Neuropsychological Assessment of Attention

  • Ronald A. Cohen
Part of the Critical Issues in Neuropsychology book series (CINP)


The clinical assessment of attention usually depends on three sources of information: (1) psychometric tests designed to measure other cognitive functions, which provide indirect information about attention; (2) specific neuropsychological tests of attention; and (3) direct behavioral observation and measurement. As attention is a multifaceted process, the assessment of attention requires that the clinician obtain information about the characteristics of the patient’s performance under different conditions. Therefore, to adequately assess attention, it is usually necessary to use more than one test. In this chapter, we discuss some of the approaches to the clinical assessment of attention, taking into consideration these three sources of information. The initial discussion focuses on the traditional methods of assessing attention. The reader is encouraged to review Lezak (1983) for a more detailed account of the actual test procedures and norms for tests of attention and executive functioning. At the end of the chapter, we discuss several experimental assessment methods.


Sustained Attention Digit Span Neuropsychological Assessment Divided Attention Attentional Performance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald A. Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA

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