Clinical Neuropsychology

About the Clinical Neuropsychology Program 

The field of clinical neuropsychology is dedicated to understanding brain-behavior relationships, or the way brain function influences our ability to think, feel, and behave in everyday life.  In clinical settings, neuropsychologists work with individuals across the lifespan with known or suspected brain-based disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, traumatic brain injury, and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Kent State University faculty in clinical neuropsychology work closely to train the next generation of clinical scientists.  Graduate students have the opportunity for hands-on clinical experiences with multiple patient populations and clinical settings.  Students also have the chance to take part in cutting edge research through multiple campus- and hospital-based projects.  Detailed information can be found at:  www.kentneuropsychology.com.

Coursework

Specialized coursework has been modeled after the Houston Conference and APA Division 40 guidelines to help students develop expertise in clinical neuropsychology, including courses in Neuropsychological Assessment, Neuroanatomy, and Psychopharmacology.  Additional classes are available to better understand mind-body connections, including such courses as Psychophysiological Psychology, Psychobiological Aspects of Health, Clinical Aspects of Health Psychology, among many, many, others.

Clinical Experiences

Graduate students build clinical skills across multiple settings, including hospital-based inpatient and outpatient neuropsychology evaluations, academic testing in the KSU Psychology Clinic, concussion programs for Kent State University athletes, and memory screenings at community centers.  A wide variety of referral questions are seen through these activities, including Alzheimer's disease, stroke, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and head injury.

Research

Our group maintains an active research program, with multiple projects underway at all times.  Understanding the neurocognitive effects of medical conditions like obesity and heart disease and the negative effects of environmental conditions on memory and other thinking skills are areas of focus for our program, but students are encouraged to work with their advisor to develop their own lines of research.  Recent student-led projects have examined the danger of eating while driving, how sleep problems make people with heart disease more forgetful, and whether weight loss can reduce risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Core Faculty

Dr. John Gunstad studies the effects of medical conditions on neurocognitive functioning.

Dr. Mary Beth Spitznagel investigates neuropsychological aspects of healthy aging and metabolic contributors to neurocognition.

Faculty with Related Interests

Dr. Yossef Ben-Porath:  Assessment of personality and psychopathology.

Dr. Douglas Delahanty:  Psychobiological predictors and correlates of PTSD in child trauma victims.

Dr. Joel Hughes:  Psychological and social factors in cardiovascular health and disease.

Recent Students

Dr. Andreana Benitez - Assistant Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina

Dr. Kelly Stanek - Department of Psychology, University of Alabama

Dr. Ashley Szabo Miller - Postdoctoral Fellow at Dallas VAMC

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