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THE ROLE OF METACOGNITIVE ASSESSMENT IN NEUROPSYCHOLOGY
Stephanie Cosentino, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Neuropsychology, Department of Neurology and the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA
Neuropsychologists aim to characterize a wide variety of cognitive functions with valid, reliable, objective and rigorous assessment tools that inform the nature and etiology of clinical phenomena. Great effort has been directed toward developing measures of memory, language, attention, spatial skills, and executive abilities. In contrast, clinicians and researchers alike have placed relatively less emphasis on the formal assessment of metacognition, or the extent to which individuals are aware of specific cognitive deficits. This represents a weakness in our field, as metacognitive deficits may at times have greater clinical and practical relevance than deficits in primary cognitive skills such as memory. Formal assessment of metacognition may allow clinicians and researchers to reliably characterize impaired self awareness in various clinical populations, and better understand the etiology and nature of such impairment. This workshop will serve as an introduction to a variety of experimental metacognitive assessment techniques, and discuss the manner in which such techniques have been, and might be used to understand specific clinical syndromes. The specific objectives of this workshop are as follows: (1) Attendees will learn various approaches to assessing metacognition; and (2) Attendees will be able to discuss the potential value of metacognitive assessment for understanding clinical syndromes.