4.6 Take home messages

  • Cognition refers to thinking processes such as attention, problem solving, learning, memory, language and ‘higher level’ thinking processes, for example; decision making, planning and abstract reasoning skills.
  • Neuropsychology is the scientific study of the relationship between the brain and behaviour.

  • A neuropsychologist is a registered psychologist with specialised training in the area of Neuropsychology.

  • In a TBI setting, a neuropsychologist will:
    o Perform a neuropsychological assessment to establish cognitive strengths and weaknesses following a TBI
    o Provide feedback of these findings to:
           The client
           The family
           Services involved with the client
    o Work with the client, their family, their carers, therapists and other relevant services to develop and recommend strategies to help compensate for cognitive and behavioural changes.

  • The consequences a TBI will have on a person's cognitive processes depends on o What the person was like before the injury – in terms of cognitive functioning, personality, and coping style. o the nature of damage to the brain o spontaneous recovery.

  • There are a range of cognitive changes that can occur after TBI. These can lead to changes in behaviour or difficulty performing certain tasks.

  • The effects of cognitive changes can be minimised by you and others using appropriate management strategies.

  • Cognitive and behavioural changes that result from TBI can be mistaken by other people as a person trying to be deliberately difficult .