What Is Neuropsychology?

Neuropsychology is the study of the relationship among brain function, behavior and psychological processes. The work is related to scientific research and methodology. It is quite similar to cognitive psychology that primarily revolves around the study of mental functions such as language, memory and cognitive science. In fact, it can be defined as another branch of psychology that blends cognitive science and is related to both clinical psychology and forensic psychology. Basically the types of neuropsychology include:

Clinical neuropsychology
Experimental neuropsychology
Pediatric neuropsychology

So, if you are one of those who have always done well in science classes or interested in behavior and enjoy research, neuropsychology may be the best career option that you may choose and improve your skills.

Job Description

Working as a neuropsychologist you may serve range of responsibilities, which may include:

Conduct academic research on neurological disorders
Evaluate and work with stroke patients in a hospital
Forensically assess individuals for neurological disorder
Manage neuropsychological tests, brain scans and electrophysiological measures to monitor neurocognitive processes

You may be the key health care professional involved with the relationship between the brain and behavior along with applying that connection to psychological issues. You might be asked to do an evaluation to sense neurological dysfunction following a head injury; to identify, observe, and offer suggestions in the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders; or to review cognitive performance in individuals with dementia and offer therapy with daily living tasks.

Adding to this, your work responsibilities may not just be limited to humans. You might even choose to focus on the experimental aspects of neuropsychology and can work with animals, researching and comparing brain structure and behaviors. From a career perspective, as a neurophysiologist you may also advance your growth by moving into private practice or private research. Moreover, you may head research projects or teach at a university level.

Educational Requirements

Now to work as a neuropsychologist, it is important to have a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from an accredited university. During this graduate training, the coursework must be completed in neuropathology, and neuropsychology. However, it is highly recommended and important to understand that you select only that university that complies or meets with the guidelines for neuropsychological training set forth by Division 40 (Neuropsychology) of the American Psychological Association. After three to seven years of study to complete a doctoral program, you may require to complete a one year internship under the supervision of an experienced neuropsychologist. Though, at times you may also have post-doctoral training.

Nevertheless, you may even choose to become certified by the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN) or the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN). Though it is not always required by law to become certified, but these days many employers prefer certified neuropsychologist. This process basically involves passing a competency exam, which includes meeting training requirements, scoring good marks in a written and oral examination and undertaking a work evaluation. All of these evaluations are administered by either the ABCN or the AACN.

Today it is definitely one of the few career options in the psychology field that may provide you the long-term job growth and meaningful rewards.

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