinent Brain outlines and review brain atlas; INS Dictionary D; Create 5 questions for group

Week 16: July 19, 2009

  • Brain Stem I-III: (includes Cranial Nerves); (Ch. 12-14, B; Ch. 4, K); read pertinent Brain outlines and review brain atlas; INS Dictionary E; Create 5 questions for group

Week 15: July 26, 2009

  • Review Week – Review last 5 weeks and notes; neuroanatomy; review flashcards; review Brain outlines; review INS Dictionary; review ABCN mock examinations.

Week 14: Aug. 2, 2009

  • Cerebellum (Ch. 15, B); Basal Ganglia (Ch. 16, B); Signs of Basal Ganglia Lesions; Huntington’s Disorder (Ch. 18, K); Motor Systems; Organization of the Motor System (Ch. 9, K & W); Multiple Sclerosis (Ch. 15, K); read pertinent Brain outlines and review brain atlas; INS Dictionary F; Create 5 questions for group

Week 13: Aug 9, 2009

  • Parietal Lobes; Parietal Lobes (Ch. 14, K & W); Agnosia; Agraphia; Apraxia; Attention; Attention, Mental Images, and Consciousness (Ch. 22, K & W); Neglect; Anosognosia; Nonverbal Skills; (Ch. 12, K); read pertinent Brain outlines and review brain atlas; INS Dictionary G; Create 5 questions for group

Week 12: Aug 16, 2009

  • Language; The Origins of Language (Ch. 19, K & W); Aphasia; Alexia; read pertinent Brain outlines and review brain atlas; INS Dictionary H; Create 5 questions for group

Week 11: Aug 23, 2009

  • Neurodegenerative Disorders; Dementias (Ch. 7, K); Dementia / Depression / Delirium; Aging and Cognition; Mild Cognitive Impairment; Parkinson’s Differentials; Hypoxia/Anoxia; Neurological Disorders (Ch. 26, K & W); read pertinent Brain outlines and review brain atlas; INS Dictionary I, J; Create 5 questions for group5

Week 10: Aug 30, 2009

  • Temporal Lobes; The Temporal Lobes (Ch. 15, K & W); Limbic System (Ch. 18, B); Emotion; Emotion (Ch. 20, K & W); Learning & Memory; Memory (Ch. 18, K & W); Baddley & Hitch Working Memory; Seizures/WADA/Brain mapping (Ch. 10, K); TBI (Ch, 22, K); read pertinent Brain outlines and review brain atlas; INS Dictionary K, L; Create 5 questions for group

Week 9: Sept 6, 2009

  • Frontal Lobes and Disorders; Frontal Lobes (Ch. 16, K & W); Models of Frontal Lobe Functioning; Brain Tumors/ Neuropathology (Ch. 19, K); Clinical Neuroradiology (Ch. 4, B; Ch. 20, K); Neuroimaging; Imaging the Brain’s Activity (Ch. 7, K & W); read pertinent Brain outlines and review brain atlas; INS Dictionary M, N; Create 5 questions for group

Week 8: Sept 13, 2009

  • Review Week – Review last 6 weeks and notes; neuroanatomy; review flashcards; review Brain outlines; review INS Dictionary; review ABCN mock examinations.

Week 7: Sept 20, 2009

  • The Auditory System; Smell; Chemical senses; Origins of the Sensory Systems (Ch. 8, K & W); CNS Cellular Organization (outline includes NTs); The Structure and Electrical Activity of Neurons (Ch. 4, K & W); Communication Between Neurons (Ch. 5, K & W); Neurotoxins; Pharmacology; Neurotransmitters/Drug Abuse (Ch. 21, K); The Influence of Drugs on Behavior (Ch. 6, K & W); read pertinent Brain outlines and review brain atlas; INS Dictionary O, P, Q; Create 5 questions for group

Week 6: Sept 27, 2009

  • Brain Development; Organization of the Nervous System (Ch. 3, K & W); Childhood Disorders (psychiatric and neurological; Ch. 13, K); Developmental Disorders (Ch. 24, K & W); Plasticity; Recovery/sparing of function; Brain Development and Plasticity (Ch. 23, K & W); read pertinent Brain outlines and review brain atlas; INS Dictionary R; Create 5 questions for group

Week 5: October 4, 2009

  • Pituitary and Hypothalamus; Endocrine Disorders; Nutritional Deficiencies; Stages of Sleep; Insomnias/ Parasomnias; Hydrocephalus; Acquired Metabolic Diseases of NS; Encephalitides; Infectious Diseases; HIV/AIDS; read pertinent Brain outlines and review brain atlas; INS Dictionary S; Create 5 questions for group

