Communication Sciences and Disorders 401

COSD 401: Neuroanatomy in Communication Disorders

Credit Hours: (3)

This course serves as the preparatory course for students prior to their enrollment in the graduate neurological disorders courses (aphasia, motor speech disorders, and dysphagia), and other communication disorders with neurological components.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

The course is designed to provide the student with knowledge of the neurological structures and functions related to normal speech, language, and hearing processes.

Knowledge of normal neurological structure and function is necessary to assess and manage neurologically-based speech, language, and hearing disorders. Emphasis will be on understanding basic nervous system subdivisions and relationships particular to speech, language, and hearing.

The following topics are covered in the course:


1. Scope, principles, and elements of neuroscience
2. Anatomical and functional subdivisions


            a. Central nervous system
            b. Peripheral nervous system


3. Nervous system cells and relationships


            a. Cells of central and peripheral nervous systems
            b. Synaptic transmission
            c. Nerve cell response to injury


4. Central Nervous System


            a. Spinal Cord
            b. Brainstem
            c. Cranial Nerves
            d. Basal ganglia
            e. Cerebral hemispheres


5. Major systems: speech/language/hearing processes


            a. General sensation
            b. Visual system
            c. Auditory systems
            d. Vestibular system
            e. Motor systems


6. Protection and maintenance of the brain and spinal cord


            a. Meninges
            b. Cerebrospinal fluid
            c. Ventricular system
            d. Blood supply


7. Nervous system’s embryological development
8. Diagnostic techniques and neurological concepts


            a. Brain imaging
            b. Sodium amytal infusion for assessing cerebral dominance
            c. Electroencephalography
            d. Brain electrical activity mapping
            e. Evoked potentials
            f. Dichotic listening
            g. Lumbar puncture
            h. Neurosurgical procedures
            i. Genetic inheritance
            j. Specific neurological disorders (seizures, myopathies,toxic encephalopathies, peripheral neuropathies, neoplastic growth, and cerebral infections)



Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course will utilize lectures, review of diagrams and models, slide and video presentations, laboratory experiences to provide exposure to instrumentation/technology used in the assessment of neurological dysfunctions, and presentations from appropriate medical professionals. Emphasis will be placed on applying the knowledge gained to explain the interactive function of the nervous system to support various aspects of speech, language, and hearing.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

The students will be able to:


1. demonstrate an understanding of the function of the nervous system, structures, and functions at the synaptic level.
2. identify and describe the function of the basic components of the central nervous system.
3. indicate area and function of cortical areas important for speech, language, and hearing.
4. identify and explain the functions of nervous system blood supply.
5. trace and explain the functions of the sensory systems necessary for speech, language, and hearing.


Assessment Measures

  • Assessment measures will include written examinations, labs focused on identifying structures of various neurological structures, and completion of instrumentation
  • Assignments relevant to the instrumentation and technology used in assessment of the various neurological disorders discussed in the course. Student achievement will be recorded via monitoring of classroom discussions/participation. Students experiencing difficulties will be provided with opportunities for individual and group mentoring, study sessions, and reviews. Comparative date will be used to correlate the additional “help sessions” with gains in performance as reflected in formal testing.
  • Acquisition and learning of the concepts will be parsed from the regular in-class tests in attempts to identify areas for review. For example, an item-analysis of test questions will be used to identify areas for review.


Other Course Information: None


Review and Approval
January 2006 Reviewed and approved Dr. Kenneth Cox, Chair