Cross-Cultural Neuropsychological Assessment: Theory and Practice

By Victor Nell | Go to book overview
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nation, and reviews the tests that have been chosen in relation to the instructional and practice needs of non-test-wise clients. The final chapter shows the utility of organizing reports around a behavioral frame within which the test results are accommodated.


This book has been a long time in the making. In 1978, 1 borrowed a copy of the first edition of Muriel Lezak Neuropsychological Assessment from my PhD supervisor, Dev Griesel, and discovered that a wonderful new world lay out there beyond the clicks and flashes of the psychophysiological laboratory. The very word neuropsychology had a magical quality. A year later, I apprenticed myself to Harry Reef, professor of neurology at the Johannesburg Hospital, who introduced me to the first cases I had ever seen, including a man with dressing apraxia whose face -- and bewilderment -- I can still see before me; my first case report, applying Christensen's version of Luria's neuropsychological examination to a client with an expressive aphasia, ran to 47 pages. Harry blanched when I handed it to him. Two years later, I did a postdoctoral fellowship under the benign supervision of Chuck Matthews in Madison, Wisconsin, where I learned diagnostics, coherence, and brevity. Over the years, especially during his term as president of the International Neuropsychological Society, Chuck gave influential support to the view that clinical neuropsychology needed a wider base than the North American.

Since then, I have incurred many other debts. In South Africa, one works in exile, but among friends. I am grateful first to my colleagues in neuropsychology in the Health Psychology Unit ( Jacqui Sesel, Digby Brown, and Johan Kruger), and to Gail Barton, who with amazing good humor produced many drafts. Terry Taylor gave shape to the notion of bypassing culture. The collaboration of Jonny Myers and Leslie London at the University of Cape Town generated most of the South African data reported in chapter 2. In the text, "our group" refers to the collaboration between these individuals and institutions. Thanks also to Stuart Anderson, who made prepublication scores available to me, and to several generations of students for other scores, especially Nomahlubi Makunga, Ndepu Moselenyane, and Mandla Adonisi. I thank the University of South Africa and my department for generous leave, and their comforting faith that the book would in the fullness of time be completed. I also thank James Kitching, who served as a gateway to our wonderful university library. The little group that founded the South African Clinical Neuropsychology Association also nurtured my own commitment to neuropsychology in South Africa: Rory Plunkett, Shirley Tollman, and (back then) Mike Saling. I


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