Neurocognitive Domains and Neuropsychological Testing

Lisa N. Richey, Michael Hsu, M.D., Matthew Peters, M.D., Christopher Cranston, PH.D.


  • Neurocognitive tests are informative evaluation tools for assessing an individual’s functional capacity as pertaining to the neurocognitive domains 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, organizing, decision making, working memory, responding to feedback/error correction, overriding habits/inhibition, self-monitoring, mental flexibility, emotional regulation

Learning and Memory

Immediate memory, short-term memory (including free recall, cued recall and recognition), consolidation and retrieval of long-term memories (explicit/declarative memory including episodic memory and semantic memory; implicit/non-declarative memory including procedural memory)

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: January 26, 2023