Neuropsychology is the study of the brain, its functions and dysfunction, and the ways in which different parts of the brain effect out thoughts, our feelings and our behavior.
A neuropsychological assessment is a formal evaluation of cognitive functioning using standardized formats. A neuropsychological evaluation measures attention, learning and memory, intelligence, language functions, psychomotor skills, visual perception, abstract reasoning, problem-solving and executive functions. A full neuropsychological evaluation also includes assessment of a person’s psychological, personal, interpersonal, legal, motivational and social circumstances in addition to assessing all medical factors that may effect cognitive functioning.
In over 30 years of practice as a neuropsychologist, I have come to deeply appreciate the complexity of the human brain and the challenges to truly comprehend what goes on there. My intentions as a neuropsychologist are not just to understand the workings of the brain, but to understand how brain functions effect the life, personality and the “person” being evaluated. There are so many types of conditions that can affect our cognitive functioning that I am customarily in communication with a patient’s physician, therapist and other significant professionals to help jointly understand the nature of the problems, and find ways to help. Ultimately, the intention of the neuropsychological evaluation is not simply to describe what is taking place, but to find treatment and to make recommendations that will make things better. The types of neuropsychological problems that I have frequently seen include mild to severe brain injury, neurological disorder, environmental toxins, strokes, medical disorders and psychiatric disorders. Legal and forensic evaluations are commonly conducted.