The section Neuropsychology (NP) performs fundamental and applied research on brain-cognition relationships in a developmental perspective. It employs an integrative approach in which brain and neurocognitive functions underlying neuropsychological development and aging are investigated. The focus is upon particular neuropsychological conditions and cognitive dysfunctions that are relevant in terms of normal and pathological development. The aim is to develop new insights into neurocognitive mechanisms underlying these conditions.
With respect to normal development and aging, the focus is upon determinants (e.g. education and health) and mechanisms (e.g. prefrontal control) of age-related cognitive change. With respect to pathological development, the focus is upon cognitive and behavioural problems in the domain of ADHD as well as cognitive and behavioural problems in the domain of dementia. With respect to brain damage, the focus is on assessment and treatment methods.
In sum, researchers in this section aim at providing fundamental insights into brain-cognition mechanisms in normal and abnormal development and brain damage and unravelling the biological and psychosocial factors that deteThe focus of research in this section is threefold. First, biological factors are investigated, that is: biological age, brain development (e.g. “brain reserve”), and genetic factors (e.g. APOE genotype) that affect both brain and cognitive functioning.
Second, neuropsychological factors are investigated as mediators or moderators of the aforementioned biological factors: cognitive skills (e.g. “cognitive reserve”), psychological attitudes, mood dysfunction, behavioural problems, and compensation strategies. Third, sociodemographic (e.g. educational level, SES), psychosocial, and environmental factors (e.g. noise) that modulate cognitive functioning and development are investigated.
All these factors are studied in their single and combined effect on normal neurocognitive development as well as on mild to severe cognitive dysfunction across the lifespan. For that purpose, a broad range of research methods is used, including longitudinal, interventional, experimental, patient-related, psychophysiological, and neuroimaging techniques.