Neuropsychologist

A neuropsychologist is a psychologist who specializes in studying brain behavior relationships. Neuropsychologists have extensive training
in the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the nervous system. Some neuropsychologists specialize in research while other
neuropsychologists specialize in evaluating and treating people who are thought to have something wrong with the way in which their nervous
system is functioning.

Neuropsychologists study brain behavior relationships under very specific circumstances which are both controlled and standardized. As a
general rule, this means using tests which have been validated and which have been shown to have acceptable levels of sensitivity and
specificity. This means the test can measure the thing it is trying to measure even when the thing it is trying to measure is only present in small
amounts and it also means the test can distinguish the thing it is trying to measure from other things.

If we wish to measure a thing "A" then the test has to be able to measure "A" even when very little of "A" is present; this is sensitivity.
Specificity means when we measure "A" with our test, we know that the test does not measure "B", "C," or "D."

Clinical neuropsychologists evaluate patients using one of three general methods. The first method is to use an assessment technique in which
a fixed battery of tests is given and in which we only want to know what functions are impaired and what functions are not impaired.

The most commonly used representative of this type of test is the Halstead - Reitan Neuropsychological Battery. The second method is to use
an assessment technique in which a fixed battery of tests is given but in this method there is a hierarchical each subtest so that if a function is
impaired, the level at which it is impaired can be determined. The most common representative of this type of test is the Luria - Nebraska.
Common to both of these tests is a long history of research studies examining the ability of the two batteries to measure dysfunction of the
brain and to accurately identify why that dysfunction is occurring.

The third method used by neuropsychologists is the flexible battery approach. By definition, the flexible approach is not a battery because
when one uses this approach one gives a group of tests allegedly picked for just the particular patient. This means that the particular group of
tests is not given to other patients and it is not





Neuropsychology involves the study, evaluation, and treatment of known and suspected brain disorders using the methods of psychology.





"How do neuropsychologists study these brain/behavior relationships?" Classically, brain/behavior relationships have been inferred from the
study of individuals with head injuries, tumors, neurological disease, and other unpleasant brain pathologies. Behavioral changes are assumed
to be due to this brain tissue damage. For instance, if a stroke caused damage to the very back of your brain, it is known that you will more than
likely experience visual difficulties eventhough your eyes are perfectly intact. On the other hand, if the stroke caused damage to the very front
of your brain, attention, lack of social insight, and sequencing difficulties would be expected. New brain imaging techniques have allowed us to
study brain/behavior in people without brain injury, and not surprisingly, basically the same observations have been made. In a nutshell, a
large group of the brain\'s functions are said to be "localized" to different areas.





The last 5 to 10 years in behavioral neurology and neuropsychology have seen tremendous advances in the understanding of the brain bases
of cognition, perception, and affect. This, in part is due to the development and growing availability of brain imaging techniques, as well as
theoretical and methodological progress in cognitive psychology.

Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychology, Martha J. Farah, Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The

Pub. Date: January 1997





Traditionally defined, neuropsychology is the study of (and, the assessment, understanding, integration, and modification of) brain-behavior
relationships. Neuropsychology seeks to understand how the brain, through structure and network functions, controls/produces behavior and
mental processes, including emotions, personality, thinking, learning and remembering, problem solving, and consciousness. It is also
concerned with how behavior may influence the brain and related physiological processes, as in the emerging field of psychoneuroimmunology
(the study that seeks to understand the complex interactions among brain and immune systems, and their

implications for health).

Neuropsychology seeks knowledge about brain and behavior relationships through the study of both normal and damaged brain systems. It
seeks to identify the underlying