What is Neuropsychology?
Neuropsychology is a branch of neurology (the study of the brain) and psychology (the study of mind) that studies how the nervous system and brain affect the functioning of an individual on a daily basis.
What is a Neuropsychologist?
A neuropsychologist is a medical professional with a PhD or PsyD who has undergone general training in psychology and specific training in neuropsychology. A neuropsychologist’s special interest lies in the brain's cognitive functions, such as memory, attention, and language and works to understand the function and structure of the brain and its connection to behaviors and thoughts.
Indications of Neuropsychology
Neuropsychology is indicated to treat several neurological issues and psychological/ mental problems associated with it. A neuropsychologist can help to establish a diagnosis of a condition, its severity, and the degree of impairment that the condition is causing by conducting specific tests and evaluations. Some of the neuropsychological conditions that a neuropsychologist can help to treat include:
- Learning problems
- Attention deficit disorder
- Hyperactivity disorder
- Anxiety disorder
- Seizure disorders
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Memory disorders
- Mood disturbances
- Hormonal issues
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Nervous system dysfunction
Neuropsychological Test and Evaluation
A neuropsychological test is carried out so that your doctor can evaluate your capabilities like reading, writing, memory, problem-solving, IQ, and ability to concentrate. Most of the tests involve a question and answer format and performing certain tasks given by your neuropsychologist. Some of these neurological tests include:
- Memory Test: Your doctor will provide you with a list of words and sentences and will instruct you to repeat and recollect after distraction, this helps to evaluate your long-term and short-term memory.
- Cognition test: You will be provided with tasks involving pictures, mathematical problems, and sentence completion. This test helps to determine your reasoning ability, processing speed, and intellectual capacity based on the answers provided by you.
- Verbal Communication Test: This test helps to determine your verbal capability, language disorder, and other problems such as stuttering. You will be given paragraphs, words to read and spell to ensure they are properly read and spelt.
- Personality Assessment: This test helps to assess your personality based on the scores obtained by you as per scientific/empirical standards to estimate your behaviors under different settings such as home, school, work, and other areas.
- Motor Test: In this test, your doctor evaluates your coordination skills, muscle function, and how your brain and limbs coordinate accordingly. This test also helps to diagnose any neurological disorders that an individual may be suffering from.
- Adaptive Functioning: This is a test that helps to assess your capability to interact socially with others in various situations and environments and how well you adapt to such situations.
- Visual-Spatial Test: This test is designed to assess your visual cognitive skills associated with processing and interpreting meaning from visual information. This test helps to determine your capacity to organize and plan visually and utilize fine motor skills productively.
A neuropsychologist can assist with diagnosing behavioral, neurological, or cognitive conditions. A neuropsychologist can help you better understand your neurological condition and employ a suitable approach to treat it accordingly.