Explore This Treatment Program

Evaluations in the Psychiatry Assessment Center (PAC) provide in-depth information regarding cognitive, behavioral and social-emotional functioning in order to establish diagnosis and inform treatment planning.

The Psychology Assessment Center receives referrals from a wide range of medical specialties, including neurology, psychiatry, primary care, pediatrics and oncology. We also provide educational liaison services for children, including school-based referrals for evaluations and school consultations.

What Should I Expect?

You may be referred by your doctor for neuropsychological testing if you are experiencing problems in thinking, such as memory difficulties or trouble concentrating. Results of the evaluation can help clarify what your strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to thinking and processing information. This may help your doctor understand your diagnosis more clearly or may help with treatment.

A neuropsychological evaluation consists of a 20- to 30-minute interview with a neuropsychologist or clinical fellow, the patient and, with the patient's permission, their family members or significant others. The testing will consist of written or one-on-one verbal tests and may include some tasks on a computer. The evaluation involves listening, writing, drawing or using a computer. There are no invasive procedures, no pain, no needles or electrodes.

Appointments are typically scheduled in the morning. Depending upon the patient’s age and referral questions you should expect the evaluation to last between three and five hours.

Prior to the appointment, please eat as normal. If applicable, bring or wear your eyeglasses, hearing aids and take your medications as normal. During the testing, you will be allowed to take short breaks as needed. In addition, because the testing will require mental effort, you may feel fatigued when it is over and should take this into consideration when scheduling any other appointments or activities before or after your evaluation.

Questions may be addressed to your referring doctor or to our center.

Our Specialties

The list below is a sample of the types of disorders for which the Psychology Assessment Center receives referrals.

* Pediatric and adult patients

Neurological/Medical Disorders
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Primary progressive aphasia
  • Mild cognitive impairment vs. Normal aging
  • Stroke*
  • Cognitive and language sequelae (e.g., aphasia)
  • Epilepsy*
  • Hematologic/Oncologic diagnoses*
  • Brain tumor
  • Leukemia
  • Movement disorders
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Dystonia*
  • Multiple Sclerosis*
  • Traumatic brain injury*
  • Tourette’s syndrome*
  • Leukodystrophies*
Psychiatric Disorders
  • Mood disorders*
  • Anxiety disorders*
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder*
  • Substance use disorders
  • Oppositional defiant disorder/Conduct disorder
Developmental Disorders
  • Autism spectrum disorder*
  • Attention deficit disorder*
  • Learning disabilities*
  • Language disorders*
  • Intellectual impairment*
  • Prenatal substance exposure
Genetic Disorders
  • Tuberous sclerosis*
  • Down syndrome*
  • Angelman syndrome

Additional Assessment Options

Additional testing is available through the Psychological Evaluation and Research Laboratory (PEaRL), which conducts clinical assessments and research, and MUNDOS: Multicultural Neuropsychology Program, which provides culturally and linguistically appropriate neuropsychological evaluations and interventions to Latino adults and elderly people.



Our Team

Neuropsychologists within the Mass General Psychology Assessment Center (PAC) are specialists with extensive training and experience conducting neuropsychological assessments across the lifespan. We consult and collaborate with referring providers to ensure that our evaluations address the individual needs and specific concerns of each patient.

Leadership

Janet Sherman, PhDJanet Sherman, PhD
Clinical Director
Chief Neuropsychologist
Director, Clinician-Scientist Postdoctoral Fellowship in Neuropsychology
Lifespan Clinical Neuropsychologist
Associate Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School


Lauren Pollak, PhD, ABPP-CNLauren Pollak, PhD, ABPP-CN
Director of Adult Clinical Services
Co-Director, Neuropsychology Internship Elective
Adult Clinical Neuropsychologist
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School


Margaret Pulsifer, PhDMargaret Pulsifer, PhD
Director of Pediatric Clinical Services
Director, Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Clinical Neuropsychology
Lifespan Clinical Neuropsychologist
Associate Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School


