Cognitive Psychopathology and Neuropsychology Unit
The Cognitive Psychopathology and Neuropsychology Unit (UPCN) is led by Prof. Martial Van der Linden.
Cognitive psychopathology is a recent approach that uses the concepts and methods of cognitive psychology to study cognitive dysfunctions underlying psychopathological disorders (cognitive deficits, biases and dysfunctional beliefs in their conscious and unconscious states). This approach proposes that cognitive dysfunctions, which are closely related to emotional and relational processes, contribute to the development, maintenance and recurrence of psychopathological disorders or symptoms.
The research goals of cognitive psychopathology are to gain a better understanding of psychopathological disorders and to establish direct relationships between cognitive dysfunctions and clinical symptoms, disruptions in everyday life and neurobiological abnormalities. Cognitive psychopathology also examines the cognitive, emotional and relational difficulties to better understand the organization, functioning and cerebral substrates of normal psychological processes, thereby emphasizing the interaction between cognition and emotion. The clinical goals of cognitive psychopathology are to develop new methods for evaluating and treating psychopathological symptoms.
Cognitive neuropsychology identifies cognitive, emotional and relational deficits in relation to brain lesions in order to better understand the organization and functioning of normal psychological processes. More specifically, cognitive neuropsychology examines whether the pattern of difficulties experienced by the brain-damaged patient can be interpreted within the framework of existing models of normal cognition. This allows the application of the most appropriate existing model, or alternatively, the formulation of a new theoretical hypothesis. Cognitive neuropsychology has recently recognized the affective and social deficits associated with brain lesions. The approach of cognitive neuropsychology is therefore closely related to cognitive and affective neurosciences whose objective is to identify the cerebral substrates of psychological processes.
By contributing to a better understanding of patients’ impairments, the clinical goals of cognitive neuropsychology are the elaboration of new evaluation and rehabilitation methods. Cognitive neuropsychology’s particular focus in recent years has been on assisting patients cope with the difficulties they face in everyday life (clinical cognitive neuropsychology of daily life).