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What is Neuropsychology?


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Neuropsychology is the study of brain-behavior relationships.  It is a relatively new branch of psychology aimed at understanding how the normally-functioning brain and the abnormally-functioning brain affect people's behavior.

Neuropsychology, a new branch of science with the specific and unique aim of investigating the role of individual brain systems in complex forms of mental activity. - A.R. Luria "The Working Brain"
 
 
Clinical neuropsychology is a subdiscipline of psychology that specializes in the clinical assessment and treatment of patients with brain injury or neurocognitive deficits. Typically, a clinical neuropsychologist will hold an advanced degree in clinical psychology … and will have completed further studies in neuropsychology. This usually involves the completion of a one-year internship with substantial training in clinical neuropsychology, as well as a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in the same field.--Wikipedia
 
What distinguishes a clinical neuropsychologist from other clinical psychologists is an extensive knowledge of the brain, including an understanding of areas such as: neuroanatomy, neurobiology, psychopharmacology, neurological illness or injury, the use of neuropsychological tests to accurately assess cognitive deficits, and the management, treatment and rehabilitation of brain injured and neurocognitively impaired patients.
 
Clinical neuropsychologists perform a number of tasks, usually within a clinical setting. They are often involved in conducting neuropsychological assessments to assess a person's cognitive skills, usually after some sort of brain injury or neurological impairment. This may be for the purposes of planning treatments, to determine someone's neurocognitive functioning or mental capacity (often done for presentation as evidence in court cases or legal proceedings) or to detect changes over time.