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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: The field of neuropsychology has many specialized books on particular diseases, but there is always a need for a general text to cover the major aspects of neuropsychology from neuroanatomy to assessment to practice issues. This is one such book that attempts to provide comprehensive coverage of the field.
Purpose: This is intended to be an authoritative reference for the field of neuropsychology. It is updated in a third edition after approximately 11 years.
Audience: Although targeted at neuropsychologists, interns and postdoctoral fellows will also find it informative. The editors and contributing authors are well known and accomplished in the field.
Features: The initial chapters on functional neuroanatomy and neurological disorders contain good information, but are on the simplistic end of the spectrum. They do include information about important emerging issues, such as the identification of multiple pathologies in dementia and the prodromal MCI phase. The next chapter title hints at the topic of intelligence, but it actually is quite repetitive of the first chapter, especially given the later chapter on lateralization that covers some of these issues in much more depth. As usual, Dr. Iverson delivers a highly useful chapter on symptom validity assessment that includes information about the major symptom validity tests, construct of malingering, ethical considerations, and sample reports. An introduction to neuroimaging helps to explain this area in a user-friendly manner. Also welcome are the reviews of new tests like the neuropsychological assessment battery, as well as the coverage of multicultural issues and ecological validity in neuropsychological assessment. The utility of the section that discusses particular diseases, however, is questionable since it only covers limited diseases and does so in a cursory fashion. On the plus side, there are many references that reflect current research and conceptualizations in the field.
Assessment: The goal of a comprehensive book is worthwhile, and this one has its merits, but it falls short in some respects. The topics are well chosen, but seem incomplete. On the one hand, it is written at a level that is almost too basic and lacks the depth of books on more specific topics. On the other hand, it also lacks the breadth of other handbooks, such as Neuropsychological Assessment, 4th edition Lezak, Howieson, and Loring (Oxford University Press, 2004) or the clinical usefulness of Clinical Neuropsychology: A Pocket Handbook for Assessment, Snyder and Nussbaum (American Psychological Association, 2005).