Neuropsychological Assessment from Traditional to ICT-Based Instruments

Neuropsychological Assessment from Traditional to ICT-Based Instruments

Isabel Almeida (Centro de Reabilitação Profissional de Gaia, Portugal), Artemisa Rocha Dores (Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Portugal), Paula Pinto (Centro de Reabilitação Profissional de Gaia, Portugal), Sandra Guerreiro (Centro de Reabilitação Profissional de Gaia, Portugal) and Fernando Barbosa (Universidade do Porto, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9978-6.ch054

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Historical Perspective on Neuropsychological Assessment

Clinical Neuropsychology can be defined as the field of knowledge dedicated to the study of brain (dys)function in its relations to cognition, emotion and behavior. The development of this applied field is associated with the recognition, from several areas of knowledge, that people’s behaviors and reactions are dependent on brain structures (Stringer, Cooley, & Christensen, 2002). This idea had been present in medical practice for several epochs, but it has gradually diminished its presence under the influence of other beliefs. World War II prompted the growth of neuropsychology as a scientific discipline, and revival of interest in brain-behavior understanding (Camargo, Bolognani, & Zuccolo, 2008). The necessity to evaluate, diagnose and rehabilitate cognitive, emotional and behavioral disorders presented by brain injured soldiers constituted a crucial moment for clinical neuropsychological practices. It created large-scale demands for neuropsychological evaluations and rehabilitation programs, promoting the development of observational and experimental studies about brain (dys)functions, and refined examination and intervention methods. In the last decades, with the development of advanced neuroimaging techniques, the knowledge of biological and biochemical basis of brain structures has progressed the understanding of mechanisms underpinning our behaviors and thoughts. These techniques have been widely diffused and used for the detection and localization of brain damage areas (Buckner, Wheeler, & Sheridan, 2001). As a consequence neuropsychological assessment had to change it’s primarily goal and focus of interest away from an emphasis on helping to identify hypothesized lesion locations. It must now assist clinicians in understanding the extension and impact of cognitive, behavioral and socio-emotional consequences of brain injury on people’s life in an integrated basis with current advances (Camargo et al., 2008).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Ecological Validity: The functional and predictive relationship between patients’ performance on a set of neuropsychological tests and its behavior in a variety of real world settings.

Computerized Neuropsychological Assessment: An assessment procedure that utilizes a computer interface instead of a human examiner for the administration and scoring of neuropsychological tests.

Clinical Neuropsychology: The field of knowledge that studies the relation between neural mechanisms, cognitive functions and behavior.

Acquired Brain Injury: Any damage to the brain occurred after birth that can cause total or partial functional impairment or psychosocial maladjustment.

Neuropsychological Assessment: Performance-based method used to assess various cognitive skills, such as attention, memory, language, processing speed, spatial orientation, and executive functioning, in order to understand the impact of brain damage in cognitive, emotional and social performance.

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