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Current Perspectives on Learning Disabilities

ISBN: 978-0-76231-130-9, eISBN: 978-1-84950-287-0

Publication date: 1 January 2005


For many years it has been speculated that some learning and attention problems in children are related to underlying problems in neurological functioning. In fact, the IDEA (1997) definition of learning disabilities utilizes terminology that specifically includes neurological processes and conditions: Specific learning disabilities means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual handicaps, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include children who have learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor handicaps, of mental retardation, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.This chapter begins with a review of the role of neuroimaging in advancing an understanding of the basis and nature of learning and attention problems. The ever-increasing sophistication of neurodiagnostic technology has made it possible to obtain more precise information about neuroanatomical and neurophysiological bases of behavior, including learning and attention. Advances in technology have greatly increased the ability to study the functioning of the brain during the performance of relatively complex mental activities. With this advanced technology it is becoming increasingly possible to visualize normal and abnormal brain functioning, including important components of basic academic skills. The chapter includes a discussion of the recent evidence about the neurological basis of learning and attention problems.


Stefani, R. (2005), "NEUROLOGICAL AND NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF LEARNING AND ATTENTION PROBLEMS", Burkhardt, S., Obiakor, F. and Rotatori, A.F. (Ed.) Current Perspectives on Learning Disabilities (Advances in Special Education, Vol. 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 65-93.



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