Brain and Cognition: A Cognitive Neuroscience Lecture Series (January – May, 2014)


Neuroscience Course by Elkhonon Goldberg, Ph.D., ABPP

This course is a sequence of cognitive neuroscience lectures covering a wide range of topics on the relationship between the brain and the mind. The lecture series is intended for the mental health professionals concerned with brain health and brain disorders: psychologists, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, cognitive neuroscientists, and other clinicians and researchers. Brain mechanisms of major cognitive functions will be reviewed, as well as the major neurocognitive disorders. While this is primarily a lecture sequence, the number of the course participants will be kept intentionally relatively small to enable active audience participation. The topics covered in this mental health seminar are listed below. They will be addressed in the course of five day-long lectures (8am-6pm with a lunch break), offered one day a month, January-May 2014.

  1. Basic functional neuroanatomy. “Dry” neuroanatomy: brain stem, diencephalon, cerebellum, striatum, limbic structures, old and new cortex, and their contributions to neural computation. “Wet” neuroanatomy: major neurotransmitters and neuromodulators and their contributions to neural computation.
  2. Neural mechanisms of perception and perceptual disorders. Types of agnosias and their relationship to cerebral hemispheres. Evolutionary perspective: dorsal brain stem, thalamus and the neocortex. Distributed nature of the cortical mechanisms of perception.
  3. Neural mechanisms of motor functions and its disorders. Types of apraxias. Hierarchic organization of motor control and action.
  4. Neural mechanisms of language and language disorders. Types and taxonomies of aphasias. Distributed nature of the cortical mechanisms of language.
  5. The deciding brain: Neural mechanisms of executive functions of the frontal lobes and dysexecutive syndromes. Evolutionary perspective: prefrontal cortex and striatum. Components of executive functions. Working memory muddle. Metacognition and social cognition.
  6. The bicameral brain: Laterality and hemispheric specialization. Morphological, cytoarchitectonic and biochemical asymmetries. New approaches to hemispheric specialization. Laterality and evolution. New approaches to hemispheric specialization. Developmental perspective.
  7. The emotional brain. Limbic contribution to emotional regulation. Cortical contribution to emotional regulation. Fronto-amygdaloid loops. Hemispheric contribution to emotional regulation.
  8. Neural mechanisms of arousal and attention, and attentional disorders. Voluntary “top down” attention and fronto-mesencephalic loops. Mechanisms of ADHD. Automatic “bottom up” attention and thalamocortical loops. Mechanisms of hemiinattention.
  9. Neural mechanisms of memory and amnesias. Cortical, hippocampal, and brain stem components of the memory circuits. Taxonomies of memory: declarative vs. procedural, episodic vs. semantic, singular vs. generic, explicit vs. implicit, volitional vs. incidental. Anterograde, retrograde and other forms of amnesia.
  10. Brain development, brain aging, and current concepts of neuroplasticity.Factors behind healthy cognitive aging. Factors driving neuroplasticity.

Fees: $495 for a one-day admission (student registration is also available).

Location: Park Lane Hotel, 36 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019.

Dates: January 11, 2014; February 8; March 8; April 12; May 10, 2014 (all Saturdays).

Time: 8am – 6pm (with a lunch break and two short breaks).

About Your Instructor

The course is taught by Elkhonon Goldberg, Ph.D., ABPP (wikipedia) with the participation of additional select faculty. Elkhonon Goldberg has made a number of contributions to a wide range of topics in neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience. His work helped advance our understanding of general principles of functional cortical organization, hemispheric specialization, frontal lobe function and dysfunction, mechanisms of decision making, sex differences in functional cortical organization, hierarchic nature of executive control, mechanisms of long-term memory, the role of arousal in executive functions, etc. Goldberg has authored several influential books and published a number of research papers in peer-reviewed journals. Goldberg is also a practicing neuropsychologist with wide-ranging clinical experience of more than 30 years, and a sought-after educator who lectures worldwide. He was a Visiting Professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem,University of Sydney and has taughtat major universities worldwide. He hasmentored a number of students and post-doctoral trainees, many of whom have become prominent neuropsychologists and neuroscientists in their own right. Elkhonon Goldberg is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Neurology of New York University School of Medicine and a Diplomate of The American Board of Professional Psychology in Clinical Neuropsychology. He is a recipient of The Copernicus Prize for his “contributions to interdisciplinary dialogue between neurosciences and neuropsychology, and The Tempos Hominis medal for international medical sciences education.” He is a foreign member of The Venetian Institute of Science, Literature and Arts. His books The Executive Brain (2001), The Wisdom Paradox (2005), and The New Executive Brain (2009) have been translated into close to 20 languages.He co-authored (with Alvaro Fernandez) The SharpBrains Guide to Cognitive Fitness and is the Chief Scientific Adviser of www.sharpbrains.comElkhonon Goldberg was a student and close associate of Alexander Luria, one of the “founding fathers” of neuropsychology as a scientific discipline.

