Monographs of conference proceedings are rarely considered must-read publications: Their interest is often limited mostly to the participants in the conference and to a relatively narrow audience of investigators working in that field. Moreover, conference proceedings are often relatively unedited, disparate, and undigested, and may contain redundancies or even unaddressed contradictions.
This monograph grew out of a conference, but these were no routine conference proceedings. Readers must not be put off by the fact that relatively esoteric conditions--autism, Turner and Williams syndromes--were discussed. These conditions, fascinating in their own right, provided the unique scaffolding for a sophisticated and entirely modern exploration of the complex relationships of brain maturation and its aberrations to the abilities and behaviors of children. The contributors discuss in depth the biologic (genetic, anatomic, electrophysiologic), neuropsychologic, and behavioral complexities of each condition in order to highlight its unique heuristic contribution to furthering the understanding of brain-mind relations in children. Each condition yields the opportunity for one or more tightly reasoned essays that transcend that condition and address such theoretical issues as classification research, the complementary contributions of studies of children with focal lesion versus diffuse lesions versus developmental aberrations, the insights and pitfalls of investigations that use large samples versus single cases, and the value of integrating insights from research in primates and in man.
Far from being an ephemeral summary of a conference on a heterogeneous group of topics by a heterogeneous group of investigators, this mongraph