Psychology Assessment Center group photo
Members of the Psychology Assessment Center team

Staff Neuropsychologists

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Paula Aduen, PhD
  • Lauren Bolden, PhD
  • Cara Cordeaux, PhD
  • Sheena Dev, PhD
  • Katelyn Gettens, PhD
  • Lisa Obermeit, PhD
  • Amy Peters, PhD
  • Clara Vila Castelar, PhD 

Predoctoral Interns

  • Casey Evans, PhD Candidate
  • Eileen Moran, PhD Candidate

Psychometricians

  • Sarah Mancuso, BA, CSP, Program Manager, Senior Psychometrician
  • Sarah Burstein, BA
  • Marissa Morganelli, BS
  • Kathryn Pasquariello, BA
  • Jazmin Rios, MA
  • Giuliana Zarrella, BA 

Administrative Staff

  • Vanessa Jillson, Group Practice Administrator
  • Rhina Sariles, Practice Manager
  • Valentina Gaviria, Administrative Coordinator
  • Suleima Chan, Patient Services Coordinator
  • Chrisanthi Stamoulis, Patient Services Coordinator

Patient Referrals

Medical specialists or primary care physicians make referrals for neuropsychological and psychological evaluation. We do NOT accept self-referrals. All patients are referred back to their specialists for treatment.

If you would like to use your health insurance to cover the cost of the evaluation, you should call your insurance company to ask if neuropsychological testing is a covered benefit under your specific health plan. Some insurance plans will require the testing psychologist to submit clinical information together with the referring specialist for review before authorizing the evaluations. Other insurance plans may not require authorization but could deny coverage if the completed evaluation does not support the medical necessity requirement per your health insurance’s guidelines.

If you have been referred for the purpose of diagnosing learning disabilities, be aware that most insurance companies will not cover intellectual, academic, cognitive or neuropsychological testing. For school age children, local special education departments may cover the cost of an independent educational evaluation if your family qualifies. In such cases, a letter must be submitted by the parent or guardian indicating the school system’s approval to cover the cost before the appointment process can proceed.

Questions concerning the above may be directed to our intake coordinator at 617-643-6145.

COVID-19 Resources

Parents and Care Providers in Massachusetts

The following are possible resources for parents and other care providers in Massachusetts that provide information about special education and distance learning as well as mental health support during COVID-19:

Special Education

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
COVID-19 page: http://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/

The Federation for Children with Special Needs 
Phone: 617-236-7210; 800-331-0688 (in MA)
Email: fcsninfo@fcsn.org
Website: http://www.fcsn.org

Massachusetts Advocates for Children
Phone: 617-357-843
Website: www.massadvocates.org
COVID-19 page: https://www.massadvocates.org/covid19

Special Needs Advocacy Network, Inc.
Phone: 508-655-7999
Email: info@spanmass.org
Website: www.spanmass.org


Diagnosis-Specific Websites

Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress
Phone: 781-221-0024
Email: mdsc@mdsc.org
Website: www.mdsc.org
COVID-19 page: https://mdsc.org/infojustforyou/Covid19.cfm

The Arc of Massachusetts
Phone: 781-891-6270
Email: arcmass@arcmass.org
Website: www.thearcofmass.org
COVID-19 page: https://thearcofmass.org/covid19

Epilepsy Foundation
Phone: 301-459-3700
Email: contactus@efa.org
Website: www.epilepsy.com
COVID-19 page: https://www.epilepsy.com/article/2020/3/concerns-about-covid-19-coronavirus-and-epilepsy

Autism Society of America
Phone: 800-328-8476
Email: info@autismsociety.org
Website: www.autism-society.org
COVID-19 page: https://www.autism-society.org/covid-19/

Asperger/Autism Network (AANE)
Phone: 617-393-3824
Email: info@aane.org
Website: https://www.aane.org/


