Clinical neuropsychology is a specialty that applies principles of assessment and intervention based upon the scientific study of human behaviour as it relates to normal and abnormal functioning of the central nervous system. The specialty is dedicated to enhancing the understanding of brain-behaviour relationships and the application of such knowledge to human problems.
A clinical neuropsychologist is a professional within the field of psychology with special expertise in the applied science of brain-behaviour relationships. Clinical neuropsychologists use this knowledge in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and/or rehabilitation of patients across the lifespan with neurological, medical, neurodevelopmental and psychiatric conditions, as well as other cognitive and learning disorders. Such conditions include, but are not limited to, genetic abnormalities, congenital problems, traumatic brain injury, stroke, tumours, central nervous system infections, exposure to toxic substances, metabolic diseases, and degenerative diseases of the brain.
The clinical neuropsychologist uses psychological, neurological, cognitive, behavioural, and physiological principles, techniques and tests to evaluate patients’ neurocognitive, behavioural, and emotional strengths and weaknesses and their relationship to normal and abnormal central nervous system functioning. The clinical neuropsychologist uses this information and information provided by other medical/healthcare providers to identify and diagnose neurobehavioral disorders, and plan and implement intervention strategies. In addition, neuropsychologists play a critical role in educating patients and families about neurological, psychological, and neuropsychological conditions.