Function Of Brain Structures

*Note: Plagiarism has been increasing at UCSD, and our efforts to detect it and report it are as well. If ANY form of plagiarism is suspected (e.g., changing words and/or sentences to make it look like you wrote it), you will lose points or be reported to Academic Integrity and receive a 0 (which I have done in the past). We are using Turnitin so you will be able to see your similarity score to other papers. Make sure you look at it and confirm that you are not accidentally plagiarizing as well.

Brain Damage Case Study Paper

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Purpose: The primary purpose of this short paper is to expose you to real-life examples of people who have suffered from a variety of traumatic brain injuries in order to illustrate the importance of various brain regions and structures. The secondary purpose of this assignment is to train you to paraphrase and summarize ideas in your own words, without the use of direct quotations.

Task: Select one of the real-life patients from the list below. You are encouraged to conduct additional online research to learn more about the patient and his or her brain injury. You will write a short paper on your case study that describes how their brain injury occurred, the typical characteristics of the brain disorder, and the symptoms that the patient exhibits.

List of Case Study Patients

Scott Bolzan (Links to an external site.) (retrograde amnesia)

Phinneas Gage (Links to an external site.) (frontal lobe damage)

Gabby Giffords (Links to an external site.) (broca’s aphasia (Links to an external site.))

Krickitt Karpenter (Links to an external site.) (retrograde amnesia (Links to an external site.); inspired movie The Vow)
Victor Leborgne (Links to an external site.) [Patient Tan] (broca’s aphasia (Links to an external site.))
Henry Molaison (Links to an external site.) (anterograde amnesia)
Patient Dr. P (Links to an external site.) (visual agnosia (Links to an external site.); prosopagnosia)
Patient S.M. (Links to an external site.) (amygdala damage (Links to an external site.))
Michelle Philpots (Links to an external site.) (anterograde amnesia (Links to an external site.); inspired movie 50 First Dates)
Clive Wearing (Links to an external site.) (total amnesia (Links to an external site.))
Paragraph 1: Background

Provide a little background on the patient and their accident / brain injury. If unknown or unclear how they developed the disorder, research some examples of known possible causes for the disorder.
Paragraph 2 – 3: Define disorder and function of brain structures that were damaged

Define / describe the characteristics of the brain disorder that your case study has. Be sure to describe the function or purpose of each brain region or structure (e.g., hippocampus; amygdala) that was damaged.
Paragraph 4: Patient’s Symptoms

Describe examples of your patient’s symptoms that illustrate the brain disorder.
Paragraph 5: Conclusion

Describe the patient’s current life status (e.g., living vs. deceased) and what their life was like after the diagnosis (e.g., how did they function on a day-to-day basis; were they capable of holding job or being in a relationship?).
Criteria for success :

Length: 2-3 pages (not including Reference page)

Formatting: double-spaced, no Title Page – just put your name at the top.

Sources: You need a reference page and APA citations. You should reference the lectures and/or the textbook for additional details on the psychological concepts. You are not expected to conduct outside research for this paper, but if you do, make sure you add your sources to the reference page and cite them within the text of your paper.

How to Summarize:

When composing your paper, you need to summarize the details you’ve read about IN YOUR OWN WORDS. The best way to do this without plagiarizing the websites is to take notes while you are reading and then close the website. You should be able to then summarize, from your own memory or notes, the most important details of your case study.

Similarly, when defining the brain disorder, I do not want you to use a direct quotation from the textbook or Wikipedia. I want you to demonstrate your own understanding of the disorder by summarizing the characteristics in your own words. In both instances, you would still include a citation at the end of your sentence, but you are not using quotation marks (“ ”) because you aren’t directly quoting the text.

How to cite websites: You are encouraged to review other online sources beyond the links provided. You should save and cite any websites that you reviewed for your paper. Here are two websites that will help you cite the websites using APA-style.

How to cite a website in APA (Links to an external site.)

Citation Machine: Cite a website (Links to an external site.)

When there is no author for a web page, the website or article title moves to the first position of the reference entry. To cite the website in the text, use the first few words of the website title, followed by a comma then the year of publication. Use double quotation marks around the title or abbreviated title.

Reference example:

All 33 Chile miners freed in flawless rescue. (2010, October 13). Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)

In-text citation example:

The miners were hungry and exhausted, but hopeful upon their rescue (“All 33 Chile Miners,” 2010).

Grading Rubric:



Components of Paper



– Provides very detailed description of brain disorder and associated brain structures

– Summarizes details of case study in own words and uses citations and has a reference page

– Writes clearly, correct APA citations and reference page, has no grammatical errors or run-on sentences. No suspicion of plagiarism.


Above Average



-Could provide a little more detail about brain disorder, brain structures, patient

– Minor issues with summary, citations, or writing style. Plagiarism detected.




– Missing key information about brain disorder, brain structures, or patient

– Not fully summarized in own words; relies on direct quotations

– Moderate issues with summary, citations, or writing style. Plagiarism detected.



Needs Improvement

– Major issues with summary, citations, reference page, or writing style

– Heavily plagiarized; not in own words


Citing and reference page: (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

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