Cognitive Neuropsychology and Neurolinguistics: Advances in Models of Cognitive Function and Impairment

Cognitive Neuropsychology and Neurolinguistics: Advances in Models of Cognitive Function and Impairment

Cognitive Neuropsychology and Neurolinguistics: Advances in Models of Cognitive Function and Impairment

Cognitive Neuropsychology and Neurolinguistics: Advances in Models of Cognitive Function and Impairment

Synopsis

These papers emphasize the development of detailed models of normal cognitive functioning through the analysis of cognitive impairment. They differ, however, in terms of the cognitive domain investigated and the dominant methodology of the reported research. Areas examined include imagery, attention, memory, and language. A substantial portion of the papers presented address language processing because research on language disorders has been a major focus of interest in cognitive neuropsychological research.

Excerpt

Since the mid 1950s, the cognitive paradigm has enjoyed a prominent position in the psychological sciences as the grip of behaviorism slowly lost its hold over increasingly larger domains of psychology. in part, this development was the result of the failure of the behavioristic paradigm to provide significant insights into the nature of intelligent behavior. Equally important for the emerging prominence of the cognitive paradigm were developments in computer science and linguistics, which provided important conceptual tools for the development of a framework within which to articulate hypotheses about the structure of cognitive mechanisms. the cognitive paradigm quickly spread from its early domains of application (language and reasoning) to other areas of human performance.

In the mid to late 1960s, the cognitive paradigm began to influence neuropsychological research, shifting the focus of explanation of impaired performance in brain-damaged patients from appeals to the neuroanatomical site of damage to hypotheses about transformations of a cognitive system as a result of pathology (Goodglass, 1968; Jakobson, 1964; Warrington & Shallice, 1969). This shift in focus has continued over the past 20 years. However, it was not until the early 1980s that the shift from neuroanatomically based to cognitively based explanations of cognitive disorders became sufficiently marked to be identified by a distinct name -- Cognitive Neuropsychology (Caramazza, 1984; Coltheart, 1984). This shift in focus does not imply a rejection of the goal to develop a theory of the neural basis for cognitive mechanisms. It represents instead the realization that, even when the goal is to develop a theory of the neural basis for cognition, the use of neuropsychological data for this purpose necessarily involves claims about the structure of the normal cognitive system. in other words, any claim about brain/cognition relationships is necessarily a claim about normal . . .

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