Visual-spatial Ability

There are many styles of report writing in use by neuropsychologists.  Some clinicians use a prefabricated template and type in data during or after the interview.  Others prefer to dictate reports orally and have them transcribed.    There is also a program called Shortkeys which relies on typed codes that produce entire paragraphs which can be tailored to the client at hand.  Finally, some clinicians start from scratch when they write each report.

This domain deals with the abilities to make sense of the visual world—shapes, angles, larger gestalts vs details, the meaning of forms—and to reproduce what one sees.   Problems here can affect a client’s ability to conceptualize complex ideas and relationships, and lead to an over-reliance on verbal expression.

Visual perception refers to the processing of visual information for the purposes of recognition and spatial orientation.  Visual perception can be further divided into visuoperceptual (what) and visuospatial (where) processes.  Visuoperceptual ability is comprised by such skills as visual discrimination, form constancy, visual closure and figure ground analysis.  Visual discrimination refers to analyzing information to find similar patterns.  Form constancy refers to identifying like objects when they are different sizes.  Visuospatial ability refers to visual orientation or location in space, such as spatial orientation.

Visual perception skills also have overlap with other cognitive domains.  The overlap between memory and and visual perception is called visual memory.  The intersection between visual perception and motor skills is called visual construction skills. 

There are many different test that are used to assess this domain and they can be explored if you click here.  Failure to perform well in this area is typically associated with problems located in the non-dominant (right) hemisphere, especially in right-handed individuals.