Week 4: October 11, 2009

  • Higher Order Cerebral Function; Behavioral Neuroanatomy; History of Neuropsychology; Development of Neuropsychology (Ch. 1, K & W); Origins of the Human Brain and Behavior (Ch. 2, K & W); read pertinent Brain outlines and review brain atlas; INS Dictionary T; Create 5 questions for group

Week 3: October 18, 2009

  • Test Construction; Statistics; Norms; Cultural Issues/Use of demographic corrections; Estimating Premorbid IQ; Basic NP concepts and Differential Diagnosis; Neuropsychological Assessment (Ch. 28, K & W); Professional Issues/Miscellaneous/Forensic; read pertinent Brain outlines and review brain atlas; INS Dictionary U, V, W; Create 5 questions for group

Week 2: October 25, 2009

  • DSM-IV basics; Adult Psychiatric Diagnoses (schizophrenia, somatoform, bipolar, anxiety); Psychiatric and Related Disorders (Ch. 27, K & W); Cognitive Therapy; Treatment related Issues; Cognitive Enhancers & Neuroprotective Agents; Plasticity, Recovery, and Rehabilitation of the Adult Brain (Ch. 25, K & W); read pertinent Brain outlines and review brain atlas; INS Dictionary X, Y, Z; Create 5 questions for group

Week 1: November 1, 2009

  • Review last 6 weeks and notes; neuroanatomy; review flashcards; review Brain outlines; review INS Dictionary; review ABCN mock examinations and practice tests.

Week of Conference – November 9, 2009 Relax and pass exam with flying colors!!!

  • Recommended Readings for Written Exam
    • Clinical Neuropsychology
      • Grant, I. and Adams, K. M. (Eds.). (1996). Neuropsychological Assessment of Neuropsychiatric Disorders (2nd ed.)
      • Heilman, K. M., and Valenstein, E. (Eds.). (1993). Clinical Neuropsychology (3rd ed.)
      • Loring, D. W. (1999). INS Dictionary of Neuropsychology
      • McCarthy, R. A., and Warrington, E. K. (1990). Cognitive Neuropsychology: a clinical introduction
      • Walsh, K. W. (1994). Neuropsychology: a clinical approach (3rd ed.)
    • Adult Neuropsychological Assessment 
      • Lezak, M. D. (1995). Neuropsychological Assessment (3rd ed.)
      • Spreen, O., and Strauss, E. (1998). A Compendium of Neuropsychological Tests: administration, norms, and commentary (2nd ed.)
    • Basic Neuroscience
      • Kandel, E. R., Schwartz, J. H., and Jessell, T. M. (Eds.). (2000). Principles of Neural Science
      • Reitan, R.M. and Wolfson, D. (1985). Neuroanatomy and Neuropathology: A clinical guide for neuropsychologists
      • Shepherd, G. M. (1994). Neurobiology (3rd ed.)
    • Clinical and Behavioral Neurology
      • Adams, R. D., Victor, M., and Rooper, A. H. (1996). Principles of Neurology (6th ed)
      • Feinberg, T. E., and Farah, M. J. (Eds.). (1997). Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychology
      • Lishman, W. A. (1998). Organic Psychiatry (3rd ed)
    • Psychological/Psychiatric Diagnosis and Psychopathology
      • American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM IV (4th ed.)
      • Koocher, G. P., Norcross, J. C., and Hill, S. S. (1998). Psychologist’s Desk Reference
    • Developmental and Pediatric Neuropsychology
      • Baron, I. S., Fennell, E. B., and Voeller, K. K. S. (1995). Pediatric Neuropsychology in the Medical Setting
      • Frank, Y. (1996). Pediatric Behavioral Neurology
      • Sattler, J. M. (1992). Assessment of Children (3rd rev. ed.)
      • Spreen, O., Risser, A. H., and Edgell, D. (1995). Developmental Neuropsychology
  • Further Recommended Readings for Written Exam
    • Hanaway, Woolsey, Gado, Roberts: 1998: The Brain Atlas. Fitzgerald Science Press
    • Kolb & Wishaw: Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology. 1990, Freeman
    • Kaufman, David M.: Clinical Neurology for Psychiatrists. W.B. Saunders, 1995
    • Weiner & Goetz: Neurology for the Non-Neurologist. Lippincott, 1994
    • Nolte: The Human Brain: An Introduction to Its Functional Neuroanatomy / Study Guide. Mosby, 1993
    • Snyder & Nussbaum: Clinical Neuropsychology: A Pocket Handbook
    • Tartar, Butters, and Beers: Medical Neuropsychology
    • Anastasi: Psychological Assessment
    • Filley: The Behavioral Neurology of White Matter
  • General Domains
    • Neuropsychological Assessment
      • Psychometrics and diagnostic (decision) theory
      • Interpretation of test results
      • Effects of normal aging and other demographic factors on test performance
      • Psychometric features of cerebral disease
    • Comparison of tests used in neuropsychological assessment and research
    • Clinical Neuropsychology
      • Neurobehavioral characteristics of cerebral disease
      • Neurobehavioral syndromes
      • History of Clinical Neuropsychology
      • Theory of brain organization and functions
      • Theory of neuropsychological signs and symptoms of cerebral disease
    • Basic and Clinical Neurosciences
      • History of neuroscience (persons, thoughts and concepts)
      • Neuroanatomy (normal surface anatomy to types of cells, vascular system
      • Neurophysiology (cell or tissue functioning, role of blood cells)
      • Neuropathology (e.g., types of abnormal cells, classification of tumors, vascular abnormalities)
      • Neuropharmacology & neurotransmitters in neurologic disease
    • Behavioral (Clinical) Neurology
      • Neurological examination
      • Neurodiagnostic testing (EEG, evoked potentials, magnetoencephalograph, transcranial doppler)
      • Brain Imaging and Related Procedures (CT, MRI, fMRI, PET, SPECT, cerebral blood flow, skull X-rays, angiography)
      • Neurologic signs and symptoms of disease (e.g., Confusional State, Parkinson’s, Persistent Vegetative State, etc.)
      • Etiology, risk factors, course and prognosis of neurologic disease
      • Treatment of neurologic disease (including untoward effects)
    • General Clinical Psychology
      • Psychological and psychiatric examinations
      • Psychological disorders from DSM
    • Psychological Assessment and Testing
    • Psychological signs and symptoms of DSM psychiatric disorders
    • Physical signs and symptoms of DSM psychiatric disorders
    • Etiology, risk factors, course, and prognosis of psychiatric disorders
    • Theories of cognitive psychology and its terminology
    • Psychopharmacology in the treatment of psychiatric disorders (including therapeutic & side effects)

