Full course description
Clinical neuropsychology can be defined as a sub-specialty of clinical psychology in which neuropsychological knowledge (brain-behavior interaction) and skills are used to the assessment, management, and rehabilitation of people who have impaired nervous system or brain functions due to a range of causes (e.g., congenital, developmental, injury). Within clinical neuropsychology, one fast growing sub-specialty is that of forensic neuropsychology in which the results of clinical neuropsychological assessment are used to address legal questions in the courtroom.
Forensic neuropsychologists are being asked to prepare reports in both civil and criminal cases: compensation cases (personal injury; “Whether a defendant’s wrongdoing has caused the plaintiff’s brain injury or disability”), criminal cases and competencies (capacities related to pleading and standing trial, waiver of rights during custodial interrogations and issues to do with disputed confessions and criminal responsibilities).
The neuropsychological evaluation is typically based on multiple sources of information (case files, medical files, neuropsychological assessment, etc). The most difficult part of the assessment is often the interpretation of the neuropsychological evaluation within the legally relevant criteria. Because every forensic psychologist will sometimes be confronted with neuropsychological issues, it is important to have basic knowledge on brain structure and function, brain-behavior relationship, neuropsychological assessment and legal issues related to neuropsychology.
At the end of this course students:
- are able explain general neuropsychological assessment steps, which domains are assessed and apply and interpret basic neuropsychological tests;
- are able to specify and explain the role of the PFC in aggression and psychopathy;
- are able to specify and explain the role of brain structures in memory and amnesia;
- have an idea how to make appropriate judgments about specific brain-behaviour relationships and about other experts’ decisions in the courtroom.
- C.W.E.M. Quaedflieg