Cognitive and Perceptual Disturbances in a Young Man
Janos Zahajszky, M.D., Davin K. Quinn, M.D., Felicia A. Smith, M.D., and Theodore A. Stern, M.D.
What Is Involved in Neuropsychological Testing?
Neuropsychological testing consists of a flexible battery of standardized tests of written, verbal, and psychomotor performance tailored to each patient and most often administered by a psychologist. The battery usually includes an IQ test (e.g., Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III9) in addition to a number of other tests selected to target the patient's symptoms. Commonly tested areas of neurocognitive functioning are attention and memory (e.g., Trail Making Test Parts A and B), language ability (such as word recognition, reading comprehension, and object naming), immediate and delayed recall (e.g., Wechsler Memory Scale-III), visuospatial skills (e.g., Rey-Osterreith Complex Figure Test), and executive functioning (e.g., Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and Stroop Color Word Test).10 Psychological tests are also sometimes included in the battery. For example, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-II can help detect malingering, the Personality Assessment Inventory can alert the clinician to a personality disorder, and the Rorschach Inkblot Test can reveal evidence of psychosis or other disordered thinking.10
9.Wechsler D. Manual for the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Psychological Corporation. 1997.
10.Blais MA, O'Keefe SM, and Norman DK. Psychological and neuropsychological assessment. In: Stern TA, Fricchione GL, Cassem NH, et al, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Handbook of General Hospital Psychiatry. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby. 2004. 49–59.