PSY 2C 08: BRAIN, BODY AND
UNIT–I: BRAIN AND BEHAVIOUR
TOPIC: Neurological Examination and
NEUROLOGICAL EXAMINATION AND ASSESSMENT
1. The neuropsychological assessment can be defined as an objective, comprehensive
assessment of a wide range of cognitive, adaptive and emotional behaviours that affects
the adequacy or inadequacy of cerebral functioning.
2. Neuropsychological test has been offered by Ralph Reitan, who describes it as a test that
is sensitive to the conditions of the brain. If performance on a test changes with a change
in brain function, then the test is a neuropsychological test.
3. Neuropsychological assessment is concerned with the identification,quantification, and
description of changes in cognition and emotion that are associated with brain dysfunction.
Goal: The goal of the neuropsychological assessment is to specify in detail the cognitive function,
including functional defecits, of the client and to relate their functioning back to known brain areas
Nature:In essence, the neuropsychological assessment is a greatly expounded and objective
mental status examination. Whereas the mental status examination is designed to briefly (within
15- 60 mins) screen a variety of critical areas, the neuropsychological assessment assess a wide
variety of performance in more depth and over a longer time (2-6 hours).It differs from the mental
status examination in that it generally uses tests and evaluation procedures that have been
standardized using samples of either normal persons or brain damaged patients.
Approaches: There are a variety of approaches to neuropsychological assessment but these can be
organized into two general types: standard neuropsychological test batteries and individualized
test batteries. In addition neuropsychological assessment also include one or more measures of
personality or psychopathology such as MMPI-2 and tests of academic achievement.
1. Studying brain functioning - By examining a client’s performance on a variety of specific
psychological tests, inferences can be made about brain functioning.
2. Differential Diagnosis- The test can determine whether a patient has visuospatial problems
or is aphasic.
3. Localization of lesions-neuropsychological examinations can show the severity and the
extent of the brain damage and the regions of brain damage.
4. Determination of mental and legal competence-The neurological tests can determine the
degree of cognitive/ social/ vocational disability for the purpose of court proceedings.
5. Rehabilitation-The results of neuropsychological assessment are also used to plan the
Supplement to imaging technique- Neuropsychological assessment has a role to play in
identifying brain areas affected by injury since not all forms of brain injury (e.g axonal
stretching) are readily identified with imaging techniques.
6. Beyond brain damaged individuals: Neuropsychologists have expanded their work beyond
brain- damaged individuals. Neuropsychologist assessment have been used in research and
clinical work with individuals with learning disabilities, individuals with no known
pathology and normal aging.
Advantages over Neurophysiological tests:
1. It is a non- invasive procedure and has no risk of mortality or morbidity
2. The tests are inherently simple and interesting to most of the patients and do not
produce anxiety or pain.
3. The tests provide descriptive and prognostic information that other techniques cannot.
Tests and Functions:
1. Behaviour, attention, and mood
2. Intelligence, including general intelligence, verbal intelligence, and non- verbal
3. Memory, including verbal and non- verbal memory, short and long term memory and new
4. Language, including single word, sentence comprehension, auditory discrimination,
repetition, naming, verbal fluency, and sentence construction.
5. Abstract ability, reasoning, the ability to form concepts and to plan.
6. Constructional ability, including paper and pencil reproduction, reproduction from
memory and other constructive tasks.