Atypical Cognitive Deficits in Developmental Disorders: Implications for Brain Function

Atypical Cognitive Deficits in Developmental Disorders: Implications for Brain Function

Atypical Cognitive Deficits in Developmental Disorders: Implications for Brain Function

Atypical Cognitive Deficits in Developmental Disorders: Implications for Brain Function

Synopsis

"This volume is based on a conference held to examine what is known about cognitive behaviors and brain structure and function in three syndromes and to evaluate the usefulness of such models. The goal of this endeavor is to add to the knowledge base of cognitive neuroscience within a developmental framework. Most of what is known about the neurological basis of cognitive function in humans has been learned from studies of central nervous system trauma or disease in adults. Certain neurodevelopmental disorders affect the central nervous system in unique ways by producing specific as opposed to generalized cognitive deficit. Studies of these disorders using neurobiological and behavioral techniques can yield new insights into the localization of cognitive function and the developmental course of atypical cognitive profiles. The focus of this book is a discussion of the multidisciplinary research findings from studies of autism, and Williams and Turner syndromes. The approaches, methods, techniques, and findings reported are at the cutting edge of neuroscience research on complex behavior patterns and their neural substrates. Each disorder is accompanied by some degree of general cognitive impairment of mental retardation. Of greater interest are the atypical deficits in which a cognitive function is spared, such as language in Williams syndrome, or is disproportionately depressed as are spatial discrimination skills and visual-motor coordination in Turner syndrome. Drastically reduced or seemingly absent language capabilities and little interaction with other people characterize the core autism syndrome. A comprehensive and critical discussion of appropriate statistical techniques is made vivid by examples given from studies of small groups or single subjects in neurolinguistics and related fields." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Fascinating but often catastrophic experiments of nature occur that alter brain function. When these events are studied carefully, they can reveal not only therapeutic strategies to be used against the disabling conditions, but new information about basic biological and behavioral processes in human development. Promising examples are childhood syndromes of genetic, congenital, or still undefined eitiologies whose effects include cognitive and other behavioral deficits that are dearly selective. In addition to using neuropsychological assessment to define these specific patterns of deficit, the noninvasive techniques of brain structural imaging, brain functional imaging, and electrophysiological recording can aid in localizing the affected cognitive functions in the brain and identifying underlying neural mechanisms. This multidisciplinary and multifactorial examination of developmental disorders can help to develop more complete models of brain-behavior relations and, at the same time, identify more specific interventions for different etiological groups.

To examine what was known about the neuropsychology and brain structure and function in three syndromes currently under investigation, and to evaluate the utility of such models as research tools, a workshop was convened at the National Institutes of Health in the spring of 1991 under the sponsorship of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This volume is a collection of the papers presented there.

The goal of the workshop and of this volume is to add to the knowledge base of cognitive neuroscience within a developmental framework. Much of what we know about the neurological basis of cognitive function in humans has been learned from studies of central nervous system trauma or disease in . . .

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