I loved Professor Spagna's class. He really emphasizes neuropsychology's difference from neuroscience, which I didn't really understand why until about halfway through the course. I must say I really liked the way he viewed science, and he made all the classes so engaging. A lot of my classmates did NOT like neuroanatomy, but I didn't think it was bad at all; just the basics of neuroscience before learning how to apply that to real-world scenarios. That being said, the course is very well structured. I was actually debating between a major requirement and this class for this semester, and everyone I asked, including my advisor, told me to choose the major requirement. I was even told I would be "wasting" my credits. Well, I'm so glad I didn't listen to them. In the beginning, I actually chose this class solely based on the structure. Everything was so detailed, and I knew exactly what I was signing up for. I don't think I need to tell anybody that this is a rare find at Columbia, or maybe at university in general. I really appreciated the transparency of this class from the very beginning, and I still appreciate it.
The course was divided in half: the first half focused on neuroscience knowledge, while the second half focused on applying that knowledge. For example, in Week 1 and 2 we learned neuroanatomy or information about the senses. In Week 10 we learned about language disorders, but we did a lot of case study work and scenario-based assignments, rather than just route memorization. In this way, I felt it was a lot different than the Psych/Neuro classes I had taken already, and really appreciated the change. In Professor Spagna's exams, he would ask "what would you do in this situation, as a clinical neuropsychologist?" not "what deficit is this patient suffering from?"
After taking this class, I've decided to change my major. Prior to this class, I had focused on my other major and was considering taking a few Psych/Neuro classes for fun and maybe have it turn into a concentration (I'm in the college). Now, I want to major in Psych and have the other major be a concentration. Life is weird, guys.
Also, I just have to say, this guy is so so nice. Love him. His accent makes the videos a little hard to understand sometimes, but you can generally work it out. Take a class with Spagna. It will make your 4 years worth it. And then some.