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Clinical Neuropsychology

The University of Toledo Medical Center is the only facility in the Toledo area to offer this unique healthcare specialty service. The neuropsychologists at UTMC have special training to see patients across the lifespan (pediatric, adult, and geriatric). 

A clinical neuropsychologist is a psychologist with special expertise in the applied science of brain-behavior relationships, including special training in neuroscience, neuroanatomy, neuropathology, and clinical neurology. Clinical neuropsychologists hold a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology and have completed internship and fellowship training in Neuropsychology. Clinical neuropsychologists are independent, licensed healthcare providers, and clinical neuropsychology is a specialty recognized by the American Psychological Association. UTMC also offers a Clinical Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Fellowship

What is a neuropsychological evaluation?

A neuropsychological evaluation has two parts.

The first is a clinical diagnostic interview with a focus on cognition (memory, speech, movement, thinking, problem-solving, etc). During this interview, the neuropsychologist discusses history and symptoms with the patient (and their family member, if they are accompanied). The purpose of this part of the evaluation is to understand the cognitive symptoms being experienced by the patient, as well as their history and what their cognition has been like in the past. This helps the neuropsychologist determine what aspects of cognition may be related to the patient’s difficulties in daily life and need further evaluation. It also allows the neuropsychologist to determine what areas of the brain may be involved.

The second part of a neuropsychological evaluation involves the patient completing a series of oral, visual, written, and motor tasks administered by a specially trained professional psychometrist. For most tasks, the patient answers questions aloud and there will be some writing/drawing. There are no injections, blood draws, or other invasive procedures. The purpose of this portion of the evaluation is to measure brain function when a person is trying to speak, move, think, remember, concentrate, and solve problems.

What is assessed in a neuropsychological evaluation:

  • General intellect and adaptive functioning
  • Cognitive domains such as attention, learning, memory, language, visuospatial skills, executive function, and sensory/motor functions
  • Behavioral and emotional functioning as it relates to the brain and/or medical conditions


    Neuropsychological evaluations involve a significant amount of time for everyone involved. The appointment may last up to six hours with a one-hour lunch break; very young patients or elderly patients may require only about 3-4 hours or fewer. If a family member comes with the patient, their role is to help provide information to the neuropsychologist during the interview, and to complete questionnaires/rating scales about the patient’s functioning in their daily lives.

    Purpose/outcome of a neuropsychological evaluation:

    The goal of undergoing neuropsychological evaluation is to determine an individual’s current strengths and weaknesses in thinking skills and to determine whether this pattern indicates a neurological, medical, or neurodevelopmental disorder. If it does, the neuropsychologist provides a diagnosis and explains it to the patient and family. In addition, the neuropsychologist can provide the individual and their family with information about prognosis, and with details that will help to increase their understanding of the individual’s strengths and weaknesses and how best to help. The evaluation also allows the neuropsychologist to make recommendations about additional examinations/treatments that may be needed, help determine appropriate living situations, whether the patient needs supervision or not, their capacity for making decisions, and their ability to be involved in employment/school. With specific regard to employment/school, the neuropsychologist can also make recommendations about accommodations that might be useful.

    Who needs a neuropsychological evaluation?

    UTMC requires that a referral is sent from a treating provider before a patient can request an appointment with Neuropsychology. Some people will complete a cognitive screening before a referral is made, which involves completing a brief (5-minute) series of tasks with their referring provider (such as their neurologist or primary care provider) to determine if a neuropsychological evaluation may be needed.

    Adults (age 18+) referred for evaluation generally have:

    • Neurological disease (e.g., MS, Parkinson, brain tumor), a brain injury from an accident, stroke, or question of dementia.
    • Medical disease that can affect cognition (e.g., hepatitis, AIDS, lupus)
    • Patients must be able to participate in cognitive testing (i.e., if the person is nonverbal, they must at least be able to consistently respond yes/no to questions)


    Children referred for evaluation must be 7 years of age or older, and generally have:

    • A disease or inborn developmental problem that affects the brain in some way (e.g., fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, genetic mutation, epilepsy)
    • A brain injury from an accident, birth trauma, or other physical stress (e.g., in utero stroke, traumatic brain injury, medical condition affecting cognition)
    • Patients must be able to participate in cognitive testing (i.e., they must be able to respond to yes/no questions if nonverbal, must be able to function in a school-like setting)


    Meet Our Experts:

    Mary E. Haines, PhD, ABPP

    Matthew G. Hall, PhD, ABPP

    Mellisa A. Boyle, PhD

    Contact us:

    The UTMC Neuropsychology Clinic is located in the Outpatient Rehabilitation Department, in the basement level of Dowling Hall.  Referrals may be faxed to 419-383-3184 or an Ambulatory Referral to Neuropsychology can be sent through Epic.

    Once a referral is sent, patients may call 419-383-5040 to schedule
Last Updated: 7/15/24