What is Neuropsychology

Neuropsychology is an interface or application of psychology and neurology, studying the relationships between the brain and human behavior, yet practically dedicated to investigating how different lesions cause deficits in various areas of human cognition or as called by the first studies in this field studies the higher mental functions, leaving areas such as aggression, sexuality towards more integrative physiology and biology (neurobiology, neurophysiology, psychophysiology, psychobiology) or better in neuroscience. Among the main contributions of this branch of knowledge are the results of scientific research to design interventions in cases of brain injury where there is impairment of cognition and some aspects of behavior.

What is the role of the neuropsychologist?

The neuropsychologist is a professional active in various institutions, developing activities such as diagnosis, rehabilitation, family orientation and multidisciplinary teamwork. The main places where the neuropsychologist is required include: academic institutions (research, teaching), hospital (pre-and post-surgical), courts (and evaluation skills), clinical (assessment, rehabilitation and research), private clinics and homecare (rehabilitation).

There are three fields of actions that are fundamental to the profession neuropsychologist

1. Diagnosis - Using instruments (tests, batteries, scales) for standardized assessment of cognitive functions, the neuropsychologist will investigate the performance of skills such as attention, perception, language, reasoning, abstraction, memory, learning, academic skills and motor functions. This diagnosis is intended to be able to collect clinical data to help understand the extent of losses and explore the points that each intact condition causes the central nervous system of each patient. From this assessment Neuropsychological is possible to establish types of intervention, rehabilitation and specific to particular individuals and / or groups of patients with dysfunctional or otherwise acquire, genetic or not, primarily or secondarily to other Neurological disorders (Psychiatric).

2. Treatment (Rehabilitation) - With the diagnosis in hand the Neuropsychologist can make the necessary interventions with patients so they can improve, compensate or adapt to circumvent the difficulties. These interventions can be in the context of cognitive functioning: work directly with cognitive functions (memory, language, attention, etc) or a much more ecological, the living environment of the patient along with their families, to act as co-participants in the process of rehabilitation, along with multidisciplinary teams and academic institutions and professionals, promoting cooperation in the insertion or reinsertion of such individuals in the community when possible, or even in individual and family adaptation when changes in patient's capabilities are more permanent or long term.

3. Search - Research in Neuropsychology involves the study of such diverse areas as the study of cognitions, emotions, personality and behavior from the standpoint of the relationship between these aspects and brain functioning. Currently the use of specific drugs to stimulate or inhibit certain functions, has been used frequently to observe the behavior and cognitive functioning of individuals in given situations. Another technique that has greatly contributed in the Neuroscience and Neuropsychology with great specificity in neuroimaging is the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and functional tomography positron emission tomography (PET-CT) that allow you us to map certain areas related to specific activities. Therefore, it is clear that neuropsychology is a field of work and emerging research, both for psychology and for the Neurosciences, advancing and contributing uniquely to the understanding of how we think and act in the world.

1 comment:

  1. I think this would be a great advantage to patients that suffer from autism.