Clinical Neuropsychology - Lecture 1
Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
Chapter 1 - The Practice of Neuropsychological Assessment
About the quote by Lezak: As a clinical neuropsychologist, we're interested in
understanding behaviour (more specifically cognitive function: memory
disorders, executive disorders, etc.). However, this definition is dated, there is
so much still to be learned and describing the limitations it presents. To
understand where it's going, we need to see where it came from; therefore
history is necessary to cover.
Early demonology: why did this occur?, why would they drill a hole in people's
skulls? There was a predominant view that demonology was responsible for
mental health deficits. However, when they did this, they caused brain
damage, increasing the abnormalities and mental deficits.
About witch hunts: looking for people they thought were possessed, who
displayed different symptoms from typical mental health disorders. People
who survived the 'dunking' were considered witches and beheaded, people
who did not were dead anyway. This was one of the first ways of
administering 'tests' to deduce the possession of impairments in mental
health. The same kind of algorithmic thinking occurs today.
Franz Joseph Gall - a direct bearing on where neuropsychology is going today.
His basic tenets (of the mind) based on his observations back in the day when
he was a teacher. 1: yes, we consider this; 2: yes, it has been determined that
different parts of the brain are used for different functions; 3: yes; 4: kind of,
there is conflicting evidence; 5: probably not, but what he was hinting to is
maybe there is something important in the area of the brain in relation to
someone who has a higher aptitude in some area; 6: no, he kind of fell apart
when he started to lean towards this tenet, leading to phrenology.
Phrenology: not so far from what Gall was doing with this, we have the
general idea of the modern day fMRI.
Video: Quack Gallery: Phrenology & Psycographs. 2 important things to take
from it, 1) modern brain mapping has some lineage back to Gall and his
tenets now true today and 2) it's difficult to assess someone using a test like
this to be able to determine or extrapolate toward their real world behaviour.