Investigating the 'latent' deficit hypothesis : age at time of head injury, executive and implicit functions and behavioral insight

BARKER, Lynne, ANDRADE, Jackie, MORTON, Nicholas, ROMANOWSKI, Charles and BOWLES, David (2010). Investigating the 'latent' deficit hypothesis : age at time of head injury, executive and implicit functions and behavioral insight. Neuropsychologia, 48 (9), 2550-2563.


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This study investigated the 'latent deficit' hypothesis in two groups of frontotemporal headinjured patients, those injured prior to steep morphological and corresponding functional maturational periods for frontotemporal networks (≤ age 25), and those injured >28 years. The latent deficit hypothesis proposes that early injuries produce enduring cognitive deficits manifest later in the lifespan with graver consequences for behavior than adult injuries, particularly after frontal pathology (Eslinger, Grattan, Damasio & Damasio, 1992). Implicit and executive deficits both contribute to behavioral insight after frontotemporal head injury (Barker, Andrade, Romanowski, Morton & Wasti, 2006). On the basis of morphological and behavioral data, we hypothesised that early injury would confer greater vulnerability to impairment on tasks associated with frontotemporal regions than later injury. Patients completed experimental tasks of implicit cognition, executive function measures and the DEX measure of behavioural insight (Behavioral Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome: Wilson, Alderman, Burgess, Emslie, & Evans, 1996). The Early Injury group were more impaired on implicit cognition tasks compared to controls that Late Injury patients. There were no marked group differences on most executive function measures. Executive ability only contributed to behavioral awareness in the Early Injury Group. Findings showed that age at injury moderates the relationship between executive and implicit cognition and behavioral insight and that early injuries result in longstanding deficits to functions associated with frontotemporal regions partially supporting the latent deficit hypothesis.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Psychology Research Group
Identification Number:
Page Range: 2550-2563
Depositing User: Lynne Barker
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2012 15:09
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 13:48

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