Because there are very rarely any direct measurements of neuropsychological function preceding a clinical evaluation situation, that is, before the etiologic event of a traumatic brain injury or a cerebral vascular accident, clinical neuropsychologists have attempted to develop methods of estimating premorbid function. In that way, judgments can be made regarding whether the obtained score represents a change. Early methods involved clinical judgment in which interview information is regarding the highest level of education, the level of occupational achievement, and the type of hobbies or interests. Since that time, more objective methods have since been developed.
For example, one method involves using a task that is thought to be relatively impervious to acquired cortical damage. Such a task is reading and pronouncing regularly or irregularly spelled words. This method is the basis of the North American Adult Reading Test (NAART) and the...