Sample Schedule 2

Used by Group Studying for Exam at 2003 INS

Week of 10/21/02

  • Neuroanatomy overview*
  • The Neurologic Exam*

Week of 10/28/02

  • Cranium, Ventricles, and Meninges* (long and short versions)
  • Corticospinal Tract* (long and short versions)
  • Somatosensory Pathways* (long and short versions)

Week of 11/4/02

  • Cerebral Hemispheres and Vascular Supply*
  • Visual System*
  • Behavioral Neurology of White Matter

Week of 11/11/02

  • Brainstem I*
  • Brainstem II*
  • Brainstem III*

Week of 11/18/02

  • Cerebellum* (long and short versions)
  • Basal Ganglia* (long and short versions)
  • Signs of Basal Ganglia Lesions
  • Huntington’s Disorder
  • Motor Systems
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Week of 11/25/02 (Thanksgiving week)

  • Agnosia
  • Agraphia
  • Apraxia
  • Attention
  • Neglect
  • Nonverbal Skills

Week of 12/2/02

  • Language
  • Aphasia
  • Alexia

Week of 12/9/02

  • Dementias
  • Dementia vs. Depression
  • Depression vs. Dementia
  • Aging and Cognition
  • Mild Cognitive Impairment and Normal Aging
  • Parkinson’s Differentials

Week of 12/16/02

  • Limbic System*
  • Learning and Memory
  • Baddley and Hitch Working Memory
  • Seizure Disorders
  • TBI

Week of 12/23/02 (Christmas week)

  • The Frontal Lobes and Related Disorders
  • Models of Frontal Lobe Functioning
  • Brain Tumors
  • Clinical Neuroradiology*
  • Neuroimaging
  • Take ABCN Sample Exam

Week of 12/30/02 (New Year’s week)

  • The Auditory System
  • Smell
  • Chemical Senses
  • CNS Cellular Organization
  • Encephalatides (handout via mail)
  • Neurotoxins (handout via mail)
  • Pharmacology (handout via mail)
  • Questions from Principles of Neurology

Week of 1/6/03

  • Brain Development
  • Childhood Disorders
  • Plasticity
  • Hydrocephalus (handouts via mail)
  • Study Questions from Mike

