Cognitive Neuropsychology and Developmental Disorders: Uncomfortable Bedfellows

D.V .M. Bishop
1997 The Quarterly journal of experimental psychology. Section A, Human experimental psychology  
Cognitive neuropsychology provides a theoretical framework and methods that can be of value in the study of developmental disorders, but the"dissociation" logic at the centre of this approach is not well suited to the developmental context. This is illustrated with examples from speci c language impairment. Within the developing language system there is ample evidence for interaction between levels of representation, with modularity emerging in the course of development. This means that one
more » ... cally is seeking to explain a complex pattern of associated impairments, rather than highly selective de cits. For instance, a selective impairment in auditory processing can have repercussions through the language system and may lead to distinctive syntactic de cits that are seen in written as well as spoken language. Changes in the nature of representations and in the relationships between components of a developing system mean that cross-sectional data at a single point in development may be misleading indicators of the primary de cit. Furthermore, traditional cognitive neuropsychology places a disproportionate emphasis on representational (competence) decits, with processing (performance) de cits being relatively neglected. Methods for distinguishing these two kinds of impairment are discussed, as well as other approaches for elucidating the underlying nature of developmental disorders. Cognitive Neuropsychology, Dissociated De® cits and Modularity John Marshall's EPS 50th Anniversary lecture described how the Experimental Psychology Society provided a stimulating forum for interactions between cognitive psychologists and neuropsychologists in the 1960s and 1970s, leading to the owering of the discipline of cognitive neuropsychology. From the start, the aim of the enterprise was to develop and test models of the cognitive processes involved in particular mental operations by
doi:10.1080/027249897391946 pmid:9450382 fatcat:kvb2thb2kzc3jjwzktjlgnapty