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PSYC31H3 Lecture Notes - Multiple Sclerosis, Malingering, Block Design

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Konstantine Zakzanis

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Chapter 14: Construction and Motor Performance
Block Design
-presented with red and white blocks
-use the blocks to construct replicas of a model design presented by the examiner
-age has a prominent influence on block design performance
-men tend to do better than women at younger ages, however the discrepancy disappears over
-best Wechsler scale measure of visuospatial organization
-the right posterior parietal region is implicated in the block design test, lesions to the left
parietal don’t seem to have much effect on test performance
-patients with frontal lobe damage appear to display ”stickiness” when performing the task.
-non-fluid performance
-relatively preserved in mild to moderate TBI patients
-block design scores of Alzheimer patients are typically among the lowest out of all disorders
-low score in the early stages may help to confirm a “clinical” diagnosis
-patients with neurodegenerative diseases that typically involve subcortical structures and white
matter often do poorly on the Block Design
-still perform better than patients with Alzheimer’s
Complex Figure Test (CFT)
-investigate perceptual organization and visual memory in brain impaired subjects
-the copy task is simply, copying the complex figure onto a sheet of paper
-research has shown that testing may be valid for the dominant and nondominant hands
-colour switching generally affords an adequate and less cumbersome record of the subject’s
strategy or lack thereof
-record the time it takes to complete the figure
-recall of the figure is followed by one or more recall trails
-Rey-O/Taylor/MCG is the most commonly used scoring method
-fairly stable across ages 20 to 50, afterwards there is a gradual decline in copy proficiency, as
well as an accelerated increase in time required to copy the figure
-men higher scores than women
-left-handedness of the subject or in the subject’s family, plus a mathematics or science
academic major distinguished test performance
-education appears to contribute very little
-CFT makes demands on a patient's executive functioning
-left hemisphere damage tend to break up the design into units that are smaller than normally
-right hemisphere damage tend to break up the design into units that are smaller than normally
-visuospatial inattention in patients with right-sided lesions
-ability of patients with TBI to copy the complex figure can vary greatly
-CFT after TBI was affected more by perceptual organization than by injury severity
-those with Alzheimer’s disease generally produce very defective copies
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