Marrying Past and Present Neuropsychology: Is the Future of the Process-Based Approach Technology-Based?

Unai Diaz-Orueta, Alberto Blanco-Campal, Melissa Lamar, David J. Libon, Teresa Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


A cognitive assessment strategy that is not limited to examining a set of summary test scores may be more helpful for early detection of emergent illness such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and may permit a better understanding of cognitive functions and dysfunctions in those with AD and other dementia disorders. A revisit of the work already undertaken by Kaplan and colleagues using the Boston Process-Approach provides a solid basis for identifying new opportunities to capture data on neurocognitive processes, test-taking strategies and response styles. Thus, this critical review will combine traditional process-based assessment strategies with support provided or offered by newer technologies that have the potential to add value to data collection and interpretation. There is now considerable interest in neuropsychological test administration using computer/digital technology, both in research and in clinical settings. To add value, any computerized version of an existing cognitive test should respect the administration procedure for which normative data were obtained, should be time-saving in terms of scoring and interpretation, and should, we argue, facilitate gathering information about the processes and strategies followed in test completion. This article will offer an overview of the steps needed when implementing computerization of neuropsychological tests using a Process-Based Approach (PBA) to these technology-based adaptations and will discuss further developments in this area by linking it to future technological developments that may be possible in the area of neuropsychological assessment. Additionally, an overview of neuropsychological tests that may benefit from computerization will be presented, together with suggestions on the specific processes, strategies and features that may be captured with the aid of such computerization. Finally, hypotheses on how virtual reality could be an asset for the future of the PBA to neuropsychological assessment will also be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number361
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
StatePublished - Mar 6 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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