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Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) show reduced attention to social stimuli. The reasons for these impairments are still being debated by researchers. The aim of…
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) show reduced attention to social stimuli. The reasons for these impairments are still being debated by researchers. The aim of this study is to analyse if reduced attention towards social stimuli is determined by initial underlying difficulties in the control of visual attention. Among the variables that could produce these difficulties, the authors considered geometric complexity and typology of geometric figures.
To test this hypothesis, in this paper, an eye-tracker paradigm was used for assessing visual exploration and recognition memory towards geometric figures (curved vs rectilinear) with two levels of geometric complexity (low and high) in 17 children with ASD matched with 17 children with typical development (TD).
The results showed that the ASD group seemed indifferent to both the geometric complexity and the typology of figures (curved and rectilinear), whereas the TD group showed higher performances with highly complex and curved geometric figures than with low complex and rectilinear geometric figures.
Because of the chosen research approach, the research results may lack generalizability. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to test the proposed hypotheses further.
This paper includes implications upon the presence of an unspecified visual attention deficit that is present from the early stages of the processing of stimuli.
The understanding of this deficit from the early stages of the processing of stimuli can help educators to intervene at an early stage when disturbances in social relationships are starting.
This study contributes to understanding the presence of dysfunctional perceptual antecedents that could determine general difficulties in paying attention to social stimuli in ASD subjects.
There are many cognitive training tests purporting to both measure older people’s cognitive performance, several of which come with associated training that are deemed to…
There are many cognitive training tests purporting to both measure older people’s cognitive performance, several of which come with associated training that are deemed to improve cognition. This chapter describes cognitive tests that have been claimed to be linked to driver behaviour, and that training on them could improve driver behaviour. Of special interest are tests that could be completed at home on a computer, as it is suggested this could capture many individuals who are worried about attending a driver assessment centre and are not likely to be referred. Findings suggest that UFOV (Useful Field of View) Time Making Trail (A and B) and Dual N have research suggesting that training on them could improve driver performance for older drivers. However, the robustness of the research is debateable. There are also two physiological tests – a neck and shoulder and a general fitness test that also show promising results for improving driver performance. In addition, education and training is purported to improve driver behaviour, but although there is positive feedback from older people who attend and some short-term improvements, research on long-term improvements on driver behaviour are not yet evident. Overall, there are promising results from individual cognitive, physiological tests and from education and training suggesting that reflection on action and feedback from the task is important to improving driver performance but more research is needed.
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…
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.
– The purpose of this paper is to determine the nature of the academic skills deficits in male offenders and their relation to neurocognitive deficits.
The purpose of this paper is to determine the nature of the academic skills deficits in male offenders and their relation to neurocognitive deficits.
In total, 72 Finnish male prisoners were tested with regard to reading, spelling, and mathematical abilities.
Low academic skills, especially reading, were related to poor neurocognitive performance in verbal memory, visual memory, attention, and motor dexterity. The results showed a high number (29-36 percent) of reading and spelling disorders. In all, 15 percent of those with medium to severe problems in academic skills had marked difficulties in mathematics. In total, 88 percent of the participants with at least one problem area in literacy skills had neurocognitive deficits. In the present study, the pervasive neurocognitive deficits, occurring comorbidly with reading and spelling difficulties, seem to refer to a fundamental set of deficits which are only minimally explained by IQ, educational background or training.
Reading and spelling difficulties could be seen as functional illiteracy which, combined with a broad spectrum of neuropsychological function deficits, pose a challenging task for rehabilitation. Only after proper identification of deficits has been achieved is it possible to set goals and select the appropriate means for rehabilitation. One obvious limitation is the moderate number of subjects (n=72).
It may not be enough just to train reading or develop literacy activities among prisoners; focussing intervention on comprehensive neurocognitive deficits is also necessary.
Correlates and comorbidity between academic difficulties and neurocognitive deficits among offenders, especially in arithmetic difficulties, have been less studied.
