The Neuropsychological Norms for the U.S.-Mexico Border Region in Spanish (NP-NUMBRS) Project: Overview and considerations for life span research and evidence-based practice

Clin Neuropsychol. 2021 Feb;35(2):466-480. doi: 10.1080/13854046.2020.1794046. Epub 2020 Jul 29.


Objective: This paper summarizes the findings of the Neuropsychological Norms for the U.S.-Mexico Border Region in Spanish (NP-NUMBRS) Project and offers a roadmap for future research.

Methods: The NP-NUMBRS project represents the largest and most comprehensive co-normed neuropsychological battery to date for native Spanish-speaking healthy adults from the U.S. (California/Arizona)-Mexico borderland region (N = 254; ages 19-60 years). These norms provide demographic adjustments for tests across numerous domains (i.e., verbal fluency, processing speed, attention/working memory, executive function, episodic memory [learning and delayed recall], visuospatial, and fine motor skills).

Conclusions: This project: 1) shows that the NP-NUMBRS norms consistently outperformed previously published norms for English-speaking non-Hispanic (White and African-American) adults in identifying impairment; 2) explores the role of Spanish-English bilingualism in test performance; and 3) provides support for the diagnostic validity of these norms in detecting HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment. Study limitations include the limited assessment of sociocultural variables and generalizability (e.g., other Latina/o populations, age limit [19 - 60 years]). Future research is needed to: 1) investigate these norms with U.S.-dwelling Spanish-speakers of non-Mexican heritage and other clinical subpopulations; 2) expand coverage of cognitive domains (e.g. language, visuospatial); 3) develop large normative datasets for children and older Latina/o populations; 4) examine how sociocultural factors impact performance (e.g., bilingualism, acculturation); 5) investigate these norms' diagnostic and ecological validity; and 6) develop norms for neurocognitive change across time. It is hoped that the NP-NUMBRS norms will aid researchers and clinicians working with U.S.-dwelling Spanish-speakers from the U.S.-Mexico borderland to conduct research and evidence-based neuropsychological evaluations in a more culturally responsive and ethical manner.

Keywords: Latina/o; Spanish-speakers; cultural neuropsychology; demographic adjustments; norms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Longevity*
  • Mexico
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Reference Values
  • Young Adult