Matthew J. Wright, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist

Director of Neuropsychology

(Emphasis Area: Neuropsychology)

Dr. Wright is a clinical and cognitive neuropsychologist. He was recruited to Harbor-UCLA to direct the Neuropsychology Service in 2008. He oversees neuropsychological services, education, and research at Harbor-UCLA. The clinical services are focused on outpatient assessment of cognitive and emotional abilities in adults with suspected or known to neurological injury/disease. Most of the clients in the outpatient clinic present with multiple neurologic and psychiatric comorbidities (e.g., HIV, brain injury, depression, & substance abuse/dependence). The education program includes graduate and postdoctoral training in neuropsychological assessment as well as lectures to residents, faculty, and county agencies on topics related to neuropsychology and psychometrics. Dr. Wright also mentors undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students in all aspects of research (i.e., study design to dissemination of results). Many of his research mentees are part of the Minority Biomedical Research Support/Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (MBRS/RISE) and the Maximizing Access to Research Careers, Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (MARC U*STAR) programs at CSU Dominguez Hills. Dr. Wright’s lab has conducted numerous studies on neuropsychological outcome in traumatic brain injury (TBI). This work has produced novel methods of memory assessment that have been adopted by other researchers (e.g., Item Specific Deficit Approach; ISDA), an index to predict cognitive outcomes in retired professional football players, as well as the finding that early metabolic crisis (a secondary injury mechanism) following TBI is associated with long term cognitive difficulties.

Clinical Focus:

  • Neuropsychological Assessment
  • Acquired Brain Injury
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Epilepsy
  • Memory Impairment

Academic Appointments:

  • Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA
  • Faculty, Team to Win Sports Medicine Fellowship, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
  • Associate Project Scientist, Health Sciences Research Institute, University of California, Merced

Professional Education:

  • B.A., Psychology, California State University, Fresno
  • M.A., Experimental Psychology, California State University, Fresno
  • Pre-doctoral Internship, Veterans Administration Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, West Los Angeles Healthcare Center
  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Neuropsychology Emphasis, Washington State University, Pullman
  • Postdoctoral Clinical Neuropsychology Fellowship, Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles