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Applied neuropsychology relates to
the study of the brain and behavior. Neuropsychologists make connections
between the structures and functions of the human brain and nervous system and psychological processes of the
Specialists in the field of applied neuropsychology often study the
effects of brain lesions and other injuries on certain behavior. In a clinical
setting, neuropsychologists measure and record the electrical activity of
individual brain cells and analyze these results to aid in arriving at a proper
diagnosis and treatment for brain abnormalities and/or injuries.
Practitioners in the field of applied neuropsychology work closely with other
medical professionals to treat various neurocognitive problems resulting from
brain injury, including those from strokes and seizures. This particular branch
of neuropsychology has the last word as far as whether a patient has an illness
resulting from emotional stresses or from physical impairment of the brain and
Practicing applied neuropsychology requires
a doctoral degree, which typically takes five years of study that includes
practical training, supervised post-doctoral work experience, and a final
dissertation. This advanced study culminates in a Psy.D degree designation.
Admission to doctoral psychology programs is quite competitive, and many
colleges and universities require candidates to have an undergraduate degree in
psychology. Others prefer a combination of undergraduate coursework in biology,
psychology, mathematics, social science and physical science. Field work from
internships is also a plus. In order to award advanced degrees, each school
must meet accreditation standards set by the American Psychological Association.
Candidates for positions in applied neuropsychology must also pass a licensure
exam that qualifies them to practice in clinical settings nationwide. Typical
licensure exams for practicing applied neuropsychology include essays and
spoken sections in addition to a standardized exam section. Depending on their
state, some practicing neuropsychologists need to update their education
periodically in order to retain their licenses.
Certain personal qualities make for
a successful practitioner in this field of psychology, including good
communication skills, patience, perseverance, leadership skills and compassion.
Making a successful diagnosis and prescribing a successful treatment takes time
and a good deal of work, and neuropsychologists in this field who are the most
dedicated are the ones who arrive at the best results for each patient.
This post is brought to you by Argosy University. Drawing upon our more than 30-year history of granting degrees in professional psychology, Argosy University has developed a curriculum that focuses on interpersonal skills and practical experience alongside academic learning. Because getting a degree is one thing.
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