Handbook of Mental Deficiency: Psychological Theory and Research

By Norman R. Ellis | Go to book overview

SUMMARY
This chapter has summarized a number of studies concerned directly or indirectly with the role of sensory processes in mental retardation. Complete coverage of the literature was not intended.A review of studies dealing with sensory pathology pointed up the need for considerably more definitive information. A sustained effort to define the prevalence of impaired sensory functions has not been made. Hearing loss has been studied but the results do not agree, except for the strong possibility that a much higher prevalence exists among retardates than among normal school children. The use of a battery of hearing tests was recommended with special emphasis on objective measurements. Studies of visual pathology have been concerned largely with end-organ deviations. Inadequate data exist for comparing intersensory impairments. Taste and smell have not been studied to any appreciable degree. Although tactile perception and vestibular functions have been of diagnostic interest to psychologists, psychiatrists, and neurologists, the data are largely idiographic rather than nomothetic. All in all there is a paucity of information regarding sensory pathology in the mentally retarded.Some interesting questions were raised relating to (1) the development of perceptual learning in the preschool retardate, (2) sensory deprivation as a meaningful frame of reference for viewing mental retardation, (3) the effects of sensory stimulation on activity, and (4) the application of perceptual training techniques for improving the mental age or educational potential of the retarded child. In addition, the value of a comprehensive differential diagnosis using a team approach for the retarded with multiple handicaps was stressed.It was suggested that an attempt be made to define or devise a unit of environmental experience. This approach would place the emphasis upon experiential information rather than upon the degree of sensory impairment or end-organ pathology. Perceptual learning was offered as a substitute term for sense training. Also, sensorimotor deprivation seemed to be a more appropriate term than sensory deprivation.Intensive study of the mentally retarded child is proving to be a worthwhile endeavor. Psychologists, psychiatrists, biochemists, geneticists, and neurologists are making important contributions to our understanding of mental retardation. The potential for stimulating mental growth through environmental control cannot be overemphasized at this time.
REFERENCES
BENDA, D. E. The child with mongolism. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1960.
BENDER, L., & SCHILDER, P. "Unconditioned and conditioned reactions to pain in schizophrenia." Amer. J. Psychiat., 1930, 10, 365-384.
BENOIT, E. P. "Relevance of Hebb's theory of the organization of behavior to educational research on the mentally retarded." Amer. J. ment. Defic., 1957, 61, 497-507.
BENSBERG, G. J., & CANTOR, G. N. "Reaction time in mental defectives with organic and familial etiology". Amer. J. ment. Defic., 1957, 62, 534-537.

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Handbook of Mental Deficiency: Psychological Theory and Research
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contributors vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Contents xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I 9
  • 1 - Field Theory in Mental Deficiency 11
  • Introduction 11
  • References 36
  • 2 - A Social Learning Approach to Mental Retardation 41
  • Summary 86
  • References 86
  • 3 - Hull - Spence Behavior Theory and Mental Deficiency 92
  • Introduction 92
  • A Summing-Up 129
  • References 129
  • 4 - The Stimulus Trace and Behavioral Inadequacy 134
  • Summary 155
  • References 155
  • 5 - The Role of Attention in Retardate Discrimination Learning 159
  • References 220
  • 6 - Intelligence and Brain Damage 224
  • References 251
  • 7 - Genetic Aspects of Intelligent Behavior 253
  • References 291
  • 8 - The Application of Piaget's Theory to Research in Mental Deficiency 297
  • Introduction 297
  • References 323
  • 9 - Social Psychologies of Mental Deficiency 325
  • Summary 348
  • References 348
  • 10 - Psychological Studies of Mental Deficiency in the Soviet Union 353
  • Part II 389
  • 11 - Learning: Verbal, Perceptual-Motor, and Classical Conditioning 391
  • References 420
  • 12 Discrimination Learning 424
  • 12 Discrimination Learning 436
  • 13 - Problem - Solving and Conceptual Behavior 439
  • Conclusions 458
  • References 458
  • 14 - Sensory Processes and Mental Deficiency 463
  • Summary 476
  • References 476
  • 15 - Perceptual Processes 480
  • Conclusions 506
  • References 507
  • 16 - Language and Communication of Mental Defectives 512
  • Introduction 512
  • Summary and Overview 550
  • References 550
  • 17 - Psychophysiological Studies in Mental Deficiency 556
  • 17 - Psychophysiological Studies in Mental Deficiency 569
  • References 571
  • 18 - Abnormal Behavior and Mental Deficiency 574
  • Introduction 574
  • Summary and Conclusions 595
  • References 595
  • 19 - Motor Skills in Mental Deficiency 602
  • Summary 626
  • References 626
  • 20 - Research in Activity Level 632
  • Summary 657
  • References 657
  • 21 - Academic Skills 664
  • Summary 687
  • References 687
  • Contributors 691
  • Name Index 699
  • Subject Index 713
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