Number 3

Spring 1997


INSNET on Target

By the Editor

INSNET has received a high compliment.

In February, I received a letter from Dr Charles Matthews stating:

"A note to tell you how delighted I am with INSNET, No. 2 which arrived this week. It is exactly what I had in mind when we first discussed this vehicle for communication. And my congratulations to you and your colleagues for making it real.

It was under the leadership of Dr. Matthews that the International Neuropsychological Society (INS) took action to expand its international scope. His presidential address challenged us to truly live up to our name International. He set in motion the wheels which led to the International Liaison Committee (ILC) and this newsletter. I consider Dr. Matthews' compliment an honor and an indication that we are on target.

INSNET is the newsletter of the International Liaison Committee (UC) of the International Neuropsychological Society (INS). It is committed to facilitating world wide interaction among practitioners and scientists in neuropsychology. In reality, this is your newsletter. Our intention is to create an open uncensored interactive vehicle of worldwide communication in neuropsychology. We need your active participation to make this newsletter work. Send comments, announcements and proposed articles to further the discussion.

Current State of Neuropsychology in Germany

By Siegfred Gouggel, Ph.D.

Philipps Uiiiversity of Marburg Departinent of Psychology Guteiiberstr. 18

D-35032 Marburg, Gennatiy

E-mail: gauggel@,

Neuropsychology in Germany has a long tradition dating back to the middle of the last century. A comprehensive review of the history of neuropsychology can be found in Markowitsch (1992). A history of neuropsychological rehabilitation in Germany is given by Poser, Kohler, and Schoetile (1996) and a selective survey of the last decade of neuropsychological research in the German language has been compiled by Markowitsch, Thoeiie and Rieger (I 993).

In Germany neuropsychology has a strong clinical emphasis. At present there are about 120 neurological hospitals which are concerned with the treatment and rehabilitation of brain-damaged patients. Contrary to this, only a few dozen outpatient clinics and practices exist, providing assessment and rehabilitation beyond hospital treatment in the patients' vicinity. More than 700 neuropsychologists are working in such clinical settings (e.g., rehabilitation clinics, neurology &-patients). Most of them are rather young and part of a team of several colleagues. They see up to 15 patients weekly. Oil an average, they received their diploma 10 years earlier and from their nine years of clinical experience six years were spent in neuropsychological rehabilitation. Half of these neuropsychologists completed training in psychotherapy. Neuropsychological assessment and therapy occupy a vast amount of their time. Counseling, supervision and report writing are other important duties of the clinical neuropsychologist.

There are several scientific neuropsychological organizations in Germany. The Society of Neuropsychology (GNP) and the German Society of Neurotraumatology and Clinical Neuropsychology (DCYNYN) are the largest of them. The DCTNYN was founded in 1985 as all interdisciplinary interest group. Members are physicians as well as psychologists. hi 1986 the Society of Neuropsychology (GNP) was founded as a specialty group for psychologists and is today the largest neuropsychological society with more than 900 members. Because there is no special training in clinical neuropsychology the GNP is also responsible for offering a post-graduate curriculum in clinical neuropsychology. This curriculum enables psychologists to become qualified in clinical neuropsychology and to obtain recognition as a "Clinical Neuropsychologist" (GNP) with coverage by medical insurance companies and pension funds.

Although there are nearly 50 psychology departments in Germany only three of these (Freiburg, Bielefeld, Hamburg) have a special curriculum for the masters degree in neuropsychology. The other departments offer courses and classes in nenropsychology and related fields (e.g., neuroscience) with varying intensities and frequencies. The lack of consistency is due to the fact that there are only a few professorships in neuropsychology within the psychology and medical departments. Most of the researchers in clinical and experimental neuropsychology hold positions in clinical psychology, biological psychology, cognitive psychology, medical psychology, or neurology. In addition to the psychology departments there are also several medical departments with reaching and research activities in neuropsychology. The 1995 the Max-Planck-Society began the construction of a new institute for neuropsychology in Leipzig together with an outpatient rehabilitation center both of which were devoted to research in clinical and experimental neuropsychology.

Today there are a multitude of research projects in the field of neuropsychology at both German universities and clinics. The main institutions funding such projects are the National Science Foundation (DFG), the Federal Ministry for Research and Technology (BMFT) and the pension funds (BfA, LVA, VDR). In addition to the scientific organizations, there are several non-profit organizations and patient groups which directly or indirectly promote neuropsychology. These organizations also support patients and their families, promote research and educate the general public about the consequences of brain damage. One example is the influential Kuratoriuin