Week of 1/13/03

  • Pituitary and Hypothalamus*
  • Endocrine Disorders
  • Stages of Sleep
  • Sensitivity-Specificity + Base Rate
  • Study Questions from Kira (to Mike and Lisa)

Week of 1/20/03

  • Higher Order Cerebral Function*
  • Behavioral Neuroanatomy (Mesulam’s chapter)
  • History of Neuropsychology
  • Miscellaneous handouts mailed by Kira
  • REVIEW

LAST PHONE CALL – SUNDAY, 1/26/03

Asterisk (*) denotes chapters from Blumenfeld’s book

Sample Schedule 3

Used by Group Studying for Exam at 2007 INS

Besides BRAIN Outlines, textbooks used include:

  • Neuroanatomy through Clinical Cases (Hal Blumenfeld – B)
  • DSM-IV
  • A Compendium of Neuropsychological Tests (Strauss, Sherman, & Spreen)
  • Clinical NP: A Pocket Handbook (Snyder & Nussbaum)
  • INS Dictionary (D. Loring Ed.- INS)
  • Neuropsychological Assessment (Lezak)
  • Neurology for Psychiatrist (Kaufman)
  • Principles of Neurology (Adams and Victor)
  • Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychology (Feinberg and Farah)
  • Medical Neuropsychology (Tartar, Butters, & Beers)
  • NP Assessment of NP Disorders (Grant & Adams)
  • Psychological Assessment (Anastasi)
  • The Behavioral Neurology of White Matter (Filley)
  • Uniform Data Set Form D1 – Clinician Diagnosis

For each week, each person will develop 5 test questions. Do the basic reading listed in the schedule below. Divide up the syndromes each week amongst group members and complete the Syndrome/Disease outline for your topics each week. Weekly group study sessions focus on presentation and discussion of the Syndrome/Disease outlines.

10/18/06:

  • Test Construction/Statistics (SSS Ch 1&2; Test Construction Outline)
  • DSM-IV basics (DSM-IV Intro Ch and Multiaxial Assessment Ch)
  • Adult Psychiatric Diagnoses (schizophrenia, somatoform, bipolar, anxiety)(Diagnosis/Psychopathology Outline)
  • Cognitive Therapy (Clinical Psychology Outline – CBT focus, skim rest)
  • INS (A)

10/23/06:

  • Neuroanatomy Overview (Ch. 2 – B; Neuroanatomy Overview Outline)
  • The Neurological Exam (Ch. 3 – B; Ch. 2 Snyder and Nussbaum; The Neurologic Exam Outline)
  • Review a good Brain Atlas as needed
  • INS (B)

10/30/06:

  • Cranium, Ventricles, and Meninges (Ch. 5, B)
  • Corticospinal Tract (Ch. 6, B) (OPTIONAL; not found to be particularly helpful)
  • Somatosensory Pathways (Ch. 7, B) (OPTIONAL; not found to be particularly helpful)
  • Also see outline notes and review a good Brain Atlas
  • INS (C)

11/6/06:

  • Cerebral Hemispheres and Vascular Supply (Ch. 10, B)
  • TIA/Stroke (Ch. 11, K)
  • Behavioral Neurology of White Matter/Disconnection Syndromes (Filley)
  • Also see outline notes and review a good Brain Atlas
  • INS (D)

11/13/06:

  • Visual System (Ch. 11, Ch 19.12-19.13 B)
  • Auditory System
  • Smell and chemical senses (B p 770)
  • TBI (Ch 22, K; Lezak p 157-194)
  • Also see outline notes and review Brain Atlas; INS (E)

Week of 11/20/06:

  • Cerebellum (Ch. 15, B)
  • Basal Ganglia (Ch. 16, B)
  • Signs of Basal Ganglia Lesions
  • Huntington’s Disorder (Ch. 18, K)
  • Motor Systems
  • Parkinson’s differentials (Lezak p 224-241)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (Ch. 15, K)
  • Review Bipolar Disorder, Personality Disorders
  • Also see outline notes and review Brain Atlas
  • INS (F & G)

Week of 11/27/06:

  • Parietal Lobes
  • Agnosia
  • Agraphia
  • Apraxia
  • Attention/Neglect
  • Anosognosia
  • Nonverbal Skills
  • NVLD
  • Cognitive Psychology Models
  • Ch. 12, K and see outlines
  • Overview Executive Function and Nonverbal Tests (SSS)
  • INS (H – J)

Week of 12/4/06:

