Call us at

Springfield (973)_ 467-9409
Randolph (973)_ 366-9444
Hackettstown(908)_ 979-1144
Print Print
Clinical Neuropsychology

What is Clinical Neuropsychology?

Clinical neuropsychology is a specialty profession, focusing on brain functioning.

A clinical neuropsychologist is a licensed psychologist with expertise in how behavior and skills are related to brain structures and systems. Brain function is evaluated by objectively testing memory and thinking skills.

A very detailed assessment of abilities is done, and the pattern of strengths and weaknesses is used in important health care areas, such as diagnosis and treatment planning. The clinical neuropsychologist conducts the evaluation and makes recommendations. He or she may also provide treatment, such as cognitive rehabilitation, behavior management, or psychotherapy.

What is a neuropsychological evaluation?

A neuropsychological evaluation involves testing that is sensitive to problems in brain functioning. Unlike CT or MRI scans (which show what the structure of the brain looks like) neuropsychological testing examines how well the brain is working when it performs certain functions (for example, remembering).

The types of tests that you will take depend upon the questions you and your doctor have. A typical neuropsychological evaluation may involve assessment of the following:

  • General intellect
  • Higher level executive skills
  • Attention and concentration
  • Learning and memory
  • Language
  • Visual-spatial skills (e.g., perception)
  • Motor and sensory skills
  • Mood and personality

Some abilities may be measured in more detail than others, depending on your needs. The tests do not involve attaching you to machines or using X-rays. Most of the tests will involve questions-and-answers, or working with materials on a table. Some tests may use a computer.

The neuropsychologist or staff member conducting the tests will also spend some time talking with you about your medical, personal, and school history. The total time involved in your evaluation will depend upon the questions you and your doctor have.

Why have I been referred?
Neuropsychological evaluations are requested specifically to help your doctors and other professionals understand how the different areas and systems of the brain are working. Testing is usually recommended when there are symptoms or complaints involving memory or thinking. This may be signaled by a change in concentration, organization, reasoning, memory, language, perception, coordination, or personality. The change may be due to any of a number of medical, neurological, psychological, or genetic causes. Testing will be helpful in understanding your specific situation.