What is Clinical Neuropsychology?

(Adapted from: American Psychological Association Division 40 [Clinical Neuropsychology] Public Interest Advisory Committee)

Clinical Neuropsychology is a specialty profession that focuses on brain-behavior relationships . A clinical neuropsychologist is a licensed psychologist with expertise in how behavior and skills are related to brain structures and systems. In clinical neuropsychology, brain function is evaluated by objectively and clinically testing memory and cognitive skills. A detailed assessment of abilities is done, and the pattern of strengths and weaknesses is used to help with diagnoses, recommendations and treatment planning.

What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation?

A neuropsychological evaluation assesses a variety of cognitive and behavioral functions. Standardized tests are used to evaluate the individual’s abilities in many areas, which may include:

  • General intellectual ability
  • Memory (visual and verbal, short and long term)
  • Executive function (judgement, reasoning, planning, problem-solving)
  • Attention and concentration
  • Visuospatial and motor abilities
  • Learning
  • Language
  • Organization
  • Mood and personality
  • Achievement
  • Perception and processing

Why have I been referred?

Neuropsychological evaluations are requested to help professionals understand how a person is functioning. It may be requested if a change or impairment in cognitive function is suspected (due to illness or injury), to provide baseline data of a person’s abilities and functioning for comparative purposes, to evaluate learning styles or identify patterns of strengths and weaknesses. Testing is recommended when there are symptoms or concerns about memory, attention, concentration, thinking or reasoning. In children, testing may be requested if the child has had difficulty with cognition, attention, or concentration that affects learning. The results help to clarify diagnoses and provide recommendations for intervention, accommodations or treatment. It is also helpful in tracking progress or change over time.

What is the evaluation like?

A neuropsycholological evaluation usually consists of an interview, testing, and a follow-up appointment to review the results of the examination. The interview, which includes the gathering of background history, typically takes about 60 to 90 minutes. Testing includes both face-to-face and paper-and pencil testing. The length of time can vary based on the questions being addressed and the kinds of tests necessary to complete the evaluation. The interview and testing may be conducted on separate days.

How much does it cost?

Testing cost is usually based on the time to administer and score the tests and to integrate them into a written report. Testing is covered by many insurance carriers. Our billing staff will check your benefits for you prior to your appointments. Verification of benefits does not guarantee payment by insurers.