  • Language
  • Aphasia (S&N)
  • Alexia
  • Limbic System (Ch. 18, B)
  • Emotion
  • Also see outlines notes
  • Overview Language Tests (SSS)
  • INS (K-N)

Week of 12/11/06:

  • Dementias (Ch. 7, K)
  • Dementia/Depression/Delirium
  • Aging and Cognition
  • Mild Cognitive Impairment
  • Temporal Lobes
  • Learning & Memory
  • Baddley & Hitch Working Memory (BRAIN outline)
  • Seizure Disorders/WADA/Brain mapping (Ch. 10, K)
  • Overview Memory Tests (SSS)
  • Also see outlined notes; INS (O-Q)

Week of 12/18/06:

  • Frontal Lobes and Related Disorders
  • Models of F. Lobe Functioning/Executive Functioning
  • Brain Tumors/Neuropathology (Ch. 19, K)
  • Clinical Neuroradiology (Ch. 4, B; Ch. 20, K)
  • Neuroimaging
  • Diagnostic tests (EEG, evoked potentials, MEG, Transcranial Dopler)
  • Also see outline notes
  • INS (R)

Week of 12/25/06:

  • Neurotoxins
  • Pharmacology
  • Neurotransmitters/Drug Abuse (Ch. 21, K)
  • Review Schizophrenia/delusions
  • Review Substance Abuse
  • Also see outline notes
  • INS (S)

Week of 1/1/07:

  • Brain Development
  • Childhood Disorders (psychiatric and neurological; Ch. 13, K)
  • Plasticity
  • Recovery/sparing of function
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Review DSM Disorders of Childhood
  • ADHD
  • LD
  • Also see outline notes
  • INS (T-V)

Week of 1/8/07:

  • Pituitary and Hypothalamus
  • Endocrine Disorders
  • Review Somatoform D/O
  • Nutritional Deficiencies
  • Stages of Sleep
  • Insomnias/Parasomnias
  • Sleep disorders in NP (e.g., sleep apnea, REM sleep disorder)
  • Also see outline notes
  • INS (W-Z)

Week of 1/15/07:

  • History of Neuropsychology
  • History of Neuroscience/neurology
  • Review WAIS-III psychometrics (SSS, Tulsky book)
  • Personality Testing
  • Ethics
  • Take ABCN Sample Exam

Week of 1/22/07:

  • Encephalitides
  • Acquired Metabolic Diseases of NS
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Hypoxia/Anoxia
  • Professional Issues/Miscellaneous
  • Forensic
  • Estimating Premorbid IQ
  • Basic NP concepts and Differential Diagnosis

Week of 1/29/07:

  • Test Construction
  • Norms
  • Cultural Issues/Use of demographic corrections
  • Statistics
  • Research Design

WEEK OF INS 2/5/07:

  • Review all of your Syndrome/Disease Outlines
  • Review highlights of Neuroanatomy
  • Review anything else you need
  • Pass exam with flying colors!!!

Additional thoughts from the 2007 group after the Test:

Things most helpful:

  • Syndrome/Disease Outlines
  • Incorporating DSM-IV throughout
  • Incorporating Kids throughout
  • Finding ways to revisit old topics in discussion when something overlapped (i.e., white matter syndromes when later discussing MS; vascular supply when later discussing neuroimaging, etc).
  • Repeating Test Construction, Stats, Norms at end.
  • Tables and Figures in Blumenfeld
  • BRAIN outlines are most often outlines of chapters from books listed above. As such, they can be quite helpful, but you have to remember that it is someone else’s outlining, which may or may not always make sense to you. This also at times can make it difficult to boil the info down to the most relevant points; this is why we started the Syndrome/Disease Outlines a couple of weeks into studying. Point being, you CANNOT rely on the outlines alone.
  • Whenever one of us would have a clinical case that hit on a topic (past or present) we would discuss it with each other and hit highlights of the Syndrome/Disease Outlines

Things not as helpful:

  • We used the Kaufman book in the beginning, but were frustrated occasionally with oversimplifications or inaccuracies. We thus used it less and less towards the end. We did find his chapter on Childhood Disorders particularly helpful as adult NPs. The positive of Kaufman is that it is very READABLE, unlike the dry litany of studies in some of the other neurology texts.
  • It was difficult to keep up with the INS Dictionary, and while I appreciated some of what I learned (Letter A was particularly helpful) none of us completed it. It was a good reference, however, when questions did arise, and we frequently referred to it in study sessions for quick answers.

Be Ready for ABPP in Neuropsychology