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The relationship between lateralized motor impairment and verbal/visuospatial deficits in children with suspected brain dysfunction

In children with confirmed brain damage, neuropsychological research has
established that evidence of lateralized (right or left hand) impairment on fine motor
tests can be used to help infer dysfunction of the contralateral (opposite) cerebral
hemisphere and its associated cognitive skills (e.g., verbal and visuospatial skills). In
neuropsychological assessments of children with subjected brain dysfunction (such as
learning disabilities and/or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), fine motor tests are
often used for much the same purpose. This constitutes an example of what is referred
to in neuropsychology as the "Comparison of the Left and Right Sides of the Body"
inferential method. However, its use for children with suspected brain dysfunction is
not supported by the existing research literature. Furthermore, a recent series of
studies on children with left hand motor impairment ("extreme right-handers") and no
confirmed brain damage has produced results which are inconsistent with those that
would be predicted based on traditional neuropsychological theory. It appears possible
that previous studies found little relationship between lateralized motor impairment and
distinctive cognitive deficits in children with suspected brain dysfunction largely due to
the specific motor tests that they used (i.e., ones that rely more heavily on
visuospatial/right hemisphere skills than verbal/left hemisphere skills). The Name
Printing Test (Joschko & Bailey, 1996) was proposed to be a motor test that involves
the skills of both cerebral hemispheres. It was therefore hypothesized to account for a
significant amount of unique variance in performance on measures of both verbal and
visuospatial cognitive skill, above and beyond that accounted for by the Grooved
Pegboard and Finger Tapping Tests, in a sample of 77 right-handed children with
suspected brain dysfunction. Left hand motor test scores were hypothesized to account
for the greatest amount of variance in visuospatial cognitive skill, while right hand
scores were hypothesized to account for the greatest amount of variance in verbal
cognitive skill. The WlSC-III Verbal Comprehension and Perceptual Organization
6ctor scores were used as the measures of verbal and visuospatial cognitive skill,
respectively. Hierarchical multiple regression was the primary method of analysis used
to test the research hypotheses. The results provided little support for these
hypotheses. Specifically, right and left hand motor test scores were found to be about
equal in predicting verbal and visuospatial cognitive skills. Furthermore, only Grooved
Pegboard scores accounted for a significant amount of unique variance in visuospatial
cognitive skill, while no motor test score was a significant predictor of verbal cognitive
ability. Little support was found for the use of the "Comparison of the Left and Right
Sides of the Body" inferential method in this clinical group, and it was suggested that
such methods of inference require more extensive validation. The Name Printing Test
and Grooved Pegboard were found to be sensitive indicators of psychomotor
impairment in children with suspected brain dysfunction, while the Finger Tapping Test
was not. / Graduate

Identiferoai:union.ndltd.org:uvic.ca/oai:dspace.library.uvic.ca:1828/9752
Date19 July 2018
CreatorsBailey, Mark Arnott William
ContributorsJoschko, Michael
Source SetsUniversity of Victoria
LanguageEnglish, English
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeThesis
Formatapplication/pdf
RightsAvailable to the World Wide Web

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