What is involved in an adult neuropsychological evaluation?


The patient (usually accompanied by a significant other) meets with the neuropsychologist to answer questions about the patient’s developmental and medical history, behavior, socialization and any current concerns.

Specialized testing

Neuropsychological evaluations are uniquely powerful because of the specialized, validated test instruments and behavioral observations used and interpreted by the neuropsychologist. Neuropsychological tests assess a broad range of domains:
  • General intellectual ability
  • Academic achievement (if relevant), such as reading, writing, and math skills
  • Social and emotional functioning
  • Personality and mood
  • Learning and memory
  • Speech and language skills
  • Visual-spatial skills
  • Gross and fine motor coordination
  • Attentional processes
  • Executive functions, such as planning, cognitive flexibility, inhibition, and ability to follow instructions.

The typical adult evaluation involves 1 day (7-8 hours) of one-on-one testing. The length of the evaluation may vary depending on the patient’s needs.


With the patient’s permission, the neuropsychologist will consult with 2-3 other professionals who are familiar with the patient in order to gain the most complete understanding of the patient and his or her current circumstances.

Interpretation of results

The neuropsychologist analyzes and integrates all of the information. The patient’s performance is compared to others of the same age and education level, and is contrasted with his or her abilities in other areas. The patient (and usually a significant other) joins the neuropsychologist for a feedback meeting to discuss the results.

Report and recommendations

Neuropsychological reports are thorough, descriptive, and action-oriented. They include both detailed study results and summaries understandable and useful to a variety of audiences. The treatment plan is tailored to the patient, and includes interventions that have been shown to be effective for similar patients, as well as specific steps and resources needed for successful implementation and progress measurement. In addition, you will be given a list of helpful resources (e.g., books, articles, and websites) specific to the patient’s neurocognitive profile.

Referrals to other professionals

If appropriate, the patient will be referred to other specialists who will gather additional information or provide treatment. For example, the patient may be referred to a psychiatrist for a medication evaluation, to a psychologist for therapy, or to a neurologist or other medical specialist for additional testing.



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