About the Clinical Neuropsychology Program Specialization

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.

Please note, the Clinical Neuropsychology Track provides specialization in adult and geriatric neuropsychology. We do not at present offer a track for pediatric neuropsychology. 

Training Overview

The Clinical Neuropsychology Track has been modeled after the Houston Conference and APA Division 40 guidelines. Graduates of the Clinical Neuropsychology track meet criteria set forth by the Clinical Neuropsychology Synarchy for a “Major Area of Study”.

Coursework

Specialized coursework helps 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 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 presenting problems are seen through these activities, including dementia (e.g., 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. Primary areas of focus for our program include: 

  • Understanding neurocognitive effects of medical conditions like obesity and heart disease
  • Developing non-pharmacologic interventions to reduce the risk of neurological disorders
  • Understanding caregiver burden and finding ways to better help individuals providing informal care for their loved ones

Core Faculty

Dr. John Gunstad studies the effects of medical conditions on neurocognitive functioning and how health behaviors (e.g., diet and exercise) influence cognition.

Dr. Mary Beth Spitznagel studies caregiver burden in neurologic and other populations and the cognitive impact of health behaviors such as diet and exercise.

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 Neuropsychology Track Graduates

Dr. Michael Alosco - Assistant Professor of Neurology, Boston University Alzheimer's Disease and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center

Dr. Dayana Calvo - Staff Neuropsychologist, Bay Pines VA

Dr. Andrew Fedor - Clinical Neuropsychologist, Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, Alina Health

Dr. Rachel Galioto - Assistant Professor, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University; Staff Neuropsychologist, Department of Psychology and Psychiatry, Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Dr. Sarah Garcia - Assistant Professor of Psychology, Stetson University

Dr. Lindsay Miller - Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and Clinical Neuropsychologist, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center