Dr Renee Testa

Director, Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist

BBsc, Grad.Dip.Psych, DPsych(Clin Neuro), MAPS (CCN)

Background and Experience

Renee is a clinical neuropsychologist with previous experience within public and private settings. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Behavioural Science, Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology and a Doctorate in Clinical Neuropsychology. Renee previously co-ordinated the multidisciplinary Learning Difficulties Clinic and Neurodevelopmental Clinic for the Western Health Network for eight years and has a long history working collaboratively with allied health professionals (social work, speech pathology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy), and with professionals within the school and education system. She has also run information and education sessions for teachers and schools on learning difficulties and intervention strategies and techniques. She currently practices clinically within a private practice focused upon children with neurodevelopmental disorders and works as a Senior Neuropsychologist in the Neurodevelopment Clinic at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Renee is also lecturer at Monash University within the Doctoral Clinical Neuropsychology Program teaching the paediatric neuropsychology course curriculum. Renee has provided expert consultation to government departments such as Specialist Children’s Services and the Department of Education.

Clinical Interests

Renee is focused upon the assessment and intervention for children presenting with neurodevelopmental disorders including developmental delay, autism spectrum disorders, psychiatric conditions, ADHD, in addition to behavioural and learning problems. She primarily sees children aged between 3 years to 16 years of age. She also assesses teenagers and early adults presenting with learning or developmental conditions. More recently, Renee has been focused upon providing intervention programs for children with autism spectrum disorders and higher-level executive function difficulties.

Research Interests

Renee is involved in a program of research investigating paediatric disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Psychiatric Disorders (Schizotypal Disorder and Schizophrenia) and Learning Difficulties.

Practice Philosophies

Renee is very focused upon providing the best care and management for children. She aims to help parents and other health professionals understand the emotional and behavioural needs of a child, in addition to cognitive factors that may be impacting on their functioning at home or in the school environment. In doing so, it is hoped that intervention techniques implemented can best target and address presenting concerns.


Chana, G, Testa R, Gillett, P, Williams, D, Bousman, C, Zantomio, D, Everall, I, Pantelis, C, Skafidas, E (2014). Construction of a Genetic Classifier for ASD Using Gene Pathway Analysis. In Wu, V. (Ed.) Frontiers in Autism Research: New Horizons for Diagnosis and Treatment, 119-143.

Gonzalez LM, Embuldeniya US, Harvey AS, Wrennall JA, Testa R, Anderson VA, Wood AG. (2014). Developmental stage affects cognition in children with recently-diagnosed symptomatic focal epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav, 39, 97-104

Makary AT, Testa R, Einfeld SL, Tonge BJ, Mohr C, Gray KM. The association between behavioural and emotional problems and age in adults with Down syndrome without dementia: Examining a wide spectrum of behavioural and emotional problems. (2014). Res Dev Disabil., 35(8),1868-1877.

Makary AT, Testa R, Tonge BJ, Einfeld SL, Mohr C, Gray KM. Association between adaptive behaviour and age in adults with Down syndrome without dementia: examining the range and severity of adaptive behaviour problems. (2014). J Intellect Disabil Res. Epub Nov 20.

Skafidas E, Testa R, Zantomio D, Chana G, Everall IP, Pantelis C. (2014) Response to Belgard et al. Mol Psychiatry, 9(4), 407-409. Epub Jan 14.

Skafidas, S, Testa, R, Zantomio, D., Chana, G., Everall, I., & Pantelis, C. (2014). Predicting the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder using Gene Pathway Analysis. Molecular Psychiatry Mol Psychiatry, 9(4), 504-510.

Kraan, C., Stolwyk, R. & Testa, R. (2012). The abilities associated with verbal fluency performance in a young healthy population are multifactorial and differ across fluency variants. Applied Neuropsychology. 26(6), 159-168.

Testa, R., Bennett, P., & Ponsford, J. 2012. Factor Analysis of Nineteen Executive Function Tests in a Healthy Adult Population. Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 27(2), 213-224

Renison, B., Ponsford, J., Testa, R., Richardson, B., & Brownfield, K. (2012). The Ecological and Construct Validity of a Newly Developed Measure of Executive Function: The Virtual Library Task. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 18(3), 440-450

Scarr, E., Sundram, S., Deljod, A., Cowiee, TF., Gibbonsa, A., Juzvab, S., Mackinnong, A., Wood, SJ., Testa, R., Pantelis, C. & Dean, B. (2012). Muscarinic M1 receptor sequence: Preliminary studies on its effects on cognition and expression. Schizophrenia Research. Schizophr Res. 138(1), 94-98

Testa, R., Pantelis, C., Fontenelle, L., (2011) Hoarding behaviors in children with learning disabilities, Journal of Child Neurology, 26(5), 574-579.
Pantelis, C., Wood, S., Velakoulis, D., Testa, R., Fontenelle, L., Yucel, M. (2010) Should we redefine the concept of endotype in schizophrenia?, Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria, 32 (2),106-108.

Gogtay, N., Vyas, N., Testa, R., Wood, S., Pantelis, C. (2011), Age of onset of schizophrenia: perspectives from structural neuroimaging studies. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 3, 504-513.

Testa, R., Pantelis, C. (2009). The role of executive functions in psychiatric disorders, in The Neuropsychology of Mental Illness. In Stephen J. Wood, Nicholas B Allen and Christos Pantelis (Eds). Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 117-137.

Testa, R. R., Wood, S. J., Pantelis, C., 2009, Schizophrenia, in The Neuropsychology of Mental Illness, In Stephen J. Wood, Nicholas B Allen and Christos Pantelis (Eds), Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 378-388.

Pantelis, C., Yucel, M., Bora, I. E., Fornito, A., Testa, R. R., Brewer, W. J., Velakoulis, D., Wood, S. J. (2009), Neurobiological markers of illness onset in psychosis and schizophrenia: The search for a moving target, Neuropsychology Review, 19 (3), 385-398.

Pantelis, C., Wood, S. J., Proffitt, T. M., Testa, R. R., Mahony, K., Brewer, W. J., Buchanan, J. M., Velakoulis, D., McGorry, P. D. (2009) Attentional set-shifting ability in first-episode and established schizophrenia: Relationship to working memory, Schizophrenia Research, 112 (1-3),104-113.

Cocchi, L., Walterfang, M., Testa, R., Wood, S., Seal, M., Suckling, J., Takahashi, T., Proffitt, T., Brewer, W., Adamson, C., Soulsby, B., Velakoulis, D., McGorry, P., Pantelis, C. (2009). Grey and white matter abnormalities are associated with impaired spatial working memory ability in first-episode schizophrenia, Schizophrenia Research, 115 (2-3),163-172.

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