I just received the most current issue of the Journal of Forensic Neuropsychology. Ralph Reitan and Deborah Wolfson have written an interesting article reviewing the procedures and reports of adjustments of raw scores from the Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery for Adults using the method proposed by Heaton, Grant and Matthews (the Heaton norms).
Drs. Reitan and Wolfson conclude that the Heaton norms, based only on a neurologically normal group, “transform raw scores into scaled scores that tend to fall in the normal range, especially for brain-damaged persons.” The concern isthat the use of the Heaton norms may produce normal results or scores for individuals who actually have traumatic brain injury.
From a forensic standpoint, this becomes extremely important as, in my experience, many of today’s neuropsychologists utilize the Heaton norms in interpreting the data from the Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery for Adults. This article can effectively be used to attack the findings of defense neuropsychologists who utilize the Heaton norms and ultimately conclude that the plaintiff did not sustain a traumatic brain injury.