Faculty Articles

The Use of a Standardized Battery of Luria's Test in the Diagnosis of Lateralized Cerebral Dysfunction

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International Journal of Neuroscience





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The present study was designed to examine the capability of a standardized battery of Luria's qualitative neuropsychological techniques in discriminating between right, left and diffuse brain-injured subjects. A total of sixty medically confirmed brain-damaged subjects were equally divided among the three groups. Subjects were assigned to two groups (right, left) according to medically proven lateralized brain injury to either the right or left hemisphere in the absence of verifiable insult to the opposite hemisphere. A third group was also selected in which medical evidence confirmed damage to both hemispheres (diffuse group). All three groups were matched for age and education. All subjects were tested on a standardized version of 269 Luria's qualitative neuropsychological test items. The items were divided into 11 sections based upon Luria's theory of brain function. Each of the 11 sections plus a right and a left hemisphere scale as well as an overall impairment scale yielded 14 summary measures of performance representing several areas of neuropsychological ability and overall severity of brain dysfunction. Analysis of variance and discriminant analysis were used to compare the three groups on these 14 summary measures. Analysis of variance revealed on significant difference between the three groups on the Left scale with the left group performing poorest. Discriminant analysis predicted the status of 59 of 60 subjects correctly (98% hit rate). The implication of the lack of significant simple relationships (ANOVA) and the complex interrelationships found using the discriminant analysis were discussed in terms of the support these results provide for Luria's theory of brain function. The specific qualitative aspects of the test battery and their use in the diagnosis of lateralized brain injury were also discussed. Indications for future research were pointed out.



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