Neuropsychology
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Improving co-ordination of experience, thought and behaviour

Neuropsychology

Neuropsychology is a branch of brain research. It deals with the relationship between the central nervous system, experience, thought and behaviour. The working areas of neuropsychology include scientific research of the relationship between the brain and behaviour, clinical diagnostics and therapy for cognitive disorders.

Clinical neuropsychological diagnostics

Neuropsychologists clarify suspected or known organic brain disorders. Brain damage can have different causes: the damage in question may be congenital but it is mostly caused by disease or accidents.
Neuropsychological diagnostics includes a multi-hour test investigation for the purpose of testing cognitive disorders, such as attention, perception, memory, thought, language and action planning as well as the registering of affective disorders. Add to this possible personality changes as well as the mental processing of illness or accident events. In addition to discussions, paper-and-pencil tests and computer-based investigation procedures are also used. A thorough internal and external history is also gathered.

Neuropsychological therapy

The main aim of neuropsychological treatment is helping the patient to obtain maximum possible independence in the various activities of their everyday life, including in school and at work. Psychosocial and professional factors are looked at. The therapy is performed on a stationary basis, but it can also be further treated on an outpatient basis after the patient has left the clinic. There are therapy possibilities available for various function areas e.g. attention, memory, action planning, error control, visual-spatial processing, etc. These therapies are performed with pen and paper, but also on computer or with specific therapy means (the Valens L-shape invented in Valens). Thus, it is the task of the neuropsychologist to develop different intervention strategies and communication techniques with the patient. It revolves around specific solutions for the individual difficulties of the various patients. It includes discussions on the processing of the illness / accident event.

Traffic psychology

The question of mobility at the end of a rehabilitation session is of central importance for many patients. With the ability to drive, a patient's quality of live and self-reliance improves. Determining fitness to drive consists of four levels:

•Medical assessment
•Neuropsychological and traffic-psychological tests
•Smart driving simulator
•If indicated: driving test with the clinic's driving instructor

During a traffic-psychology assessment, information on many areas is gathered, either with pen and paper or on computer: including visual-spatial perception, attention, impulse control, error control, directed and divided attention, keeping track, reaction speed, resilience, traffic-specific overview etc. Like with general neuropsychological diagnostics, the test values of the test subjects are compared with age-specific, education-specific and gender-specific norm samples here as well.

Research in the neuropsychology/traffic psychology department

The department of neuropsychology and traffic psychology has performed research tasks in the areas of driving ability and neuropsychological rehabilitation in collaboration with the medical department and the University of Zürich. In addition to research on clinical issues, Lizenziat projects at the University of Zürich are accompanied.