“The self is an incredibly ingenious novelist.”—Richard Powers
Narrative neuropsychology explores notions of mind, memory, sensory perception, language, mind-body interactions, consciousness, and self through study of cases of the breakdown, hyperdevelopment, or recovery of mental function. In this course, we will draw on a mixture of neuropsychological case studies, scientific research papers, novels, and memoirs to investigate conditions such as agnosia, amnesia, synesthesia, aphasia, autism, and other alterations in consciousness that arise from brain damage or variations in brain development. “Narrative” refers to the narrative accounts of neurologists but also to the view of the human brain as primarily a storyteller. A third sense of the term “narrative” will be invoked in our reading of current fiction and memoirs that incorporate neuropsychological material. This course is designed for students interested in the intersections of science and art.