What is a Neuropsychologist?

A neuropsychologist is an individual with a Ph.D. or Psy.D. who received general training in psychology as well as specific training in neuropsychology. The training and clinical focus of a neuropsychologist is unlike the doctors you typically see for medical or psychological concerns.

A neuropsychologist is interested in the brain's cognitive functions, such as attention, language, and memory. This is different from a clinical psychologist who mainly focuses on behaviors and emotions and therapy for related concerns. Neuropsychologists also differ from medical doctors because they do not prescribe medications or perform surgery.

Neuropsychologists are licensed professionals within the field of psychology. Most have a doctorate (Ph.D.) in psychology with additional years of postdoctoral training in clinical neuropsychology. The graduate education and training for neuropsychologists emphasizes brain anatomy, brain function, and brain injury or disease. The neuropsychologist also learns how to administer and interpret certain types of standardized tests that can detect effects of brain dysfunction.

A clinical neuropsychologist is a professional within the field of psychology with special expertise in the applied science of brain-behavior relationships.

Neuropsychological tests are specifically designed tasks used to measure a psychological function known to be linked to a particular brain structure or pathway. They usually involve the systematic administration of clearly defined procedures in a formal environment. Neuropsychological tests are typically administered to a single person working with an examiner in a quiet office environment, free from distractions. As such, it can be argued that neuropsychological tests, at times, offer an estimate of a person's peak level of cognitive performance. Neuropsychological tests are a core component of the process of conducting neuropsychological assessment.