Tara Victor, Ph.D.

Titles

Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences

Contact Information

Email
tvictor@mednet.ucla.edu

Biography

Dr. Victor’s primary research and clinical interests are in the field of neuropsychology. She received her BA in Psychology from the University of Kentucky where she assisted on an NIH-funded research project investigating the effects of neonatal cocaine and/or alcohol exposure on spatial learning and memory in a rodent model, projects examining cognitive malingering in a college sample, and the relationship between neuropsychological test scores and neuroimaging data. She obtained her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Michigan State University in 2004, with a specialization in the neuropsychology of aging. Her master’s and dissertation examined the role of executive function, processing speed and working memory as mediators of age-related decline in verbal memory. She came to Los Angeles to complete her clinical internship at the West Los Angeles Veterans Healthcare Center and then went on to complete a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center where she expanded upon her previous experience and interest in malingering research, and is currently working on several projects in this area. She is specifically interested in the false positive rate associated with use of effort (or malingering) tests in “high risk populations” such as individuals with mental retardation, dementia, or individuals for whom English is their second language. In fact, Dr. Victor recently received a grant from the Borchard Foundation on Law and Aging to fund an investigation into the use of effort tests during competency evaluations with individuals who may be demented. She is also interested in the role of acculturation and language in the relationship between ethnicity and neuropsychological test performance, in how to best interpret multiple effort test failure, and in the differentiation between somatization and malingering.

Publications

A selected list of publications:

Victor Tara L, Boone Kyle B, Kulick Alexis D   My head hurts just thinking about it Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS, 2010; 16(6): 1151-2; author reply 1153-4.
Solomon Ryan E, Boone Kyle Brauer, Miora Deborah, Skidmore Sherry, Cottingham Maria, Victor Tara, Ziegler Elizabeth, Zeller Michelle   Use of the WAIS-III picture completion subtest as an embedded measure of response bias The Clinical neuropsychologist, 2010; 24(7): 1243-56.
Kim Nancy, Boone Kyle B, Victor Tara, Lu Po, Keatinge Carolyn, Mitchell Cary   Sensitivity and specificity of a digit symbol recognition trial in the identification of response bias Archives of clinical neuropsychology : the official journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists, 2010; 25(5): 420-8.
Bortnik Kirsty E, Boone Kyle B, Marion Sarah D, Amano Stacy, Ziegler Elizabeth, Cottingham Maria E, Victor Tara L, Zeller Michelle A   Examination of various WMS-III logical memory scores in the assessment of response bias The Clinical neuropsychologist, 2010; 24(2): 344-57.
Kim Michelle S, Boone Kyle B, Victor Tara, Marion Sarah D, Amano Stacy, Cottingham Maria E, Ziegler Elizabeth A, Zeller Michelle A   The Warrington Recognition Memory Test for words as a measure of response bias: total score and response time cutoffs developed on "real world" credible and noncredible subjects Archives of clinical neuropsychology : the official journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists, 2010; 25(1): 60-70.
Victor Tara L, Boone Kyle B, Serpa J Greg, Buehler Jody, Ziegler Elizabeth A   Interpreting the meaning of multiple symptom validity test failure The Clinical neuropsychologist, 2009; 23(2): 297-313.
Dean Andy C, Victor Tara L, Boone Kyle B, Philpott Linda M, Hess Ryan A   Dementia and effort test performance The Clinical neuropsychologist, 2009; 23(1): 133-52.
Feil Denise G, Pearman Ann, Victor Tara, Harwood Dylan, Weinreb Jane, Kahle Kristin, Unützer Jürgen   The role of cognitive impairment and caregiver support in diabetes management of older outpatients International journal of psychiatry in medicine, 2009; 39(2): 199-214.
Dean Andy C, Boone Kyle B, Kim Michelle S, Curiel Ashley R, Martin David J, Victor Tara L, Zeller Michelle A, Lang Yoshado K   Examination of the impact of ethnicity on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) Fake Bad Scale The Clinical neuropsychologist, 2008; 22(6): 1054-60.
Dean Andy C, Victor Tara L, Boone Kyle B, Arnold Ginger   The relationship of IQ to effort test performance The Clinical neuropsychologist, 2008; 22(4): 705-22.
Boone Kyle Brauer, Victor Tara L, Wen Johnny, Razani Jill, Pontón Marcel   The association between neuropsychological scores and ethnicity, language, and acculturation variables in a large patient population Archives of clinical neuropsychology : the official journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists, 2007; 22(3): 355-65.