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date: 04 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents the history of neuropsychology in Latin America during five main periods. Prior to 1950, the term “neuropsychology” was rarely used. The development of this specialty in Latin America did not take place until the second half of the 20th century, centered primarily in Argentina and Uruguay. Historically, the development of neuropsychology has been slowed down by local wars, armed conflicts, and dictatorships. During the Second World War, intellectuals and scientists in neuroscience emigrated to Latin America and helped to advance the field. The period between 1970 and 1999 was mainly characterized by the evolution of neuropsychology in Colombia and Mexico and by the influence of the United States in Latin American neuropsychology. From 2000 until 2017, neuropsychology experienced a rapid growth, including establishment of graduate programs, societies, clinics/centers, Latin American scientific journals, and research publications, as well as the creation of Spanish language neuropsychological tests. As of 2018, most professionals in neuropsychology in Latin America work in private practices or universities, and their main activity is assessment and diagnosis of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, although they also engage in rehabilitation and teaching activities. Due to the lack of written records, there is scarce information regarding the history and current state of neuropsychology in some Latin American countries, including Belize, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Current barriers to the advancement of the field and future directions to improve the current situation are described.

Keywords: neuropsychology, Latin America, history, development, current-situation, main barriers

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