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Neuropsychology: Definition, types and functions


Psychology is a science in which numerous and diverse currents or schools of thought coexist with their different theories and research methods. Sometimes these currents can be complementary or sometimes contradictory.

Next we will talk about a very important branch within psychology: neuropsychology.

What is neuropsychology?

Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology that specializes in understanding the relationship between the physical brain (structure) and human behavior (function).

Neuropsychology began to gain momentum during the 1950s and 1960s, when research and findings from cognitive psychology and brain physiology were integrated into a new field of study. In the early 1800s, researchers began to methodically observe behaviors resulting from brain injury, and attempted to locate damaged areas of the brain.

The brain is the central and most complex organ in the human body . Everything that happens within the brain can produce alterations in behavior and cognitive function; deciphering these alterations requires the intervention of a neuropsychologist – a neuropsychologist.

Neuropsychology is considered one of the most important branches within neuroscience and psychology. His exhaustive study on cognitive and emotional disturbances, as well as personality disorders due to brain damage, have been of great contribution to the world of science, both for psychology and psychiatry.

What is the role of the neuropsychologist?

A neuropsychologist seeks to understand how psychological processes relate to the structures and systems of the brain . It investigates whether brain functions are located in a specific area of ​​the brain, or whether brain regions are interconnected; in this way he tries to understand how brain structures and systems are related to behavior and thinking.

Individuals of different ages with various types of nervous system disorders are called in for neuropsychological investigations These are generally individuals with brain injuries or conditions such as stroke, neurodevelopmental pathologies – dyslexia , dyspraxia -, head trauma, toxic and metabolic disorders, brain tumors, developmental disorders or Parkinson’s disease .

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Examination by a neuropsychologist can help determine the progression of a disease , such as Parkinson’s, and the function of the brain that is declining.

The evaluations carried out by specialists in neuropsychology are based on clinical interviews and psychometric tools , which provide them with a diagnostic and prognostic perspective in patients with neurological pathologies.

Neuropsychologists usually work in conjunction with teams of physicians, neurologists, and psychiatrists; These help them to achieve a more scientific and exact knowledge

What types of disorders do neuropsychologists work on?

Neuropsychologists specialize in certain types of disorders such as:

Neuropsychology specializations

There are various types of specializations within neuropsychology, some of them are:

  • Clinical neuropsychology
  • Cognitive neuropsychology
  • Rehabilitation neuropsychology
  • Cognitive neuropsychologist development
  • Neurogenetic Psychologist
  • Neuropathology specialist
  • School Neuropsychology
  • Behavioral neuropsychology
  • Forensic neuropsychology

Cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology

It is common for these two disciplines to be confused often. But unlike neuropsychology that studies the relationship between the brain and human behavior investigating brain injuries and the impact they have on mental functions, cognitive neuroscience studies the same relationship but based on healthy subjects -without brain injuries-.

Cognitive neuroscience presents great knowledge regarding the scientific study of the neuronal biological mechanisms underlying cognition. This is superimposed on cognitive psychology and focuses on the neural substrate of mental processes and their manifestations in human behavior.

The cognitive neuroscientist presents extensive knowledge and experience on different disciplines, namely: physics, chemistry, mathematics,  experimental psychology , neurobiology, psychobiology, cognitive psychology, and neurology.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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