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More About Neuropsychology


WHAT IS A NEUROPSYCHOLOGIST?

A neuropsychologist is a psychologist specializing in brain-behavior relationships. That is, a neuropsychologist provides information about how a person's neurological disease or condition is affecting his or her cognitive (thinking) abilities such as memory, language abilities, spatial skills, attention and concentration, problem solving abilities, and emotional functioning. A neuropsychologist receives special training in neuropathology and neuroanatomy in addition to his or her training as a clinical psychologist.


WHAT IS NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT?

Neuropsychological assessment is a type of psychological testing that is intended to diagnose and characterize the neurocognitive effects of medical disorders that impinge directly or indirectly on the brain. Neuropsychological testing primarily consists of individually-administered objective and quantitative tests of cognitive ability that assess the functional integrity of the brain by comprehensively sampling domains of mental ability including learning and memory; attention and concentration; language comprehension and expression; problem solving, reasoning and abstraction; sensorimotor functions; and visual-spatial abilities.


How It Works.

 

Neuropsychological evaluation is an important adjunct in the evaluation of selected neurological patients. It serves as an extension of the mental status examination, and employs standardized measures to evaluate performance of a patient relative to the entire population or to a specialized subpopulation (e.g., patients with less than a high school education, or persons with epilepsy). In addition to inter-individual comparisons, neuropsychological evaluation also incorporates intra-individual comparisons (attempts to compare the patient’s current cognitive abilities with his/her (statistically-predicted) premorbid functioning. Neuropsychological evaluation allows for a qualitative interpretation of problem solving strategies in addition to the quantitative results.