What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation?
A neuropsychological evaluation includes a series of tests designed to measure a person’s cognitive abilities such as memory, attention, communication, and problem-solving, an assessment of psychological symptoms, and a review of the person’s medical history. These tests are used to determine whether cognitive changes are symptoms of a neurological illness or injury, a psychological condition like depression or anxiety, or just a normal part of aging and development. Doctors can then use that information to help determine a diagnosis, assess whether an intervention has or is likely to affect cognitive ability, and direct future treatment plans.
Licensed psychologists or neuropsychologists are responsible for the evaluation, meaning he or she chooses which tests will be given, interviews the patient, and writes the final report summarizing the results. The tests are administered and scored by a trained technician called a psychometrist or sometimes by a postdoctoral fellow currently in training under the supervising neuropsychologist.
The evaluation will take approximately 3 to 6 hours, depending on which tests need to be given and how quickly the patient is able to work comfortably. The tests may be written down, on a computer, solving puzzles, or verbally answering questions. There will be a lunch break if the evaluation is going to extend into the afternoon and shorter breaks can also be taken as needed.
Preparing for Your Evaluation
- Get a good night’s sleep.
- Try to eat a good breakfast.
- Take all of your medications as usual unless you are directly instructed to do otherwise.
- If you use glasses, contact lenses, or hearing aids, make sure you have them with you.
- If you have had any neuropsychological, psychological, or academic testing done in the past, bring those records with you.
- You will need to sign a release form giving the neuropsychologist permission to share your results with any health care provider outside of the health system, so please have their contact information ready.
- If a family member comes to the evaluation with you, the neuropsychologist may ask for your permission to interview them as well.
Please be aware that the Section of Neuropsychology is unable to conduct academic testing of adults to determine the presence of a specific learning disability or determine eligibility for accommodations for coursework or examinations. Any adult needing academic testing who is currently enrolled should contact the Office for Students with Disabilities or its equivalent at his or her school. Those who are not currently enrolled should consult a school psychologist in their region.
The postdoctoral positions within Neuropsychology are designed for individuals who have met the basic academic and training requirements for the doctoral degree in clinical psychology, and have a strong academic and clinical training background in the fundamentals of neuroscience and neuropsychological assessment.
For the full program description, please visit our Psychiatry & Psychology Fellowship page:
Neuropsychology Post-Doctoral Fellows
- Elizabeth Andresen, PhD
- Ava Dorfman, PhD
- Chalina N. Adams, BA
- Julia Biars, MA, CSP
- Lisa Ferguson, MA
- Ted Hogan, BA
- Frederick K. Holley, BA, CSP
- Nathan Kearns, BS
- Colleen K. Kenney, BA
- Darryl C. Tindel, BA
- Robin R. Walker, BA
- Jaclyn Zeigler, BA