On drawing inferences about the structure of normal cognitive systems from the analysis of patterns of impaired performance: the case for single-patient studies

Brain Cogn. 1986 Jan;5(1):41-66. doi: 10.1016/0278-2626(86)90061-8.

Abstract

An analysis of the logic of valid inferences about the structure of normal cognitive processes from the study of impaired cognitive performance in brain-damaged patients is presented. The logic of inferences from group studies and single-case studies is compared. It is shown that given certain assumptions, only the single-case method allows valid inferences about the structure of cognitive systems from the analysis of impaired performance. It is also argued that although the single-case approach is not entirely problem-free, the difficulties encountered are relatively minor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Damage, Chronic / psychology*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology*
  • Cognition*
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Neuropsychology / standards*
  • Research Design