The Role of Neuropsychological Evaluations

Dr. Paul Ebben, a forensic neuropsychologist, provides a variety of assessment services for criminal and civil proceedings. For example, Dr. Paul Ebben performs neuropsychological evaluations in order to help determine an individual’s competency to stand trial in a court of law.

Neuropsychological evaluations are used to compare a person’s cognitive and behavioral functioning to a baseline of what is considered normal. In such an evaluation, a person is subjected to a series of tests that are designed to provide data on how a person’s brain is working and what strengths or weaknesses he or she might have in that regard. The tests typically focus on memory, mood state, personality, and intelligence. In addition, they often evaluate a person’s capacity for more complex activities, such as the ability to plan and to conceptualize.

These neuropsychological tests are standardized, in that the process is the same for each individual. The results are then compared to those of healthy people who share the same background as the test taker, such as age and educational level. The tests provide valuable information that can be utilized for a number of purposes, such as determining legal competency or the need for treatment.

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