What is neuroscience?
Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system with a focus on the brain. In psychology, neuroscience provides deeper study into how biological and chemical processes make the brain and nervous system function.
Neuroscience psychology shows that biological brain activity is intertwined with our behaviour and mental processes. As such, neuroscience techniques include using molecular and cellular studies, as well as neuroimaging (brain scanning) in evaluating a person’s psychological function.
What is a cognition?
Cognition refers to the mental processes we use to gain knowledge and understanding. It involves high level mental functions encompassing language, attention, memory, reasoning, perception and planning. IQ tests are among the most commonly administered psychological tests for measuring a range of cognitive abilities.
Cognitive neuroscience involves the scientific study of the biological processes and aspects that underlie cognition. It addresses questions of how cognitive activities are affected or controlled by neural circuits in the brain.
What is a Neuroflow psychological assessment?
Neuroflow specialises in measuring an extensive range of cognitive abilities whereby people perform carefully designed tasks. Tasks chosen have been established by research to be good measures of cognitions that have been identified as basic mental processes used for learning and comprehension. An assessment may also include questionnaires, checklists, interviews, tests of acquired knowledge, and brain mapping.
A Neuroflow assessment takes on a comprehensive approach. It favours objective measures using norm-referenced tests and brain mapping, to investigate a wide range of abilities and difficulties. The goal is to discover the underlying causes of diagnosed conditions or, where there is no diagnosis, to understand reasons for difficulties processing information. Obtaining comprehensive information is most likely to lead to the recommendation of the most meaningful interventions.
What is a Psychological Diagnosis?
Traditionally, in psychology, a diagnosis gives a name to symptoms or behaviours that cause problems in a person’s functioning. For example, neurodevelopmental disorders are usually diagnosed in childhood. Ideally, a diagnosis increases support in the form of funding by government, as well as the planning of strategies provided by self, carers, educational institutions and workplaces. Too often, however, a psychological diagnosis alone does not provide enough information for implementing specific support, strategies and interventions. It is therefore important to look at the brain functions or cognitions underlying these diagnoses.
Some abilities or difficulties measured when evaluating risk for a psychological diagnoses may include:
Levels of intellectual functioning and living skills.
ATTENTION DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER
Levels of vigilance, sustained attention and executive functioning.
AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER
Social interaction and communication ability, as well as repetitive patterns of behaviour.
SPECIFIC LEARNING DISORDER
e.g. Dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia: measured by cognitive and educational assessments.
Thorough psychological testing, using good cognitive, neuropsychological and educational assessment tools, has the best chance of helping individuals perform better. The choice of assessment tools depends on an individual’s circumstances and goals. This requires discussion with a Neuroflow psychologist. In a clinical setting, where expense and feasibility are considerations, these tools may include:
STANDARD TESTS OF INTELLECTUAL FUNCTIONING
Including abstract reasoning, verbal comprehension and reasoning, visual spatial thinking, working memory and psychomotor abilities.
AUDITORY, VISUAL, AND PHONOLOGICAL PROCESSING
Assessments especially important for investigating dyslexia.
ATTENTION AND EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING
Computerised tasks for attention disorders.
QEEG: Quantitative Electroencephalography.
ASPECTS OF MEMORY
Including verbal and visual recall and recognition, short-term and long-term.
Including reading, writing, mathematics, and oral language.