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The Hopkins Verbal Learning Test–Revised™ (HVLT-R™) and the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test–Revised™ (BVMT-R™) are now available for scoring on PARiConnect. The HVLT-R assesses verbal learning and memory, while the BVMT-R measures visuospatial memory. Both tests are neuropsychological assessments that can be used together as part of a battery. 

HVLT-R and BVMT-R Score Reports generated by PARiConnect provide: 

  • A score summary table that provides raw scores, T scores, and percentiles 

  • A raw score profile 

  • T-score profile 

Save valuable clinical time by letting PARiConnect handle the scoring. Now you can easily score these assessments online and without the expense of software or licenses. Learn more about the HVLT-R and the BVMT-R now! 

Don’t have a PARiConnect account? It’s easy to sign up! Learn more 

Interested in research conducted using the HVLT-R and BVMT-R? Click here and here to see our lists of research articles.  
 

 

Related article: New on PARiConnect: Digital Library  

 

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February 14-21 is Alzheimer’s and Dementia Staff Education Week. This week brings awareness to the importance of properly training individuals from a variety of fields. Whether you are a health care provider, 911 operator, first responder, clergy member, elder care attorney, or have another role working with the elderly, this week focuses on the importance of comprehensive dementia education. 

Beyond educating individuals beyond those in mental and physical health care about the importance of dementia education, the week also shines a spotlight on caregivers supporting individuals with these diagnoses. 

 

Some resources for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care 

The National Institute on Aging is the primary government agency conducting research on Alzheimer’s disease. 

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. The association’s website offers resources for caregivers as well as those living with Alzheimer’s. 

The National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP) provides resources, including seminars and training. NCCDP members may download a free Alzheimer’s and Dementia Staff Education Week toolkit from their website. 

 

Need help assessing for neurocognitive impairment? 

Patients with neurocognitive impairment such as dementia are often unreliable reporters of their symptoms. An observer—such as a family member, friend, or home health care nurse—can often provide valuable insight into an individual’s functioning. The Older Adult Cognitive Screener™ (OACS™) is a quick informant rating scale that helps provide information on a patient’s mental status and determine if there is a need for more in-depth testing. Learn more about the OACS

The Dementia Rating Scale–2™ (DRS-2™) measures mental status in individuals with cognitive impairment. It assesses an individual’s mental status over time. 

 

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More than 640,000 children and adolescents visit the emergency room each year for concerns related to traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI can have a negative impact on an individual’s learning and memory, affecting educational attainment in school and beyond. New research on TBI provides more insight into its effect on children and adolescents. 

Just-published research in the journal Assessment provides evidence of clinical utility of the Child and Adolescent Memory Profile (ChAMP; Sherman & Brooks, 2015) as part of a more comprehensive evaluation of traumatic brain injury in children and adolescents. The ChAMP assesses visual and verbal memory that allows for both in-depth evaluation and memory screening.  

Kate Wilson, Sofia Lesica, and Jacobus Donders from the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan assessed 61 children and adolescents with TBI using the ChAMP within 1 to 12 months after injury. They found that most ChAMP index scores demonstrated significant negative correlations with time to follow commands following TBI. After comparing ChAMP scores to a matched control group, they found that individuals with TBI had statistically significantly lower scores on all indexes, though sensitivity and specificity were suboptimal.  

The researchers concluded that the ChAMP has modest utility as part of a comprehensive evaluation of TBI in children and adolescents. Learn more about their research or learn more about the ChAMP

The MEMRY is the first nationally standardized rating scale specifically designed to measure memory in children, adolescents, and young adults. It measures everyday memory, learning, and executive aspects of memory, including working memory.

It provides rapid screening for memory problems in youth, an ecologically relevant assessment of memory in everyday life, and multiple perspectives about memory capacity from different raters. The MEMRY can be used to determine whether a more comprehensive evaluation is required or as a core component of a comprehensive assessment for youth suspected of memory problems.

The MEMRY:

  • Features both informant (ages 5-19 years) and self-report (ages 9-21 years) forms.

  • Includes an overall score, the Everyday Memory Index (EMI), as well as scales that tap learning, daily memory, and executive/working memory and three validity scales.

  • Allows clinicians to differentiate between problems caused by memory failures versus failures due to problems with working memory and attention, a common referral question.

  • Appropriate for use with typically developing youth, as well as individuals with suspected memory or learning problems.

  • Provides intervention recommendations based on MEMRY scores.


The MEMRY was conormed with the Child and Adolescent Memory Profile™ (ChAMP™) and the Memory Validity Profile™ (MVP), providing a full suite of memory products!

