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  • Aina Puce · Dianne Anderson · Robert L. Savoy
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuropsychology relates specific impairments in an individual’s behaviour to putative sites of injury or disease in their brain. Traditionally, this structure-function coupling has been one of ‘guilt by association’: correlating the lesion site (as determined either at autopsy or in structural neuroimaging studies) with overt behaviour (as studied by pencil and paper tests or other measures of performance that demonstrate differences between patients and healthy individuals). The great clinical neuropsychologist Luria was able to demonstrate functional impairments attributable to single, circumscribed brain lesions by years of careful and painstaking observation. However, he was cautious about functional ‘localization’, particularly with regard to higher cortical functions, and outlined some concerns regarding the assessment of the functional brain systems underlying higher cortical functions (Luria, 1973): “That is why mental functions, as complex functional systems, cannot be localized in narrow zones of cortex or in isolated cell groups, but must be organized in systems of concertedly working zones, each of which performs its role in complex functional system, and which may be located in completely different and often far distant areas of the brain.” (p. 31, Luria’s italics.) “It is accordingly our fundamental task not to ‘localize’ higher human psychological processes in limited areas of the cortex, but to ascertain by careful analysis which groups of concertedly working zones of the brain are responsible for the performance of complex mental activity; what contribution is made by each of these zones to the complex functional system; and how the relationship between these concertedly working parts of the brain in the performance of complex mental activity changes in various stages of its development.” (p. 34, Luria’s italics.)
    No preview · Chapter · Jul 2011