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      Use of computerized tests to evaluate psychomotor performance in children with specific learning disabilities in comparison to normal children

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          Background & objectives:

          Children with specific learning disabilities (SpLD) have an unexplained difficulty in acquiring basic academic skills resulting in a significant discrepancy between their academic potential and achievements. This study was undertaken to compare the performance on a battery of six psychomotor tests of children with SpLD and those without any learning disabilities (controls) using computerized tests.


          In this study, 25 children with SpLD and 25 controls (matched for age, socio-economic status and medium of instruction) were given three training sessions over one week. Then children were asked to perform on the six computerized psychomotor tests. Results were compared between the two groups.


          Children with SpLD fared significantly worse on finger tapping test, choice reaction test, digit picture substitution test and card sorting test compared to the controls ( P<0.05).

          Interpretation & conclusions:

          Children with SpLD have impairment of psychomotor skills like attention, sensory-motor coordination and executive functioning. Further research is needed to evaluate if the remedial education plan results in improvement in psychomotor performance of children with SpLD on these selected tests.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders.

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             S Shaywitz (1998)
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              The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and the cognitive assessment of prefrontal executive functions: a critical update.

              For over four decades the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) has been one of the most distinctive tests of prefrontal function. Clinical research and recent brain imaging have brought into question the validity and specificity of this test as a marker of frontal dysfunction. Clinical studies with neurological patients have confirmed that, in its traditional form, the WCST fails to discriminate between frontal and non-frontal lesions. In addition, functional brain imaging studies show rapid and widespread activation across frontal and non-frontal brain regions during WCST performance. These studies suggest that the concept of an anatomically pure test of prefrontal function is not only empirically unattainable, but also theoretically inaccurate. The aim of the present review is to examine the causes of these criticisms and to resolve them by incorporating new methodological and conceptual advances in order to improve the construct validity of WCST scores and their relationship to prefrontal executive functions. We conclude that these objectives can be achieved by drawing on theory-guided experimental design, and on precise spatial and temporal sampling of brain activity, and then exemplify this using an integrative model of prefrontal function [i.e., Miller, E. K. (2000). The prefrontal cortex and cognitive control. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 1, 59-65.] combined with the formal information theoretical approach to cognitive control [Koechlin, E., & Summerfield, C. (2007). An information theoretical approach to prefrontal executive function. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 229-235.].

                Author and article information

                Indian J Med Res
                Indian J. Med. Res
                The Indian Journal of Medical Research
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                November 2014
                : 140
                : 5
                : 644-648
                Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Seth GS Medical College & KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
                [* ] Department of Pediatrics, Seth GS Medical College & KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
                Author notes
                Reprint requests: Dr Urmila M. Thatte, Professor & Head, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, 1 st Floor, Multi-storey Building, Seth GS Medical College & KEM Hospital, Parel, Mumbai 400 012, Maharashtra, India e-mail: urmilathatte@

                Present address: Superspeciality Medical Officer, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, TN Medical College & BYL Nair Ch. Hospital, Mumbai Central, Mumbai 400 008, India

                Copyright: © Indian Journal of Medical Research

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Article


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