The field of Neuropsychology is concerned with the study of how the structure and function of the brain relates to behavior. Its foundational approach is based on neuroscience and an information processing view of the mind. The main domains within the field are Research, Experimental and Clinical.
Clinical Neuropsychology is the application of scientific and statistical methods in evaluation of intellectual, cognitive and emotional behavior.
Neuropsychologists examine brain functioning by application of quantitative (actuarial) and qualitative (clinical) assessment procedures in order to obtain a comprehensive study of neurocognitive and neurobehavioral status.
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The Examination Process
Examination of Cognitive Functioning
The emphasis is on objective standardized examination and systematic process-based observation of the information handling aspects of behavior. Areas commonly assessed are intelligence, academic functioning, expressive and receptive language, reasoning, problem solving and cognitive flexibility, processing speed, attention/concentration, memory, visuoperception, visuographic ability, visuomotor speed and ability, sensory-perception and fine motor dexterity.
Examination of Executive Functioning
The emphasis is on objective examination, systematic process-based observation and collateral data collection of how behavior is directed and expressed. Areas commonly assessed are self-control, self-direction and initiation of behavior, organization, planning, prioritizing, multitasking, decision making, motivation, drive and conation (cognitive and emotional stamina and endurance).
Examination of Psychological Functioning
The emphasis is on objective testing/assessment and clinical observation/impression/diagnostic formulation of emotions, moods and underlying personality style. Areas commonly assessed are clinical features of current emotional state, quality of coping mechanisms and manner of adjustment, interpersonal behavior and underlying personality style and traits.