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The Recent Advancements In Neuropsychology

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Neuropsychology is the study of the brain and it plays a huge role in identifying brain damage and disorders and coming up with treatment plans. There have been many recent advancements in neuropsychology that have opened up new ideas and new ways to analyze a person’s brain and look at specific functions. New technology like virtual reality is playing a big part in the future neuropsychologists by helping them with testing and training scenarios in a virtual environment. While, other new advancements like neuroimaging play a major role in detecting brain damage and disorders and help identify possible treatment options. Or like the Wechsler scale which was invented in 1945 and still used today to test memory and identify brain disorders. With, technology getting more and more advanced we can look even deeper into the brain and learn new treatments and possibly even cures.

Introduction “Neuropsychology is a specialty in professional psychology that applies principles of assessment and intervention based upon the scientific study of human behavior as it relates to the normal and abnormal functioning of the central nervous system.” There are many organizations that study and practice neuropsychology such as the National Academy of Neuropsychology. There they evaluate brain injuries and disorders and come up with treatment plans. Also, there is the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, who also looks at disorders and damage done to the brain. Virtual Reality’s New Role In Neuropsychology Virtual reality is a new technology that proves we are in the digital age. While, this technology has been out for a good while we are only scraping the surface of what virtual reality can be. Right now virtual reality is only seen for video games, and some cool gimmick that people want. But psychologists have found a way to incorporate this new technology to help people with brain damage or disorders. This technology unfortunately because it is so new is only available at a few places. “Due to cost and technology limitations, it has not been widely available, to date.”

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Virtual reality helps in the real world by helping neuropsychologists analyze and coming up with rehabilitation methods. “Virtual reality (VR) technology offers new opportunities for the development of innovative neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation tools. VR-based testing and training scenarios that would be difficult, if not impossible, to deliver using conventional neuropsychological methods are now being developed that take advantage of the assets available with VR technology.” This technology as the author stated can make training scenarios which can help neuropsychologist have a better understanding of the brain. What the author left out was how effective is virtual reality?

Neuroimaging Advancements

The process of neuroimaging has been around since the 1880s. It has played a huge role in learning and understanding the brain and how it works. Neuroimaging is used by neuropsychologists to study the brain and look at its processes. “In the past 30 years the neurosciences have yielded substantial advances in neuroimaging techniques that provide sophisticated images of the human brain through non-invasive methods, these advances in medical science have had profound implications for the clinical practice of neuropsychology.” And as this technology advances even more neuropsychologists can look even deeper into the brain “Current neuroimaging techniques reveal both form and function. They reveal the brain’s anatomy, including the integrity of brain structures and their interconnections.” Unlike the first article which discusses virtual reality, neuroimaging can show real time process of the brain while virtual reality cannot. Also, virtual reality is still new and needs to be broken in while neuropsychology has been around for a long time and can be trusted to be effective. Neuroimaging plays an essential role in the everyday use of diagnosing and treatments for brain disorders such as autism, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. One thing that the author left was how neuroimaging was good for diagnosing disorders but it did not specify how it did it or what the neuropsychologists look for.

Wechsler Scale

The Wechsler memory scale was developed by David Wechsler in 1945. It was designed to measure a person’s memory functions and see if they worked correctly. Like neuroimaging, the Wechsler scale can detect certain brain disorders. “Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS) was developed without the specific intention of using them as instruments to assess brain function and detect brain disorders, but extensive experience with these instruments has provided a basis for interpreting the tests in neurologic terms. Most current neuropsychological assessment approaches use several of the traditional tests in combination with newer techniques developed specifically to evaluate neurocognitive activities and provide insight into brain function in different disease states.” This technology is another way we study the brain just like virtual reality and neuroimaging. The Wechsler scale helps enhance our understanding of neuropsychology by showing that are many ways to detect brain damage and disorders and it shows how advanced our technology in neuropsychology has become. The Wechsler scale plays a big role in everyday life for neuropsychologists. This device helps identify what kind of brain disorder a person might have and how far it has progressed. With, that knowledge that the Wechsler scale provides a professional can recommend certain treatments for the patient. The author did leave out some details like how the Wechsler scale works to identify disorders a person might have.

Conclusion

The technological advancements in virtual reality, neuroimaging and the Wechsler scale in neuropsychology have been amazing. Each year something new and improved is developed to help people all over the world who suffer from brain related problems. The current advancements that we have been great, but most of them still have their limitations due to our current technological limits. Information provided by these studies show how advanced our technology and understanding of the brain are getting. If the progress we are making today continue into the future our understanding of the brain would be superb and possibly find actual cures for many brain disorders.

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