The Investigative Neuropsychologist By Ralph J. Kiernan, Ph.D.

Announcing the Arrival of a New Book on the
Science and Clinical Practice of Neuropsychology

The Investigative Neuropsychologist 
Ralph J. Kiernan, Ph.D.

This book will be available in 2012

Biographical Statement

Dr. Kiernan did his neuropsychology post-doctoral training at the University of Wisconsin Medical Center in Madison, Wisconsin under Charles Matthews, Ph.D. in 1972-1973.  He has since worked in the Neurology Department at Stanford University Medical Center and in the Psychiatry Department at the San Francisco Veterans Hospital and the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco.

In 1979, he co-founded the Neurobehavioral Unit at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California.  This was a special diagnostic unit on the acute psychiatric ward aimed at evaluating possible medical and/or neurological causes of acute onset psychiatric syndromes.  As part of this work, he and his colleagues developed the first version of the Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination, later known as Cognistat.  He has recently been involved in a new effort to translate Cognistat into an online system, which is now available as the Cognistat Assessment System.

Since 1986, Dr. Kiernan has been in full-time private practice as a neuropsychologist and forensic specialist in the San Francisco Bay Area.  He has a particular interest in the history of science and in the philosophy of brain-behavior relationships.  His book of essays reflects this broad range of interests.  It also addresses important topics involving consciousness, cognitive assessment, malingering tests, forensic issues, PTSD and the recovery process.

The Investigative Neuropsychologist

Section I: Science and the clinician

  1. Observing, thinking, and science
  2. Dr. Ded and Dr. In
  3. Whatever happened to rapport?
  4. Beyond psychometrics
  5. Why I don’t use malingering tests

Section II: The brain and behavior

  1. How mild is a mild brain injury?
  2. How the head gets hit matters
  3. What else is in the head?
  4. An inconvenient truth about the brain
  5. The computer and the brain

Section III: Forensic dilemmas

  1. Expert attitudes
  2. Motivational complexities
  3. Tell the truth (even though it might be painful)
  4. Inconsistencies are discrepancies
  5. Possibilities are not probabilities

Section IV: Treatment and recovery

  1. Don’t ask, don’t tell
  2. The gnashing of teeth
  3. The terrible journey
  4. Lashley’s rats
  5. The greatest weight

Section V: Implications

  1. Wicked problems
  2. Levels of consciousness
  3. Brains do not process information
  4. Flashbacks and learning
  5. A new brain science