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The variety of visual perceptual impairments in pre-school children with perinatal brain damage

      Abstract

      To study the selectivity of visual perceptual impairment in children with early brain injury, eight visual perceptual tasks (L94), were administered to congenitally disabled children both with and without risk for cerebral visual impairment (CVI). The battery comprised six object-recognition and two visuoconstructive tasks. Seven tasks were newly designed. For these normative data are presented (age 2.75–6.50 years). Because the recognition tasks required object naming, each item included a canonical control drawing and visual perceptual ability was evaluated relative to the non-verbal intelligence level, instead of chronological age. In 22 multiple disabled children with no indications of CVI, the frequency of impairment did not exceed that in the reference sample for any L94 task. In contrast, in 57 5-year-old children who were at risk for CVI due to pre-maturity or birth asphyxia, a significant increase in the frequency of impairment was seen on six L94 tasks (range 12–38%). However, only five children had more than two impairments, indicating that the deficits were selective, not pervasive. We conclude that early brain lesions interfere with the functioning of particular visual subsystems, yet leave other subsystems intact and functioning within the normal range.

      Keywords

      Abbreviations:

      BLOCKC, constructing block designs (), BLOCKM, matching block designs (), CVI, cerebral visual impairment (), DE VOS, De Vos task (), DE VOS*, alternative De Vos score in which viewpoint items were excluded (), GA, gestational age (), IC, inconclusive (score) (), LGN, lateral geniculate nucleus (), NOISE, line drawings occluded by noise (), OVERL, overlapping line drawings (), ROP, retinopathy of pre-maturity (), VGA, video graphics adapter (), VIEW, unconventional object views (), VISM, visual matching (), VMI, developmental test of visual motor integration (), WISC-R, Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – Revised (), WPPSI, Wechsler Pre-school and Primary Scale of Intelligence. ()
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