Learn more about the MEMRY today!
Among academics and mental health professionals, there is a widespread belief that hypnosis has the power to retrieve lost memories. In 1980, Elizabeth and Geoffrey Loftus found that 84% of psychologists and 69% of non-psychologists endorsed the statement that “memory is permanently stored in the mind” and that “with hypnosis, or other specialized techniques, these inaccessible details could eventually be recovered.”

The idea of whether people can truly forget traumatic memories has been debated for years. Early psychologists and psychiatrists such as Sigmund Freud, Joseph Breuer, and Pierre Janet also endorsed the memory-enhancing powers of hypnosis. In addition, belief in the power of hypnosis has spilled over into the mainstream with the help of TV shows, movies, and books. However, experts in general agree that “hypnosis either has no effect on memory or that it can impair and distort recall.” While people can certainly remember events they haven’t thought about for years, the issue at question is whether a special mechanism of repression exists that accounts for the forgetting of traumatic experiences.

While there are many reports of people who seem to have recovered memories of abuse through hypnosis, David Holmes reviewed 60 years of research and found no convincing laboratory evidence for repression. In his book, Remembering Trauma, psychologist Richard McNally concludes that repressed memories are “a piece of psychiatric folklore devoid of convincing empirical support.” In addition, McNally gives an alternate explanation for the recovery of repressed memories: “Children may be more confused than upset by sexual advances from a relative, yet years later recall the event with revulsion as they realize that it was, in fact, an instance of abuse.”

People sometimes forget significant life events, such as accidents and hospitalizations, even a year after they occur; therefore, a delay in the recall of events isn’t unusual. While hypnosis may not be the magic potion that uncovers traumatic memories, not all uses of hypnosis are scientifically problematic. Controlled research evidence suggests that hypnosis may be useful in pain management, treating medical conditions, eliminating habits such as smoking addiction, and as therapy for anxiety, obesity, and other conditions. Memories recalled even decades later aren’t necessarily false; however, it shouldn’t be assumed that recovered memories are valid unless corroborating evidence exists.

What do you think? Is hypnosis the real deal? PAR wants to hear from you, so leave a comment and join the conversation!

 
We are pleased to announce the release of the Memory Validity Profile™ (MVP) by Elisabeth M.S. Sherman, PhD, and Brian Brooks, PhD.

The MVP determines whether an examinee is providing valid test scores and is designed to be used in tandem with other assessments. It is the first and only performance validity test (PVT) designed for and nationally standardized on children, adolescents, and young adults ages 5-21.

The MVP is conormed with the Child and Adolescent Memory Profile™ (ChAMP™), which provides comprehensive information about learning and memory and an embedded indicator of validity.

Highlights of the MVP

  • It is the first PVT to provide age-adjusted cutoff scores to minimize false positives in younger children.

  • It has no motor requirements and can be administered to youth with motor impairments, visual impairments, developmental delays, and acquired cognitive, academic, or behavioral concerns.

  • It takes less than 10 minutes to administer and score.

  • It’s easy to learn and practical, with just one stimulus book and one record form.

  • It features colorful, engaging stimuli.


Check out the MVP Fact Sheet!
Interested in learning more about the new Child and Adolescent Memory Profile™ (ChAMP™)? Now you can enroll in a free training course on the ChAMP through PAR’s Training Portal. Whether you have already purchased the ChAMP and want to learn more about it or are looking for more information to help you make your purchase decision, this training course will give you a quick overview of the product, explain what makes it unique, and provide insight into how it was developed. And, best of all, the Training Portal is always available, so you can get training on your schedule.

The ChAMP, authored by renowned pediatric neuropsychology experts Elisabeth M. S. Sherman, PhD, and Brian L. Brooks, PhD, is a research-based memory assessment specifically designed to be engaging and relevant to children, adolescents, and young adults ages 5 to 21 years. Covering verbal, visual, immediate, delayed, and total memory domains in a brief, easy-to-use format, the ChAMP takes about 35 minutes to administer—and its Screening Index takes only 10 minutes.

To access the Training Portal, use your parinc.com username and password to log in. Don’t have a free account? Register now. Training courses are also available on the Vocabulary Assessment Scales™ (VAS™), the Test of General Reasoning Ability™ (TOGRA™), the Reynolds Adaptable Intelligence Test™ (RAIT™), and the Academic Achievement Battery™ (AAB™).

 
Based on the latest advancements in memory research, the Child and Adolescent Memory Profile (ChAMP) is a fast, easy-to-administer measure that covers both verbal and visual memory domains for young examinees ages 5 to 21 years. Recently we had a chance to catch up with Elisabeth M. S. Sherman, PhD, and Brian L. Brooks, PhD, pediatric neuropsychology experts and authors of the ChAMP.

PAR: What compelled you to want to develop a memory test?

