Neuropsychology is the study of how the functions of your brain and nervous system affect the way you think and behave. For years, neuropsychology has been used by hospital clinicians to assess patients with head injuries to determine how neurological damage might affect their thinking skills or behavior.
Clinical psychologists have also used it to more accurately assess the causes of some patients' behavior. More recently, education experts have begun using neuropsychology to explain why some children have trouble acquiring language, mathematical reasoning, and reading skills.
How Neuropsychological Testing Works
Neuropsychological testing measures a patient's cognitive abilities, memory, and motor skills. It may be helpful in distinguishing between adult ADHD and comorbid conditions, and between adult ADHD and learning disabilities. Neuropsychological tests can also examine attention (verbal and written as well as sustained and variable), impulse control, recall, memory, reaction time, processing speed, executive functions, working memory, and a person's awareness of his environment. They may also include intelligence and achievement assessments.
Pros and Cons
Neuropsychological testing can provide useful data. But research shows that neuropsychological tests fail to pick up deficits in one third to one half of all adults who take them.