Neuropsychological assessment

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Neuropsychology
 
Topics

Brain-computer interfacesBrain damage
Brain regionsClinical neuropsychology
Cognitive neuroscienceHuman brain
NeuroanatomyNeurophysiology
PhrenologyCommon misconceptions

Brain functions

arousalattention
consciousnessdecision making
executive functionslanguage
learningmemory
motor coordinationperception
planningproblem solving
thought

People

Arthur L. Benton • David Bohm •
António Damásio • Kenneth Heilman •
Phineas Gage • Norman Geschwind •
Elkhonon Goldberg • Donald Hebb •
Alexander Luria • Muriel D. Lezak •
Brenda Milner • Karl Pribram •
Oliver Sacks • Roger Sperry• H.M.• K.C.

Tests

Bender-Gestalt Test
Benton Visual Retention Test
Clinical Dementia Rating
Continuous Performance Task
Glasgow Coma Scale
Hayling and Brixton tests
Lexical decision task
Mini-mental state examination
Stroop effect
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
Wisconsin card sorting task

Tools

Johari Window

Mind and Brain Portal
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Neuropsychological assessment was traditionally carried out to assess the extent of impairment to a particular skill and to attempt to locate an area of the brain which may have been damaged after brain injury or neurological illness. With the advent of neuroimaging techniques, location of space-occupying lesions can now be accurately determined so the focus has now moved onto the measurement of cognition and behaviour, including examining the effects of any brain injury or neuropathological process that a person may have experienced. A core part of neuropsychological assessment is the administration of neuropsychological tests for the formal assessment of cognitive functioning. Aspects of cognitive functioning that are assessed typically include orientation, new-learning/memory, intelligence, language, visuoperception, and executive-functioning. However, clinical neuropsychological assessment is more than this and also focuses on a person's psychological, personal, interpersonal and wider contextual circumstances.

Assessment may be carried for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Clinical evaluation, to understand the pattern of cognitive strengths as well as any difficulties a person may have, and to aid decision making for use in a medical or rehabilitation environment.
  • Scientific investigation, to examine an hypothesis about the structure and function of cognition to be tested, or to provide information that allows experimental testing to be seen in context of a wider cognitive profile.
  • Medico-legal assessment, to be used in a court of law as evidence in a legal claim or criminal investigation.

Miller[1] outlined three broad goals of neuropsychological assessment. Firstly, diagnosis, to determine the nature of the underlying problem. Secondly, to understand the nature of any brain injury or resulting cognitive problem (see neurocognitive deficit) and its impact on the individual, as a means of devising a rehabilitation programme or offering advice as to an individual's ability to carry out a certain tasks (for example, fitness to drive, or returning to work). And lastly, assessments may be undertaken to measure change in functioning over time, such as to determine the consequences of a surgical procedure or the impact of a rehabilitation programme over time.

See also

References

  1. Miller, E. (1992) Some basic principles of neuropsychological assessment. In J.R. Crawford, D.M. Parker, W.M. McKinlay (eds) A handbook of neuropsychological assessment. Hove: Laurence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN 0-86377-274-9



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