Volume 28, Issue 3 (July 1983)
Forensic Neuropsychology: A Selective Introduction
During the last decade, neuropsychology has emerged as one of the fastest growing disciplines within clinical psychology. One of the most important roles for neuropsychologists is their contribution to the forensic sciences. The present paper reviews how lawyers may best utilize the services of clinical neuropsychologists. Suggestions are also offered to neuropsychologists on how better to meet the needs of lawyers. The following forensic science issues are discussed: the legal framework in which neuropsycbologists function; contributions psychologists may make towards answering basic medicolegal questions such as the elucidation of the nature, extent, and duration of head injury sequelae; criteria for acceptable neuropsychological reports; medicolegal aspects of severe head injury, minor head injury (posttraumatic syndrome), and pseudo-head injury (malingering). There are many causes of damage to the nervous system (for example, industrial toxins and medical malpractice) that are eligible for compensation. Examples will be confined to head injury since the basic forensic science principles remain the same, whatever the etiology of such brain damage.