Ann Arbor Neuropsychology: What is a Neuropsychologist?

Roger E. Lauer, Ph.D
Clinic Director

At the Center for Neuropsychology, Learning and Development (CNLD), we approach the field of neuropsychology from a strength-based model. People often call our clinic and ask for help in finding out what’s “wrong with them or their child.” Our neuropsychological assessments absolutely can point out the areas in which a person has less strong abilities-but we also find and emphasize the strengths of our clients. Doing so allows the areas of strength to be built upon in order to address the areas that may not be as strong.

At CNLD, we are known for our work with complex cases (e.g., LD, ADHD, ASD, NLD, FASD, CI, neurological and genetic disorders, and emotional concerns). We specialize in helping our clients understand both their strengths and weaknesses so that frustrations can be minimized. We don’t have a magic wand, but we do have years of training and experience to help you sort through the confusion in your life and better grasp your particular needs. Our neuropsychologists take the extra care needed to make sure you understand all of the results of your evaluation clearly. We also explain how to move back into your regular life and use that information in the best way possible.

Implementation is our main focus. Implementation is typically defined as taking action or making changes that you have decided should happen. Our intervention plans are thorough, comprehensive and action-oriented to ensure our recommendations can be implemented quickly and effectively.

What is neuropsychology?

  • Neuropsychology strives to understand the “functional” relationship between your brain and behavior by administering various tests of attention, memory, learning and problem-solving.
  • In contrast, neurologists typically examine the “structural” status of the brain by utilizing scanning techniques such as fMRI, MRS, PET, CAT and MEG.
  • Since the brain is so complex and difficulties within the brain can alter behavior and thinking, formal training in neuropsychology is necessary to call oneself a neuropsychologist. An example of an individual with such training would be Roger E. Lauer.
  • At CNLD, our neuropsychologists utilize assessment as a framework for thinking and organizing information from many sources (see below). They examine the strengths and weaknesses of each person.
  • Comprehensive assessment avoids “diagnosis by Swiss cheese” whereby many different professionals tell you there are “holes” in your functioning, but nobody provides a coherent or comprehensive viewpoint.
  • Neuropsychological assessment is comprehensive and effective in developing intervention plans that the neuropsychologists at CNLD will help implement.

What Is a Neuropsychologist?

A neuropsychologist has the following background:

  • Doctoral training in psychology
  • Specialized coursework
  • Post-doctoral training (two years) in neuropsychology
  • Has probably done/can do ‘regular psychologist’ things
  • Additional specialized training in assessment of cognitive functioning and development
  • Diagnoses abnormality in cognitive functions and development
  • Does lots of testing!

Neuropsychological testing examines a wide range of behaviors for accurate diagnosis and intervention planning, including the following:

  • Background information including developmental history, medical history, family history, school history and work history.
  • Behavioral observations
  • General Intelligence including Learning Style (e.g., verbal, visual, hands-on)
  • Academic Achievement
  • Sensorimotor
  • Visuospatial
  • Speech and Language
  • Attention and Concentration
  • Memory and Learning
  • Problem-Solving, Reasoning, Analysis and Executive Functions
  • Developmental Status
  • Social, Emotional and Psychological Functioning

If you, or someone in your family, has a need for neuropsychological assessment please contact our clinic by clicking here. We look forward to helping you.