Mental Health

Massachusetts General Hospital for Children
How to Talk to Your Child About COVID-19
https://www.massgeneral.org/children/infectious-diseases/how-to-talk-to-kids-about-coronavirus

Children’s Mental Health Campaign
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Email: cchelo@mspcc.org
Website: www.childrensmentalhealthcampaign.org
COVID-19 page: https://childrensmentalhealthcampaign.org/resources/covid-19-resources

Mass General Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds
Website: https://www.mghclaycenter.org/
COVID-19 page: https://www.mghclaycenter.org/tag/covid-19/

Judge Baker Children’s Center
Email: info@jbcc.harvard.edu
Website: https://jbcc.harvard.edu
COVID-19 page: https://jbcc.harvard.edu/covid-19

National Alliance on Mental Illness
Phone: 800-950-6264
Email: info@nami.org
Website: www.nami.org
How to Ease Children’s Anxiety About COVID-19: https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/March2020/How-to-Ease-Children-s-Anxiety-About-COVID-19

Interface, Mental Health Referral Helpline
William James College, Interface Referral Service
Monday-Friday 9 am to 5 pm
Phone: 888-244-6843


Educational Resources for Home School

Literacy

Math and/or Science

General

Adult Patients and Care Providers in Massachusetts

For accurate information about the current COVID-19 crisis–including what to do if you are ill and how to protect yourself, as well as information about stress and coping:

Diagnosis-Specific Websites

Alzheimer’s Association
Phone: 800-272-3900 (24/7 helpline)
Website: www.alz.org
COVID-19 page: https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/coronavirus-(covid-19)-tips-for-dementia-care

American Parkinson Disease Foundation
Phone: 800-223-2732
Email: apda@apdaparkinson.org
Website: www.apdaparkinson.org
COVID-19 page: https://www.apdaparkinson.org/article/covid-19-overview-for-pd-community/

Epilepsy Foundation
Phone: 301-459-3700
Email: contactus@efa.org
Website: www.epilepsy.com
COVID-19 page: https://www.epilepsy.com/article/2020/3/concerns-about-covid-19-coronavirus-and-epilepsy

The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration
Phone: 866-507-7222 (help line)
Email: info@theaftd.org
Website: www.theaftd.org
COVID-19 page: https://www.theaftd.org/living-with-ftd/covid-19-and-ftd/

Autism Society of America
Phone: 800-328-8476
Email: info@autismsociety.org
Website: www.autism-society.org
COVID-19 page: https://www.autism-society.org/covid-19/

Asperger/Autism Network (AANE)
Main Office: 51 Water Street, Suite 206, Watertown, MA 02472
Phone: 617-393-3824
Email: https://www.aane.org

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
Phone: 888-852-3456
Email: aarda@aarda.org
Website: www.aarda.org
COVID-19 page: https://www.aarda.org/aarda-covid-19/

American Cancer Society
Phone: 800-227-2345
Website: https://www.cancer.org
COVID-19 page: https://www.cancer.org/about-us/what-we-do/coronavirus-covid-19-and-cancer.html

American Brain Tumor Association
Phone: 800-8860-ABTA (2282)
Website: https://www.abta.org

American Stroke Association
Phone: 800-242-8721
Website: www.stroke.org


Mental Health Resources

National Alliance on Mental Illness
Phone: 800-950-6264
Email: info@nami.org
Website: www.nami.org
COVID-19 page: https://www.nami.org/covid-19

Interface, Mental Health Referral Helpline
William James College, Interface Referral Service
Monday-Friday 9 am to 5 pm
Phone: 888-244-6843

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Phone: 800-273-TALK (8255)
Website: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
COVID-19 page: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/current-events/supporting-your-emotional-well-being-during-the-covid-19-outbreak/


Stress Reduction Resources

  • SmartPhone Apps: Calm, Relax Melodies, Headspace (all have free components)
  • Befit Mind-Body