FollowElkhonon Goldberg on LinkedIn and Google+.

Continuing Education Credits (CE credits)

CE credits are being offered through PsychoEducational Resources, Inc. (PER).

Forty-Five (45) Continuing Education credits (CE credits) are being offered for this course.

PER is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. PER maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

PER is an NBCC Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP) and a co-sponsor of this program. PER may award NBCC approved clock hours for programs that meet NBCC requirements (Approval # 5536). Please check with your state counseling board to see if they accept the NBCC providership.

PER is approved as a provider for continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards, 400 South Ridge Parkway, Suite B, Culpepper, ASWB Approval Period:

4/15/12 – 4/15/15. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. The following recognize the ASWB program: AK, AL, AZ, CT, DC, DE, GA, ID, IN, IA, KY, MA, MD, MI, MO, MS, MT, NM, NC, ND, NJ, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VI, VT, WA, WI, and WY.

PER is approved as a Continuing Education Provider by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

Counselors (NAADAC) Provider #374.

PER maintains responsibility for these trainings and their content. For additional CE information please call PER at 800-892-9249 or

To receive CE Certification you must complete the entire training and an evaluation of the training.

CE Certifications will be mailed out approximately 3-4 weeks after the conclusion of each of the training.


Learning objectives for this course in the format required by accreditation organizations are shown below.

This program is designed to help you:

  1. List brain mechanisms of executive functions: Prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, striatum, related structures and their subdivisions.
  2. Analyze the role of executive functions in society: Frontal-lobe maturation and social maturity.
  3. Describe memory changes in aging. As we age, our memory capacity undergoes changes. These changes are characterized by complex patterns, which will be described here.
  4. Describe biological differences between the cerebral hemispheres: morphology, connectivity, and biochemistry.
  5. Describe sex differences in hemispheric specialization: How is hemispheric laterality different in females and males.
  6. Explain the limitations of the traditional paradigm: Left-hemispheric language and right-hemispheric spatial processing? Not so simple.
  7. Review new ideas about hemispheric specialization: fads and facts.
  8. Explain the roles of the two hemispheres in learning: the role of the right hemisphere in dealing with cognitive novelty and of the left hemisphere in maintaining well-formed knowledge.
  9. Describe the role of the two hemispheres in emotional control.
  10. Describe what happens to the brain as we age: which mental functions decline and which remain strong.
  11. Describe “successful” brain aging and the factors behind it: physical activity andcognitive activity.
  12. Describe neuroplasticity effects through the life span.
  13. Explain how memories are formed and stored.
  14. Compare different types of memory and their brain mechanisms: procedural – declarative, semantic -episodic, generic – singular. The cortex and the hippocampi in memory formation, storage and forgetting.
  15. Explain the process and brain mechanisms of decision-making: The frontal lobes and “executive functions”.
  16. Explain the brain mechanisms of emotions: Amygdala, cerebral hemispheres, andthe frontal lobes.
  17. Explain the brain mechanisms of language: A network not a locus. How different parts of the brain contribute to the complexity of language.
  18. Explain the brain mechanisms of perception:How we makes sense of the world around us: Perception and the brain. Pattern recognition.
  19. Explain the brain mechanisms of action: hierarchies of motor control and action. Cortex and the striatum.