Neuropsychology Track & Minor

Neuropsychology Track & Minor

Neuropsychology is the branch of psychology dedicated to understanding causes, assessment, and treatment of psychological disorders attributable to brain injury or disease. Neuropsychological science is informed by principles, theories, and findings from multiple scientific disciplines, including cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, rehabilitation psychology, and gerontology. In practice, clinical neuropsychologists collaborate with professionals from medical, social service, and educational backgrounds. As such, advanced education in neuropsychology is not only relevant to students of clinical psychology, but also individuals pursuing education in complementary research and applied fields.

Our Clinical Neuropsychology Track emphasizes understanding basic mechanisms in neuropsychological disorders and developing, evaluating, and disseminating new approaches to assessment and treatment. More broadly, our training is designed to ensure that our students receive broad exposure to and develop advanced skills in the following:

  1. Neuropsychological theory and research methods, particularly those drawing upon current developments in cognitive psychology (e.g., modern models of executive functioning) and cognitive neuroscience (e.g., neuroimaging techniques), and
  2. Broad-based skills in general clinical psychology, particularly those related to intervention practice and evaluation across the adult lifespan. We encourage students to develop additional specialized research and clinical expertise (e.g., gerontology, psychophysiology, development of new assessments, neuroimaging, etc.) that will make them more broadly competent and more competitive in the job market.

Neuropsychology Track

The Neuropsychology Track consists of a three-course didactic sequence (504A, 504B, and 694D) and two clinical components (694D and Externship). The Neuropsychology Track is designed for individuals interested in obtaining specialization in neuropsychology as part of a PhD in clinical psychology. 

Requirements

1. 504 Didactic Sequence. Principles and core topics in human neuropsychology are covered in depth through the following courses:

  • Human Brain-Behavior Relationships (504A)
This course covers human brain functions in relation to intelligence, language, memory, judgment, reasoning, visual-spatial abilities, and emotion. It also covers methods of examining human brain function in relation to individual differences in both normal and brain-damaged persons. The interaction of individual differences in education, age, culture, and ethnicity with brain damage and disease is examined throughout the course.
 
  • Clinical Neuropsychology Practice: Evaluation of the Older Adult (504B)
​This course examines clinical applications of the knowledge base covered in 504A, and the assessment of cognitive and affective sequelae of human central nervous system disease/damage. Emphasis is placed on disorders associated with aging, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, frontotemporal, and other dementias. Because human neuropsychology relies upon "experiments of nature," (in addition to neuroimaging studies of healthy individuals) a major emphasis is on disorders of the central nervous system that affect cognitive and emotional processes.
 

2. Integrated Didactic and Practicum Experience. 694D is a two-semester practicum intended to provide graduate students with practical instruction and experience in several skills that are central to being a clinical scientist of neuropsychology, including assessment, consultation, supervision, patient feedback, and community presentations. Students receive exposure to a range of neuropsychological assessment problems and instruments, through case presentations, didactics (Neurology Rounds), and direct clinical assessment experience in the Behavioral Health Clinic and through our Satellite Neuropsychology Clinic in the community. Patients representing a wide age range, from young adulthood to older adulthood, and the spectrum of educational, occupational, language of origin, ethnic and cultural diversity that characterizes the Southern Arizona region, are seen in this practicum. Ethical issues are examined in the presentation of every assessment discussed in the practicum. Students have the opportunity to make community presentations on clinical science. Students also gain supervised experience providing feedback and developing treatment plans. 

3. Clinical Neuropsychology Externship. Students complete a two-semester, 20 hour per week externship in clinical neuropsychology with one of our partners in the Tucson community. The Psychology Department currently offers externships at Banner Alzheimer's Institute, and private practices in the Tucson community. Each of these settings offers unique and diverse opportunities in clinical neuropsychology and engagement in interdisciplinary healthcare models. Students receive advanced clinical training in case development, assessment, interpretation and report writing, and provision of feedback. Students also receive extensive supervision from highly experienced clinical neuropsychologists, many of whom are board certified.

Neuropsychology Minor

The Neuropsychology Minor only consists of a three-course didactic requirement (there is no clinical component to the minor). Whereas 504A and 504B are required courses, students can individualize the minor by selecting a third course from several options that are offered through the psychology department (detailed below). Note that non-clinical students pursuing the minor cannot take 694D as their third course. The Neuropsychology Minor is ideal for individuals who desire advanced education in neuropsychology to supplement their graduate training and research.

Requirements
Students who pursue the Neuropsychology Minor complete a three-course didactic sequence (i.e., there are no clinical requirements for the Neuropsychology Minor). 504A and 504B (described above) are required courses for the minor. Whereas 694D is required for the Neuropsychology Track, students pursuing the Neuropsychology Minor tailor the didactic sequence to their training needs by selecting a relevant third course of their choice (694D is not an option). Options include but are not limited to:
 
  1. Neuroanatomy (502)
  2. Psychophysiology (501)
  3. Clinical Neuropsychology (580)
  4. Advanced Human Memory (526)
  5. Cognitive Neuroscience (528)
  6. Computational Cognitive Neuroscience (544)


Core Faculty in Psychology

Updated 07/15/2020