Applied Neuropsychology of Attention: Theory, Diagnosis, and Rehabilitation

By Michel Leclercq; Peter Zimmermann | Go to book overview

Preface

In the last two decades, attentional deficiencies after brain lesions, their diagnosis and their treatment, have become one of the central challenges in clinical neuropsychology. Progress has been made by the insight that the concept of attention implies a bundle of more specific functions, opening new roads for diagnosis and treatment. With this background, it seems the right moment to attempt a synopsis of the various forms of attentional deficiencies and their manifestation in different forms of brain lesions and diseases. But we attempt this with the humble insight that there is no close link between specific brain damage and circumscribed losses in attentional performance; as the clinician knows, each patient has his own pattern of losses which demands a straight differential diagnosis.

The project of this book was born in the scope of a concerted action supported by the European Communities: the Biomedical Health Research programme (BIOMED 1). The main aim of this programme was to encourage closer European collaboration and to improve the efficiency of national research efforts in selected topics. Most of the contributors to this book were members of the workshop 'Attention'. In this workshop, several years of close collaboration were devoted to the development, normalization and validation of specific tools for assessing attentional functions, on the one hand, and to a multicentric study concerning the rehabilitation of attentional disorders, on the other.

At the end of this workshop, participants agreed about the value of bringing together their views on the state of the field, concentrating on the aspects liable to be of interest more particularly to the professionals involved at a clinical level. The task was distributed according to the affinities of each participant for particular aspects of the field. The work was completed thanks to the contribution of some colleagues who did not participate in the original workshop, but who agreed to cover specific aspects.

We want to warmly thank here all the colleagues who have contributed to this work. We wish also to thank those whose help with the presentation of this book was invaluable: William Lay, John and Jacqueline Rush. Furthermore, this book would not have been possible without the support and efforts

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