Background

Neuropsychological assessment grew from infancy to maturity in the half century between 1950 and 2000. Originally developed with a primary focus on the assessment of neurocognitive correlates of neurological disorders in adults, by the 1970s neuropsychologi-cal assessment had expanded to encompass neurodevelopmental phenomena among children. Pediatric neuropsychological assessment in its early years was characterized by the use ofmeasurement concepts and instruments found to be of value with adults, and early practitioners were often individuals sophisticated in the physiological bases of adult cognitive dysfunction with little clinical experience with or knowledge of a pediatric population.

Growing awareness and interest in brain-behavior relationships in children, typified by such issues as minimal brain dysfunction or attention deficit hypotheses to account for comparatively poorer performance by some children in academic and social milieus, generated government support during the Great Society era of a number of training programs designed to incorporate pediatric neuropsychological assessment into both health care and academic settings. The increasing involvement of individuals with a background in child development and the problems unique to a pediatric population heightened recognition that

Encyclopedia of the Human Brain Volume 3

Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA).

All rights reserved.

conceptual models typical of brain-behavior relationships in adults were not necessarily applicable to children. This recognition has led to three decades of research and development involving issues of unique relevance to pediatric neuropsychological assessment.

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