Psychophysical performance, contingent negative variations, visually evoked cortical potentials, and selective attention : a behavioral and neurophysiological assessment of learning disabilities in children

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mario F. Musso (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
M. Russell Harter

Abstract: The present experiment was designed to assess whether any attentional, perceptual, or neurophysiological differences exist between children classified as reading disabled and normal. A visual discrimination task was employed, which required attentional and perceptual capabilities; wherein the children were required to selectively attend and respond to one stimulus of a pair and to ignore the other stimulus. Four pairs of stimuli (colors, line orientations, letters, and words) of different levels of complexity were discriminated in order to provide clues as to the possible level of neural processing accounting for the reading disability. The children's ability to attend and to discriminate each stimulus in a pair was measured both behaviorally by psychophysical measures of response accuracy (d’) and reaction time, and also electrophysiologically by visually evoked cortical potentials (VEPs) and contingent negative variations (CNVs). A secondary purpose of the study was to examine whether the learning disability was restricted to one sensory modality. Children who were diagnosed as having either a visual or an auditory disability participated in the experiment so as to determine whether only the visual learning disability children would have difficulty with the visual discrimination task. Therefore, three groups of subjects, matched for age, sex, and IQ, were employed: normal controls (NC), visual learning disabled (VLD), and auditory learning disabled (ALD).

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1975
Learning disabled children
Visual evoked response
Visual discrimination

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