Forensic Neuropsychology

What is forensic neuropsychology? 

Forensic neuropsychology, and practicing as a forensic neuropsychologist, involves the application of neuropsychological assessment methods to the examination of criminal and civil litigants.  A forensic neuropsychologist expert presents reliable/valid psychological and neuropsychological assessment data pursuant to one’s emotional/cognitive/behavioral functioning as applied to legal proceedings and specific forensic questions posed by attorneys and courts.  The forensic neuropsychologist is competent in neuropsychological assessment concerning brain behavior relationships, psychiatric and neurological disorders, and neuroimaging in legal cases.

The criminal forensic neuropsychologist will analyze neuropsychological functioning strengths, weaknesses, and impairments related to legal questions and statutory criteria which often encompass emotional/cognitive/behavioral functional capacity.

While the forensic psychologist focuses on assessing human behavior and traditional psychiatric diagnoses, the forensic neuropsychologist expands into examining brain behavior relationships and neuropsychological functional testing related to both psychiatric and neurological disorders.

The proficient forensic neuropsychologist will have a solid knowledge base into other disciplines in neuroscience such as neuropsychopharmacology and neuroimaging, and be able to integrate neuroscientific evidence with their own assessment when conceptualizing a case.

The forensic neuropsychologist must be adept in utilizing psychological and neuropsychological assessment methods when examining both psychiatric and neurological disorders.  In particular to both criminal and civil cases, the forensic neuropsychologist must have substantial knowledge, training, and experience in psychologically and neuropsychologically based traumas (PTSD and traumatic brain injury).

The influential forensic neuropsychologist must be able to judiciously and artfully communicate detailed and complicated neuroscientific and legal information in an essential, meaningful, and yet practical manner to the trier of fact.