Neurocognitive Domains and Neuropsychological Testing

Michael Hsu, M.D., Matthew Peters, M.D., Christopher Cranston, PH.D.
Neurocognitive Domains and Neuropsychological Testing is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide.

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  • Neurocognitive tests are informative evaluation tools for assessing an individual’s functional capacity as pertaining to the neurocognitive domains as defined by DSM-5:
DSM-5 Neurocognitive Domains[1]

Perceptual-motor Function

Abilities subsumed under the terms visual perception, visuo-constructional, perceptual-motor, praxis and gnosis


Expressive language (including naming, word finding, fluency, grammar and syntax) and receptive language

Executive Function

Planning, decision making, working memory, responding to feedback/error correction, overriding habits/inhibition, mental flexibility

Learning and Memory

Immediate memory, recent memory (including free recall, cued recall and recognition memory), very long-term memory semantic; autobiographical, implicit learning

Complex Attention

Sustained attention, divided attention, selective attention, processing speed

Social Cognition

Recognition of emotions, theory of mind, or estimating what others might be thinking and feeling

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Last updated: October 29, 2017