By Michael G. Tramontana, Stephen R. Hooper

Neuropsychology has its roots in medical neurology. analyzing case de­ scriptions via nineteenth century neurologists, reminiscent of Wernicke's painstakingly particular examinations of sufferers with the "aphasic symptom-complex," makes it visible that neuropsychology isn't a brand new self-discipline. Even the wedding with psychology isn't new; the neurologist Arnold decide, for instance, was once absolutely conversant with the advancements in modern mental in addition to linguistic learn. although, the first concentration of nineteenth and early twentieth century psychology was once on "general psychology," and just a small variety of psychologists ventured into what then was once known as "differential psychology" (the psychology of person dif­ ferences) together with a couple of who turned connected to neurological study and rehabilitation devices after international struggle I. It remained till global conflict II for psychologists to set up a extra good operating courting with neurology. What psychology needed to supply to neurology used to be its experimental ability, the improvement of a worldly method, and, for medical paintings, the advance of psychometrics. traditionally, the wedding among the 2 disciplines has been fruitful, resulting in new insights, types, and discoveries approximately brain-behavior relationships, documented in different textbooks which seemed in swift succession because the Sixties. In scientific perform, neuropsychology has been artistic in a few respects, in others basically introducing psychometric rigor to already present neurological examinations. As defined in better aspect during this ebook, developmental neuropsy­ chology is of much more fresh origin.

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Given this, comparable accuracy probably could be achieved in discriminating braindamaged, learning-disabled, and normal children simply through the use of standard measures of intelligence and academic achievement supplemented by selected tests of motor and sensory-perceptual abilities. Consistent with the goals of neuropsychological assessment at the time of its development, the composition of the HRNB was based heavily OVERVIEW OF CURRENT STATUS 13 on the selection of tests sensitive to brain damage.

In practice, there probably are relatively few neuropsychologists who are purists with respect to one approach or another, and a melding of approaches probably is quite common. This makes good sense because the different perspectives can be combined in a complementary fashion in an effort to maximize both breadth and depth of assessment. A fixed battery of procedures that is brief, but nonetheless spans a broad range of abilities, helps to assure a consistently comprehensive assessment that can produce comparable results across times, patient groups, and different research settings.

One area in which neuropsychological methods have been used extensively is in children with seizure disorders. This is an important group of disorders to assess, not only because they are among the most prevalent neurological disorders of childhood (Meighan, Queener, & Weitman, 1976) but because their frequent chronicity carries the potential for continued impact throughout a child's life. There is no such thing as a "typical" neuropsychological profile for seizure-disordered children (Boll & Barth, 1981), although, as a group, their overall cognitive abilities tend to fall toward the lower end of the normal range (Bolter, 1984), they tend to be at greater risk for learning difficulties (Yule, 1980), and they tend to show a higher incidence of psychopathology than the general population (Dreisbach, Ballard, Russo, & Schain, 1982; Rutter, Graham, & Yule, 1970).

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