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Experimental Neuropsychology, Clinical Neuropsychology, Age-related Neuropsychological Changes, Neuropsychological Diagnosis Of Dementias

Neuropsychology is a scientific field concerned with understanding relationships between the human brain, behavior, and mind, and applying this understanding to the assessment, clinical management, and rehabilitation of persons with neurological disease and injury. Mind includes both conscious (that of which the person is aware) and unconscious (that of which the person is unaware) mental contents and processes, and involves both cognition (e.g., attention, perception, memory, language, thought, mental imagery) and emotion. The history of neuropsychology, within Western culture, is often traced to Hippocrates, who asserted that the brain was the organ of the intellect. Another important historical contribution, occurring at the beginning of the nineteenth century, was that of Franz Josef Gall, who believed that mind could be divided into different functions that are localized within different areas of the brain. During the middle of the nineteenth century, separate reports by physicians Paul Broca, Carl Wernicke, and Hughlings Jackson provided the first clear evidence that the sudden onset of different types of speech and language impairments was associated with damage to different areas within the left hemisphere of the brain. Throughout the twentieth century, the development of neuropsychology was most influenced by scientific discoveries within clinical neurology, psychology (particularly cognitive psychology and theory concerning the mental measurement), and, more recently, neuroscience (including such sub-fields as neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neuropharmacology). Contemporary neuropsychology can be divided into two complementary sub-fields: Experimental neuropsychology and clinical neuropsychology.

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