INSNET, Spring 1998
of speech therapists working in hospitals.
Despite the remarkable impact of the clinical approach, psychometric testing of the brain- damaged person has been also developed. The first attempts of the application of psychometric testing was made by Professor Pluzek from the Catholic university of Lublin. Many tests have been widely used in Poland, such as: The Benton Visual Retention Test, the Bender- Gestalt Test, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale, Raven Progressive Matrices, the Mini Mental Status Examination, the Rey-Osterreith Complex Figure Test, the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination, and others. However, large normative studies are still needed to increase their diagnostic value, especially in the case of older patients. The Halstead-Reitan Battery is also available and well- known in Poland. The Polish version and norms were developed by Professor Danuta Kadzielawa Ph.D. and her colleagues in 1990. For several years at the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Warsaw, she has also studied language deficits after brain injury in adults, and has developed aphasiology and neurolinguistics (Jarema, Kadzielawa, 1990; Kadzielawa et al., 1981).
Along with clinical studies there has been experimental research of brain mechanisms in healthy people conducted since the early seventies at the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology in Warsaw. These studies were initially conducted by Professor Budohoska and subsequently by Dr. Grabowska and her colleagues (1987). Earlier, Konorski (1948) proposed the term 'neuronal plasticity' and contributed greatly to the studies of the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying language processes. Later, Konorski established his taxonomy of aphasia and popularized the connectionist model of brain functions in Poland. Presently, cognitive functions and their neural determinants are effectively examined using electrophysiologic methods at the Nencki Institute.
One of the most urgent problems in Poland is need for current models of training in clinical neuropsychology. Currently, the training is as a subspecialty of clinical psychology. Several universities have programs leading to an academic degree in psychology, but only a few offer systematic teaching in neuropsychology and few do neuropsychological research (Professor Anna Herzyk and her colleagues- Institute of Psychology, Maria Curie- Sklodowska University in Lublin; Dr. Krzysztof Jodzio - Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk; Prof. Jan Kaiser and his colleagues - Institute of Psychology, Jagellonian University in Cracow; Dr. Emilia Lojek-Osiejuk - Faculty of Psychology, University of Warsaw; Dr. Elzbieta Luczywek - Institute of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Polish Academy of Science in Warsaw; Dr. Joanna Seni6w - Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw- Dr. Dariusz Wieczorek - Department of Rehabilitation, Medical University of Gdansk and more). There is no special curriculum for a masters degree in neuropsychology. However, for psychologists working in clinics there is a two-step postgraduate training process in clinical neuropsychology. A training course, usually involving over four years of study after a master degree, leads to a certification as a 'Specialist in Clinical Psychology. Although the number of adequately trained psychologists working with neurologically impaired individuals is inadequate, this situation is expected to improve in the future, because there is a significant increase in the number of specialists and persons interested in neuroscience. At present the possibility of a postgraduate training has been discussed by the Polish Psychological Association, but this is controversial and the problem of training is unresolved.
Currently there are several scientific societies in Poland for those interested in studies of brain mechanisms and for professionals who deal with brain-damaged patients: The Neuropsychological Commission affiliated with the Committee of