Driving and Neuropsychology: New Directions for Improved Assessment and Re-Training

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
1:00pm - 2:30pm Eastern time
1.5 CE Credits

Presented by:
Maria T. Schultheis, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Psychology
Drexel University

The ability to drive an automobile is a complex activity that includes physical, cognitive, and behavioral demands.  The assessment of this ability after neurological compromise (e.g., from brain injury, stroke, or multiple sclerosis) is a challenging task faced by many clinicians. Yet, the role and contribution of the neuropsychologist in determining driving capacity has not been well-defined, despite the importance of cognition in driving. Overall, this course is designed to provide participants with a comprehensive review of the state of the science in regard to driving and neuropsychology.  Specifically, the course will include: 1) a brief overview of current clinical driver assessment procedures and strengths and weaknesses of current measurements of driving performance; 2) a review of common neuropsychological measures employed for driving assessment of neurological populations; and 3) a summary of the current research related to development of a virtual reality driving simulator to help address the need for new tools to support evidence-based recommendations of driving ability in neurological populations. 

After the webinar, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the current methods for evaluating capacity to return to driving after neurological compromise.
  2. Identify three or four cognitive domains relevant to driving capacity, and list the neuropsychological tests in each domain used for assessment of driving.
  3. Discuss current research with virtual reality simulation and how it addresses the need for valid and objective measures of driving.

Target Audience: Neuropsychologists, psychologists, and graduate students interested in neuropsychology

Instructional Level: Introductory

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Registration closes 30 minutes prior to the live presentation.


Maria T. Schultheis, Ph.D.
is the Chair of the Department of Psychology and a tenured Professor with appointments in the Department of Psychology and in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Schultheis’ clinical and research experience have been focused on the rehabilitation of cognitively impaired populations, including traumatic brain injury, stroke and multiple sclerosis. Dr. Schultheis' overall interest is in research related to the investigation and development of methodologies that have functional significance and the application of technologies to address clinical needs. Dr. Schultheis' research has been consistently funded by such organizations as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS).  She has published over 100 publications, including a book entitled “The Handbook on Driving Assessment”. She has presented her work internationally and nationally across neuropsychological, rehabilitation medicine and transportation forums. Dr. Schultheis is the recipient of the 2007 American Psychological Association Early Career Award for Division 40 (Clinical Neuropsychology), a Fellow of Clinical Neuropsychology and in 2013 was honored as Mentor of the Year by the Philadelphia Neuropsychological Society.

Civil Capacities in Neuropsychological Assessment

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
12:00pm - 1:30pm Eastern time
1.5 CE Credits

Presented by:
Freeman M. Chakara, Psy.D.
Clinical Neuropsychologist
Providence Behavioral Health

Psychologists in general, and neuropsychologists in particular, tend to be well trained in assessing cognitive and emotional functioning across the life span. Various specialties within psychology have further established best practice standards within their respective fields: neuropsychology, forensic psychology, geropsychology, etc. In spite of considerable developments and improvements in assessment as reflected by these best practice standards, the area of capacity/competence evaluation remains nascent in development. The purpose of this webinar is to introduce neuropsychologists, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students to basic principles in assessing civil capacities. Further, simple clinical vignettes will be reviewed to illustrate those types of civil capacities one may encounter in clinical practice. The role of comprehensive neuropsychological assessment, with a focus on capacity questions, will be addressed toward expanding the scope of clinical services to benefit patients and fellow professionals in the context within which we practice.

After the webinar, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the five legal standards utilized in determining capacity.
  2. Apply appropriate ethical principles and best practice standards in conducting civil capacity evaluations.
  3. Explain the rationale underlying those assessment procedures utilized in capacity evaluations.
  4. Identify key challenges in capacity evaluations, and discuss benefits of engaging in such evaluations.

Target Audience: Psychologists, Neuropsychologists, Postdoctoral Fellows, & Graduate Students

Instructional Level: Introductory

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Registration closes 30 minutes prior to the live presentation.


Freeman M. Chakara, Psy.D.
is a clinical neuropsychologist who has been in private practice since 2002. In 2000 he earned a PsyD in Clinical Psychology, with a concentration in Neuropsychology, from Widener University. He completed a neuropsychology internship at Lancaster General Hospital’s NeuroCenter under the auspices of Widener University. He then completed a two year postdoctoral Fellowship at Pennsylvania State University’s Hershey Medical Center.  In 2007 he earned board certification with the American Board of Neuropsychology, and in 2011 he was board certified with the American Board of Professional Psychology – Clinical Neuropsychology. In addition to publishing in neuropsychology, Dr. Chakara’s clinical practice entails working with neurologically compromised patients across the lifespan. Within clinical work, he is often consulted to provide Civil Capacity Evaluations.