The field of neuropsychology, as its name suggests, is firmly grounded in brain structure. For practitioners of clinical neuropsychology, or other neuroclinical disciplines, a coherent framework for understanding the impact of developmental anomalies, injuries, and disease on the brain is essential. For researchers, an overview of gross neuroanatomy helps to locate investigative endeavours in a macro-level context.

Online Neuroanatomy for Neuropsychologists approaches brain structure from a number of perspectives. The first is developmental, on the premise that it is very difficult to understand structural relations without understanding how they emerge over the course of the development from conception to maturity. The second is related to the kinds of disorders that clinical neuropsychologists encounter in practice. This perspective not only informs an understanding of the affected person, but also enhances the student's ability to conceptualize structural organization. Third, neuroanatomy in clinical settings is predominantly represented in magnetic resonance images. Understanding magnetic resonance neuroanatomy is an important adjunct to the neuroclinical skillset, and an accessible way of visualising and appreciating brain structure. Finally, derivation of anatomical terms makes remembering them much easier, and will be pointed out as new terms are introduced.

Designed For

Designed with clinical neuropsychologists in mind, but the course would also be as applicable to other neuroclinicians, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, nurses, and young neuroscientists undertaking higher degree research.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Map mature brain structures onto the developmental ground-plan of brain, showing an understanding of how the mature brain emerges from transformations of a fundamental tubular structure.
  2. Describe the meningeal coverings of the brain, as well as their deep extensions, and will be able to classify superficial haemorrhagic collections in relation their meningeal location. Students will also be able to explain the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid.
  3. Map the developmental ground plan onto the base of brain and recognise base of brain anatomical relations on cerebral imaging and post-mortem photographs. Students will also be able to identify selected regions of clinical significance and describe pathologies that arise in them.
  4. Project the developmental ground plan of the brain onto the mature medial surface. They will also be able to explain the origin and organization of commissural structures uniting lateral and midline structures of the forebrain and will begin to identify anatomical planes of section on magnetic resonance images.
  5. Describe the synergistic development of the cerebral hemisphere, commissural tracts, and ventricular system. They will also be able to identify selected cortical landmarks of clinical significance in various planes on magnetic resonance images and describe arterial territories.
  6. Identify components of the limbic system and describe their connectivity. They will also be able to demonstrate the internal structure of the hippocampus and associated transitional structures on photographic and magnetic resonance images and explain the anatomical basis of limbic system syndromes.
  7. Identify the components and organizational structure of the pyramidal and extrapyramidal motor systems from cortical origins to spinal outflow. Based on this understanding they will be able to explain the functional co-operation of the two motor systems, and the anatomical basis of motor impairments.

    Course Units

    • Tutorial 1: Introduction and embryological perspectives
    • Tutorial 2: Coverings of the brain
    • Tutorial 3: Midline of the forebrain
    • Tutorial 4: Cerebral Hemispheres: Lateral Surface
    • Tutorial 5: Motor System
    • Tutorial 6: Limbic system

    Pathological Examples

    • Pathological Example 1 - Transmantle pathologies: focal cortical dysplasia
    • Pathological Example 2 - Meningioma
    • Pathological Example 3 - Third ventricular cysts
    • Pathological Example 4 - Craniopharyngioma
    • Pathological Example 5 - Uncal/hippocampal herniation
    • Pathological Example 6 - Agenesis of the corpus callosum
    • Pathological Example 7 - Aneurysm
    • Pathological Example 8 - Ventriculomegaly
    • Precentral tumour (Tutorials 5 and 7)


    The assessment is submission of 6 unit self-assessments and 8 case studies. A Certificate of Completion is provided upon satisfactory completion of the course.

    Delivery Mode

    Course completion requires approximately 10 hours of eLearning. Students have the flexibility to study in their own time and location. This course is delivered online and students can study in their own time and location. Course materials can be accessed using a web browser.

    Course Director

    Prof. Michael M. Saling

    Headshot of Prof. Michael M. Saling

    Academic, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences & Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist Austin Health

    I have authored over 180 papers, seven of which have been cited over 100 times. My h-index is 37 (ISI), with approximately 3800 unique career citations (ISI). These publications include a series of detailed neuropsychological and neuroimaging investigations of the breakdown of human memory systems in temporal lobe epilepsy. This work has been described as a "paradigm shift" by the epilepsy group at the Institute of Neurology UCL, Queen Square, London (Baxendale S, Thompson P. Beyond localization: The role of traditional neuropsychological tests in an age of imaging. Epilepsia 2010; 51:2225-30). This work has had a significant translational impact on our work on the early detection of AD dementia, which was published predominantly between 2013 and 2018.

    Course Assistant

    Taylor Jenkin

    Tayor Jenkin

    Taylor Jenkin is a Master of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology)/PhD Candidate at The University of Melbourne. She completed the Bachelor of Science at The University of Melbourne, at which time she developed keen interests in psychology and neuroscience, and their intersection. She went on to complete her Honours in Psychology, and through her research project developed a passion for learning about the relationship between brain function and psychology. She commenced her postgraduate studies in 2018, and her interest in the human brain’s structure and function continued to develop. Alongside her clinical training she is undertaking her PhD at The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and her research focuses on investigating family-centred care in paediatric acquired brain injury rehabilitation.

    Application Procedure

    This course has released. Please use the apply now button complete the Expression of Interest form and we will notify you once the course is released.

    Contact Us

    Mobile Learning Logo

    E: mobile-learning@unimelb.edu.au

    T: +61 3 8344 5673

Course Information


Course Fee: AUD $550 (incl. GST)

Student/Nurse/Trainee/Allied Health Professional Discounted Fee: AUD $275 (incl. GST)



Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements for this course.