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Chernova, E. P., Borisova, E. Yu., Kozina, I. B. Development of Functional Units of the Brain of Children Aged 5-7 Years with Speech Pathology

Published in journal "Psychology and Psychotechnics", 2014-11 in rubric "Clinical psychology", pages 1231-1239.

Resume: The subject under research is the peculiarities of the development of functional units of the brain (according to Alexander Luria’s theory). Children aged 5-7 years with general speech underdevelopment of the 1st, 2d and 3d levels living in the Republic of Mari El were studied. The three functional units of their cognitive activity were studied: the unit of programming, regulating and verifying mental activity, the unit of obtaining, processing and storing information and the ‘energy’ unit regulating cortical tone or waking. Peculiarities of the serial programming of movements and actions were evaluated based on the analysis of neuropsychological tests for dynamic praxis and telling a story with pictures. Programming and control of voluntary actions were evaluated based on the analysis of the results of such tests as the choice experiment and putting pictures in order. The unit of obtaining, processing and storing information was evaluated based on the results of the following tests performed by children with speech dysfunction: the test for processing kinesthetic information (finger pose praxis), the test for processing verbal information (verbal memory), the test for processing visual information (perception of crossed out images) and the test for processing visual-spatial information (redrawing a picture). The energy unit was evaluated based on the results of the tests for reciprocal coordination, dynamic praxis and graphomotor test. Methodological base of the research includes the main concepts of neuropsychology on the structure and brain organization of higher mental functions (Luria, Vizel, Simernitskaya, Tsvetkova, Shklovsky and others). Neuropsychological approach to the analysis of speech dysfunctions is one of the most promising approaches because it allows to study speech pathology at the level of interaction of brain systems and functions. This, in its turn, allows to provide a better understanding of speech as a higher mental function and predict its further development. Researchers have used the neuropsychological diagnostics program including famous neuropsychological tests offered by Luria and modified by Akhutina, Inshakova, Vizel and Semenovich. The scientific novelty of the research is in defining typical distinctive features of the development of functional units of the brain of children with speech dysfunction based on the comparative analysis of the results of neuropsychological diagnostics in terms of the age and severity of the speech underdevelopment. Conclusions: 1. Children with speech dysfunctions, in particular, general speech underdevelopment of the 1st, 2d and 3d levels demonstrate insufficient functioning of all the three units of the brain: the unit of programming, regulating and verifying mental activity, the unit of obtaining, processing and storing information and the ‘energy’ unit regulating cortical tone or waking. 2. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of the results of particular tests show irregularity in the distribution and diversity of dysfunctions of particular functional units both in case of preschoolers with general speech underdevelopment of the 1st and 2d levels and in case of preschoolers with general speech underdevelopment of the 3d level. 3. Comparison of different levels of speech underdevelopment shows that children with general speech development of the 1st and 2d levels had more difficulties with programming, regulating and verifying mental activity, obtaining, processing and storing information and energy unit than children with general speech underdevelopment of the 3d level. 4. Analysis of the results of tests performed by children with speech dysfunction in terms of age shows that preschoolers aged 6-7 years with general speech underdevelopment of the 1st and 2d levels have more difficulties in functioning of all the three units of the brain.

Keywords: neuropsychological analysis, general speech underdevelopment, functional units of the brain, neuropsychological tests, neuropsychological diagnostics program, speech pathology (dysfunction), conditional age norm, cross section method, dextrocerebral (right hemisphere) problems, sinistrocerebral (left hemisphere) problems.

DOI: 10.7256/2070-8955.2014.11.13211

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