Sherman and Brooks: At the heart of it, we’re primarily clinicians who work with kids, some of whom have severe cognitive problems. Most can’t sit through lengthy tests. We could not find a memory test for kids that was easy to give, accurate, and also quick. We really developed the ChAMP because there wasn’t anything else like it out there. We hope other users like using the ChAMP, too.

PAR: How have you used memory testing in your clinical work?

Sherman and Brooks: Memory is such an important part of success in school and life. As clinicians, we evolved from giving memory tests selectively, to giving them to most children we assess. Children may have different reasons for having memory problems (i.e., developmental or acquired), but capturing their memory strengths and weaknesses allows us to better understand how to help them. Interestingly, in working with very severely affected children with neurological conditions, we realized that some kids have intact memory despite devastating cognitive conditions. The ability to detect an isolated strength in memory really gives educators and parents something tangible to use in helping those children.

PAR: How has the experience of developing a memory test been different from your other projects?

Sherman and Brooks: Developing the ChAMP was an amazing opportunity to get into the nitty-gritty of test design, planning, and execution. A lot of our other work so far has focused on reviewing, evaluating, or critiquing tests (e.g., Elisabeth is a co-author of the Compendium of Neuropsychological Tests from Oxford University Press). In the development of the ChAMP, we realized quickly that it is much easier to critique tests than to create good tests. Creating the ChAMP was a humbling but exciting process for us. It was a great opportunity to put theory into practice, with all the challenges and benefits that brings. We are excited about the ChAMP, and hope other clinicians will be, too.

To learn more about the ChAMP, please visit www.parinc.com or call 1.800.331.8378.
PAR is delighted to announce the publication of the new Child and Adolescent Memory Profile™ (ChAMP™) by renowned pediatric neuropsychology experts Elisabeth M. S. Sherman, PhD, and Brian L. Brooks, PhD.

The ChAMP is a research-based memory assessment specifically designed to be engaging and relevant to children, adolescents, and young adults ages 5 to 21 years. Covering verbal, visual, immediate, delayed, and total memory domains in a brief, easy-to-use format, the ChAMP takes about 35 minutes to administer—and its Screening Index takes only 10 minutes. With real-life scenarios and colorful stimuli that are appealing to young examinees, ChAMP subtests are focused on learning.  Intervention recommendations for both home and school are included. And especially important for very young examinees—or for those with motor impairments—the ChAMP does not require any motor responses.

On the technical side, the ChAMP allows for in-depth analysis and monitoring through discrepancy score analysis and reliable change scores; a base rate analysis of low scores, a strengths and weakness analysis, and a built-in validity indicator are also included. The ChAMP was standardized using a normative sample of more than 1,200 participants and validated on a large clinical sample including individuals with learning disabilities, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, brain injury, and intellectual disability.

The ChAMP is an excellent value, with complete introductory kits available for just $385. To learn more or to place an order, visit www.parinc.com or give us a call at 1.800.331.8378. We’d love to hear from you!
The link between musical expertise and linguistic working memory has been well established in the literature. However, new research from the University of Texas at Arlington suggests that musicians may have additional memory advantages, including enhanced visual/pictorial memory and better long-term memory.

In their study, lead author Heekyeong Park, assistant professor of psychology at UT Arlington, and graduate student James Schaeffer measured the electrical activity of neurons in the brains of both musicians and non-musicians using electroencephalography (EEG) technology, noting differences in frontal and parietal lobe responses.

“Musically trained people are known to process linguistic materials a split second faster than those without training, and previous research also has shown musicians have advantages in working memory,” said Park in a recent statement. “What we wanted to know is whether there are differences between pictorial and verbal tasks and whether any advantages extend to long-term memory.”

Study participants included 14 musicians, who had been playing classical music for 15 years or more, as well as 15 non-musicians. To test working memory, participants were shown both pictorial and verbal items and then asked to identify them among a group of similar foils. At the end of the session, long-term memory was tested by asking participants to identify test items they had already encountered versus completely new items.

On the working memory tasks, the musicians outperformed non-musicians in EEG-measured neural responses. In terms of long-term memory, however, musicians performed better in memory for pictorial (nonverbal) items only. Although the study does not establish the reason for this improvement in pictorial memory, the authors speculate that learning to read music may enhance an individual’s ability to process visual cues.

Dr. Park hopes to test more musicians soon to strengthen her findings. “Our work is adding evidence that music training is a good way to improve cognitive abilities,” she says. “If proven, those advantages could represent an intervention option to explore for people with cognitive challenges.”

The researchers presented their initial results last month at Neuroscience 2014, the international meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, in Washington, D.C. To learn more about Dr. Park’s work, visit her Web page on the UT Arlington Web site.