Neurologic Localizations

Publication ID Published Volume
7704 January 22, 2010 6


This module uses two clinical scenarios (brainstem infarct; multiple extra-dural abscesses) to help students learn how to apply basic neuroscience content knowledge to lesion localization. The Readiness Assurance Tests offer a measure of how well students have mastered fundamental content knowledge, such as the structure and function of neural pathways and cranial nerves. The Group Application Exercise requires students to apply this knowledge to solve clinical problems in neurology, namely, lesion localizations. In addition to using traditional multiple choice questions (MCQs), this module introduces a student-initiated MCQ exercise in which written answers submitted by the teams are used to formulate the multiple choice answers from which teams select a final answer to the original question.
In this exercise, teams are required to submit written answers that the faculty sorts into 5 choice-groups (based on similarity of content). The 5 choice-groups are posted for all teams to read and discuss. Each team then selects the one group of written responses they feel best answers the original question. Voting and intra-team discussion follow as usual.

This module effectively helps students think and respond at a level of creativity beyond that typically required of multiple choice questions, yet stays within the beneficial structural framework provided by the Team Based Learning format. Ample time must be allowed for teams to complete the Group Application Exercise (GAE). A period of 1.5 hours is recommended for the GAE to enable students to write descriptions of the lesion location, read descriptions posted by other teams, and choose the best localization from among the groups of written descriptions. Large Post-it note pads with markers and up-front board space to post and view descriptions are needed for these sessions.


Pearson J, Rich M, Parmelee D. Neurologic localizations. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2010;6:7704.

Educational Objectives

  1. To be able to associate neural pathway dysfunction with physical signs detected upon clinical examination of the nervous system.
  2. To be able to apply knowledge of neural pathway anatomy and neurologic physical signs to localize lesions of the nervous system.


  • Contralateral Neglect, Dysconjugate Eye Movement, Ophthalmoplegia, Abnormal Reflex, Babinski Reflex, Central Nervous System, Lesion Localization, Brainstem Infarct, Multiple Extra-Dural Abscesses, TBL, Team-based Learning

Prior Scholarly Dissemination


  1. "Implementation of a team-based learning module that effectively teaches neurologic localization skills." John C. Pearson, Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology and Physiology, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, Ohio, 45435
  2. Abstract presented as a poster in the "History, Teaching, Public Awareness, Societal Impacts" session at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, D.C., 2008. Tracking number 2008-HT-109670-SfN

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