Faculty Profiles

Benjamin Pyykkonen, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychology Programs Director, Associate Professor of Psychology

On Faculty since 2009
BGH M212


Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, 2009

Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL
Ph.D., Clinical and Rehabilitation Psychology, 2007

Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL
M.S., Clinical Psychology, 2005

Wheaton College
B.A., Psychology, 1999



  • Head Trauma
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Aging
  • American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology - Associate Member
  • International Neuropsychological Society - Associate Member
  • APA Accredited Site Visitor

Burk, M.M., Mulhauser, K., Peterson, J., Everaerts, A.M., & Pyykkonen, B.A., Impact of Mood on Functional Status in Older Adults
Presentation at 42nd annual conference of the International Neuropsychological Society, Seattle, WA, 2014

Mulhauser, K., Burk, M.M., Peterson, J., Everaerts, A.M., & Pyykkonen, B.A., Group Differences Between Mild Cognitive Impairment, Vascular Dementia, & Alzheimer’s Disease on the Geriatric Depression
Presentation at the 42nd annual conference of the International Neuropsychological Society, Seattle, WA, 2014

Winrow, E. N., Pierson, C.S., Miller, C., & Pyykkonen, B., The Effects of Electroconvulsive Therapy on Memory: A Meta-Analysis
American Psychological Association's 121st Annual Convention, Honolulu, HI

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Theory and Practice with Individuals and Systems
  • Clinical Research Methods and Program Evaluation
  • Practicum Seminar
  • Neuropsychological Assessment
  • Behavioral Medicine

Dr. Pyykkonen is the founder and director of the Neurocognitive Functioning Lab in the clinical psychology doctoral program at Wheaton College. This lab is dedicated to further understanding of the relationship of brain dysfunction to cognition and behavior with specific emphasis on functional status. This lab is particularly concerned with how these individual factors might interact with societal/structural factors in underserved and marginalized populations, more specifically the elderly, individuals with brains dysfunction (e.g., epilepsy, dementia, stroke), and medical conditions (e.g., H.I.V.).

Research is particularly focused on developing strategies to maximize functional status in the individual by developing coping/inoculation strategies. Specific strategies include developing tools for more accurate diagnosis/differential diagnosis, better understanding cognitive and functional profiles, development of remediation strategies, and minimizing the impact of stigma on these groups. This research at times extends beyond the clinical population and to the caregivers of individuals with brain dysfunction/disruption.

Ongoing Research Projects

  • Neurocognitive profiles following chemotherapy as a treatment for cancer (both in adult and pediatric populations).
  • Neurocognitive profiles in Hydrocephalus
  • Development of normative data in previously under-represented populations
  • Measure development (including traditional paper and pencil measures and less traditional computer and tablet based measures)
  • Stigma in at risk/marginalized populations
  • Religious coping in caregivers
  • Quality of life correlates in multiple neuropsychological conditions

Neurocognitive correlations in hypersexuality: clinical considerations, The Clinical Neuropsychologist
Mulhauser, K., Wenzel, B. Pyykkonen, B. & Struthers, W., 2013

PWS Genetic Subtype Comparison of Executive Functioning and adaptive Behavior., The Clinical Neuropsychologist
Hall, P., Pierson, C., & Pyykkonen, B., 2013

The Relationship of Executive Functioning and Adaptive Skills in PWS Youth, The Clinical Neuropsychologist
Hall, P., Pierson, C., & Pyykkonen, B., 2013

Exploratory Factor Analysis of the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory: What are we measuring?, The Clinical Neuropsychologist
Buikema, E. & Pyykkonen, B., 2013

The Effects of Electroconvulsive Therapy on Memory: A Meta-Analysis, American Psychological Association
Winrow, E. N., Pierson, C.S., Miller, C., & Pyykkonen, B., 2013

The effects of cognitive intervention programs on memory performance among elderly adults: a meta-analysis of prospective, longitudinal studies, Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Li, D. & Pyykkonen, B., 2013

Dr. Pyykkonen directs the Neurocognitive Functioning LabThis lab will continue to explore the relationship between neurocognitive functioning, psychological functioning, and functional status. Of particular interest is the identification of cognitive and emotional factors that enhance aspects of functional independence including employment capacity, independent living, and reduction in level of care in the elderly. In addition to multiple meta-analytic studies and developing normative data, recent projects have increasingly emphasized early identification, caregiver interventions, and religious coping, as they might relate to functional status. Much of the work in this lab is designed to better identify these very factors related to functional status in individuals with CNS injury from any number of etiological factors e.g., head injury, progressive dementing conditions, epilepsy, metabolic processes, infectious processes, hydrocephalus, alcoholism, and cancer.