How neuropsychology informs our understanding of developmental disorders

Bruce F. Pennington
2009 Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines  
This review includes 1) an explanation of what neuropsychology is, 2) a brief history of how developmental cognitive neuroscience emerged from earlier neuropsychological approaches to understanding atypical development, 3) three recent examples that illustrate the benefits of this approach, 4) issues and challenges this approach must face, and 5) a forecast for the future of this approach. This paper will present neuropsychology as a method for understanding childhood disorders. Very simply
more » ... neuropsychology is the study of brain-behavior relations, and developmental neuropsychology is the study of how those relations develop in both typical and atypical cases. More recently, with advances in neural network models, neuroimaging, and genetics, a field of developmental cognitive neuroscience has emerged that tests links across several levels of analysis: etiology, brain development, neuropsychology, and behavioral symptoms. So, I will argue that neuropsychology provides an important bridge across these levels and thus among the other methods described in other articles in this Annual Research Review. As it interacts with these other methods, neuropsychology itself is being transformed, and will eventually merge into the wider interdiscipline of developmental cognitive neuroscience. This review includes 1) an explanation of what neuropsychology is, 2) a brief history of how developmental cognitive neuroscience emerged from earlier neuropsychological approaches to understanding atypical development, 3) three recent examples that illustrate the benefits of this approach, 4) issues and challenges this approach must face, and 5) a forecast for the future of this approach. Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared.
doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2008.01977.x pmid:19175811 fatcat:jugv6bjfcrd6xgnhi223g6cfve