Attention is one of the most important components that is assessed during the neuropsychological evaluation. When it functions as it is supposed to, attention facilitates many of the other cognitive functions that we are involved in. When problems with attention do occur, they are often the cause of deficits in other cognitive functions and even serve as the basis of diagnoses such as ADHD. It should therefore not come as a surprise that multiple aspects of attention or examined during the course of the evaluation process. One aspect of attention that is a frequent source of concern for adults and children who come for neuropsychological evaluations involves the ability to remain focused and on task. This is known as sustained attention. Other aspect of attention that are evaluated include divided attention (the ability to devote cognitive resources to more than one task at a time and completing each properly), the ability to initiate or inhibit actions, actively switching between tasks as necessary and the length of time and amount of energy that we have available to complete a task.
Click here for a video description of the diagnostic process for ADHD.