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Cognitive Testing

There is always a need to determine the intelligence of humans due to their influence on the growth and development of society. Even animals are tested for their cognitive abilities as they relate to human beings.

The Nature of Cognitive Testing

Cognitive testing is a type of assessment used to determine the mental strengths and weaknesses of human beings.  It is used to evaluate their ability to think, reason out, make decisions, remember and solve problems.

Brain Deterioration

The brains of humans have a tendency to deteriorate due to age, drug and alcohol abuse, and certain medical conditions. Therefore, cognitive testing is vital in assessing the brain functions of humans as they relate to their work, their fellows, and society.

It is also necessary if a person has undergone a medical procedure, or given treatment in the form of drugs and medicines. This type of testing is also designed to determine the response of a patient to whatever form of treatment he is given.

Overall, there are two types of cognitive testing:

  • For age-related mental issues – usually administered by mental health professionals.
  • For medical related problems – normally administered by psychologists with the help of medical health providers.

There are two approaches to cognitive testing of the second type. One is by measuring the mental capacity of the patient by qualitative approach. This involves determining the person’s behavior.

The other one is by using a quantitative approach which uses scaled and standardized measurements.

“Cognitive psychology tells us that the unaided human mind is vulnerable to many fallacies and illusions because of its reliance on its memory for vivid anecdotes rather than systematic statistics.” – Steven Pinker

Why Should Someone Undergo Cognitive Testing?

There are many reasons why a person is required to undergo cognitive testing.

  • If a medical provider is concerned that the patient is experiencing cognitive impairment as a result of a stroke or brain injury, or if a child is manifesting intellectual disabilities. Neurologists and pediatricians resort to this type of assessment to determine if the patient’s brain is functioning well and also to establish a baseline that they can use for future comparisons.
  • Cognitive evaluation is also used to check whether or not a patient experiences any mental and physical problems due to the psychiatric medication he is receiving.
  • It is also used after a patient’s brain surgery to determine if he is recovering well and that there are no areas of his brain that were damaged after his operation.
  • It is also used to manage mental illness of the patient. Upon assessment of the cognitive capacity of the patient, further cognitive testing is used as part of his treatment protocol to determine how well he responds to medication and other psychological therapies.
  • Cognitive testing is also used by education professionals to check the mental capacities of their students. But caution is taken by such professionals because they know that this testing is not a measure of a student’s intelligence.  It only shows how student acquires and process information, and identify areas where they cognitively lag behind their peers.
“Many of the cognitive enhancement drugs serve to increase focus and concentration. But 'letting your mind wander' is very often an important part of the creative process.” – Jamais Cascio

Types of Cognitive Testing

There are different types of cognitive testing. The type of testing used by a medical professional depends on the purpose of the assessment.

  • Cognitive testing for job suitability – this is used to determine a person’s ability to perform the job, and how ready he is after undergoing mental treatment and medications.
  • Cognitive testing to assess the patient’s capacity to recall things and events – these tests will determine the extent that a brain injury or operation has affected the patient’s short-term and long-term memory.
  • Cognitive testing for the probability of suicide – these are tests done to assess the likelihood that the patient will commit suicide.

Call Today

At His House Cognitive Testing is an integral part of our treatment programs for men. It’s part of what we do from assessment to admission. Call today to find out more.


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