Attentional problems of closed head-injured (CHI) children were examined using an information processing (IP) approach. Based on Sternberg's (1969) additive factor method (AFM), the study examined attentional processes in terms of four stages and their corresponding task variables. A visual-spatial choice reaction-time task was undertaken with two groups of CHI children (severe and mild to moderate) and corresponding matched control groups. Results indicated that for this task both the CHI and the normal children exhibited a similar mode of linear, sequential information processing. It was found that the severe group was impaired not only in terms of slowed motor execution but also in terms of response selection. This group showed no impairment on the feature extraction, stimulus identification, and motor adjustment stages of processing. No evidence of impairment on any of the stages was found for the mild group. The utility of the AFM and implications of these findings are discussed with reference to CHI children and to neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation. © 1992.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Cognitive Neuroscience