This chapter synthesized some of the published literature comparing the cognitive functioning of children with math disabilities (MD) with (1) average achieving children…
This chapter synthesized some of the published literature comparing the cognitive functioning of children with math disabilities (MD) with (1) average achieving children, (2) children with reading disabilities (RD), and (3) children with comorbid disabilities (RD+MD). Twenty-one studies, which yielded 194 effect sizes (ESs), indicated that average achievers outperformed children with MD on measures of verbal problem solving (M=−0.58), naming speed (M=−0.70), verbal (M=−0.70) and visual-spatial working memory (WM, M=−0.63), and long-term memory (LTM, M=−0.72). The results further indicated that children with MD outperformed children with combined disabilities on measures of literacy (M=0.75), visual-spatial problem solving (M=0.51), LTM (M=0.44), short-term memory (STM) for words (M=0.71), and verbal WM (M=0.30). Children with MD could only be clearly differentiated from children with RD on measures of naming speed (−0.23) and visual-spatial WM (−0.30). The magnitude of ESs was persistent across age and severity of math disability. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) indicated that the magnitude of ES in overall cognitive functioning between MD and average achievers was due to verbal WM deficits when the effect of all other variables (e.g., age, IQ, reading level, other domain categories) were partialed out. The results are discussed within the context of defining MD by level of severity of WM abilities.
Comorbidity of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and reading disabilities (RD) is greater than what would occur by chance. Considering the well-documented…
Comorbidity of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and reading disabilities (RD) is greater than what would occur by chance. Considering the well-documented adverse impact of both ADHD and RD on development, the presence of both conditions may lead to particularly poor outcomes for affected people. This chapter, which reviews 43 research studies carried out in the last decade that have focused on the link between ADHD and RD, is divided into two broad nuclei of contents. First, studies are described that contribute information about characteristics of the comorbid phenotype. Second, studies related to procedures directed toward evaluation and intervention in this problem are analyzed. The review carried out does not make it possible to extract definitive results on the exact nature of ADHD and RD comorbidity or, even less, reach conclusions about its causes. However, the literature-based evidence shows a cognitive profile of ADHD+RD characterized by failure of various functions that can produce more severe functional deficits and worse neuropsychological, academic, and behavioral outcomes. Furthermore, the analysis of the set of results from the studies shows a limited efficacy of pharmacological and psychopedagogical treatments, and highlights the need for continued research on this topic. From a clinical and educational standpoint, the conclusions derived from this review underline the importance of performing an exhaustive evaluation of children and adolescents with symptoms of ADHD and/or RD, in order to be able to plan interventions with greater possibilities of success in each case.
This chapter reviews research on math disabilities (MD) from two different points of view: Italian and American. Our goal is to gain consensus on identifying the cognitive…
This chapter reviews research on math disabilities (MD) from two different points of view: Italian and American. Our goal is to gain consensus on identifying the cognitive deficits that underlie problems associated with MD as well as to provide an overview of some of the instructional approaches to remediate these deficits. The review outlines similarities and differences in the research perspectives between the two countries. Although the results show some consensus on the identification of MD and the cognitive mechanisms associated with this deficit (e.g., working memory), some differences remain between the two research perspectives (e.g., incidence of MD).
The purpose of the present chapter was to synthesize the research that directly compares children with and without reading disabilities on measures of working memory (WM)…
The purpose of the present chapter was to synthesize the research that directly compares children with and without reading disabilities on measures of working memory (WM). Working memory has considered at key element children success on reading performance and, therefore, the published literature was assessed. Twenty-eight (28) studies were included in the synthesis, which involved 207 effect sizes. The overall mean effect size estimate in favor of children without reading disabilities (RD) was –0.89 (SE=0.08). Effect sizes were submitted to a hierarchical linear modeling. Results indicated that children with RD were distinctively disadvantaged compared with average readers when memory manipulations required a transformation of information. Age, IQ, reading level, and domain specificity (verbal vs. visual/spatial measures) were not significant predictors of effect size estimates. The findings indicated that domain general WM differences persisted across age, and these differences operated independent of effect size differences in reading and IQ.
Research in the area of NLD reports diagnostic criteria, assessment methods and treatment strategies derived from case studies and clinical experiments involving small number of participants and controls. The American Psychiatric Association reported that approximately 1% of school-age children have a mathematics disability (APA, 2003). Wicks-Nelson and Israel (2003) suggested that there is “scant information about prevalence and outcome for mathematics disorder” (p. 277). The prevalence of NLD has not been reported in research literature.