Genetic and Psychodynamic Aspects of Developmental Dyslexia-A Cybernetic Approach

Thomas, Hugh B. G.
January 1973
Journal of Learning Disabilities;Jan1973, Vol. 6 Issue 1, p30
Academic Journal
This paper sets out to provide a theoretical approach to cognitive functions and their acquisition, and includes discussion of brain damage, heredity, and family environment as factors in the genesis of dyslexia. The presence of "noise," not only in the brain itself, but also in the input data which it has to process, implies that inference must play an important part in many psychological processes; language acquisition in particular appears to be one type of pattern-detection process involving inference. Whenever inferential procedures are used, standards of inference must be adopted. A method of estimating the standard (D) adopted by an individual on a given occasion, in a recognition-learning situation, is described and explained. If a child habitually adopted excessively lax or stringent standards in all matters or in specific areas of cognitive growth such as language or reading acquisition, this overconfident or overcautious attitude would have deleterious effects. It is shown that in 33 families attending a dyslexia clinic, a much higher proportion of the children than of theft fathers or mothers had abnormally high or low D values by comparison with normal young adult students.


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