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Researching sensomotor functions lateral organization with hearing-impaired primary school age children

Автор/Author: Savchenko D.V., Babich E.G., Sokolova E.E.

Аннотация/Annotation:
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Список литературы/References:

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asymmetry of the brain // Психологический журнал. - 1980. - Т. 1. - S. 116.

Содержание статьи/Article:

Mental activity combines functioning of both cerebral hemispheres, i.e. the process of

hemispheric interaction. Hemispheric interaction is a combination of patterns, mechanisms,

means, stages and forms of human energy-information communication. These are the

fundamental regulations of human brain as a pair-organ functioning [6; 8;18;19;22].

The particular case of interhemispheric interaction is lateralization of brain function. At

present the research on brain as a pair-organ contains more complete data on different

lateralization of brain function patterns. Thus, anatomic, physiological examination of

patients having similar lateral involvements proves the inequality of left and right brain

hemispheres. Anatomic asymmetry exists in both cerebral cortex and sub cortex parts of the

brain. Physiological asymmetry manifests itself in differences between symmetric parts of left

and right hemispheres bioelectrical activity in the state of relaxation and especially during

psychological activity [27]. Clinical data indicate different relations of left and right cerebral

hemispheres to speech and non-speech functions [4;9;13;28].

There are several points of view on the problem of brain function lateralization formation

in ontogenesis. These are the concepts of hemispheric equipotentiality in progressive

lateralization. According to the first point of view there is the initial equality or equipotentiality

of hemispheres in relation to all functions including speech function. Data on high brain

plasticity of children and ability of one part to carry out other parts functions prove this theory.

Thus, the lack of left hemisphere rigid dominance in speech was noted with children under 3,

functions of hemispheres being interchangeable [7;19;20;24].

According to the progressive lateralization theory hemispheric specialization exists since

birth. It is reveled in the nerve substratum coded ability to identify the capability of this or

that function development and define the leading hand activity. Thus, it is possible to reveal

symptoms of speech asymmetry in fetus morphological structure of future speech zones. Besides,

while investigating brain function development it was stated that functional brain asymmetry

manifests itself in perceiving words when a child is six months old. Research conducted with

children having cerebral hemispheres development defects revealed that some children had a

different range of complex functional disorders after left hemisphere excision than the others

having had right hemisphere ablation. This is the evidence of hemispheric early specialization

with children (under 4) in ontogenesis [11;12;14].

The problem of lateralization of brain function in general is considered by scientists as a

problem of functional specificity of hemispheres, their different contribution to each technical

function (elementary and higher). Asymmetry has no global but partial characteristics.

Motor, sensor and “psychic” asymmetries are singled out, moreover each of them is divided

into a variety of more particular kinds. For example, motor asymmetry includes hand, leg, oral,

oculomotor and other kinds. Visual, acoustic, tactile, olfactory and other kinds can be referred to

sensor asymmetries while brain organization of speech and other mental functions (perceptual,

mnestic, intellectual) asymmetry refer to “psychic” ones [10;19;23;28].

Contemporary research has been enriched by a sufficient number of scientific works on the

problem of hemispheric asymmetry in childhood [6;13;21] However, the given question is being

investigated mostly with well- developed persons because of evident complexity of diagnostic

research organization. The question of hearing-impaired primary school age children having

hemispheric asymmetry, those for whom speech habits acquisition is rather complicated, is not

very well investigated [2;12;14;15]

In this connection researching the profile of hearing-impaired children lateral organization

is rather relevant.

Literature analysis reveals that the left hemisphere is verbal and responsible for speech

perception and production [3;7;16;26;29] The right hemisphere is imaginative being ‘in

charge of’ visual and spatial perception [11;17;25;30] In spite of the fact that this division

is rather conventional one can identify the individual type of lateral organization (left or

right hemispheric type) according to information perception and interpreting peculiarities

[7;23;31].

The given phenomenon is significant in the assessment of activity performed by a child,

which is of particular importance in educational process. Child’s performance at school depends

directly on their ability to perceive and interpret information. Besides the possibility of mental

functions stimulation or conducting necessary correctional work is revealed [1;5;17].

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CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS OF SOCIAL WORK VOLUME 1, No. 2, 2015

In this connection, understanding of hearing-impaired children brain functioning allows to

make a better picture of deficiency, ways of its compensation and choose the right approach to

teaching children with the right hemisphere domination.

The aim of our research is theoretical foundation and experimental trial of sensomotor

functions lateral organization peculiarities with hearing-impaired primary school age children.

To realize the research aim and tasks stated the following methods of diagnostic investigation

were applied: the definition of functional hands, legs (body side) asymmetry lateral organization

profile (PLO), visual-spatial asymmetry (Semenovich A.V.) [17]; motor coordination and motor

skills investigation; visual-object gnosis diagnostics – “Visual-verbal functions development

diagnostics” (Akhutina T.V., Pylaeva N.M.) [3].

Statistical processing of research results was conducted with the help of Mann-Whitney

U-test, Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient and quantitative, qualitative, comparative

research.

The research was organized and held at the Ministry of Health and Social Development

Sergiyevo-Posad Orphanage for the blind death-mute. The experimental group consisted of 13

children at the age of 8-12 with the 4-degree hearing loss who are educated at “Educational

correctional Department for children at the age of 8-14 with development disorders, having

problems at school”. The control group consisted of 13 children at the age of 8-9, second-form

pupils of Sergiyevo-Posad school 9.

The research was held with each child separately, the results were recorded. The proceedings

descriptions are given in supplements.

The following peculiarities were revealed while analyzing sensomotor functions lateral

organization profile of children with and without hearing impairment. Thus, a number of leftside

features in LOP are recorded for the group of children with hearing impairment, at the

same time no legs, body side and visual asymmetry is identified with many children in the

experimental group.

Table 1

Percent Correlation Condensed Table of Children with and without Hearing Impairment Lateral

Preferences

Lateral Preferences A Group of Children with

Hearing Impairment

A Group of Children without

Hearing Impairment

Leading Head L- 38%

R/L – 15%

R – 46 %

L – 15%

R/L – 7%

R – 76%

Leading Leg L – 30%

R – 69%

R – 100%

Leading Eye L – 23%

R/L – 30%

R – 46%

L – 7%

R/L – 15%

R – 76%

In the course of research some children without impairment used the right hand while writing

but while diagnostic trials persisted in using the left hand. This fact can account for latent lefthandedness,

a phenomenon typical of relearning. A leading hand was not identified with three

children in both groups, which speaks for the lack of one hemisphere definite manifestation, a

characteristic feature of earlier age.

When applying Mann-Whitney U-test for lateral preferences comparison between the group of

children with hearing impairment and the control group no statistically significant differences

were revealed (a leading hand U=58, p<0.05; leading leg U=58.5, p<0.05; leading eye U=57.5,

p<0.05). This means that lateral organization of sensomotor functions profile with children

having hearing impairment or without it has the same tendency in functional uncertainty of

visual asymmetry. First of all it can be the caused by the possible bilateral preference of the

leading eye, ambidexterity or incomplete formation of lateralization in the given asymmetry.

Besides, the research results reflected a number of left-side features in motor asymmetries of

children with hearing impairment.

In the dynamic praxis test between the group of children with hearing impairment and the

control group were no statistically significant differences (U=47, p<0.05), at the same time there

were statistically significant differences (U=38, p<0.05) between the experimental and control

groups in the reciprocal coordination of hands test. However, in spite of statistical differences

there were qualitative differences while testing two groups. For example, it is characteristic of

the experimental group children to assimilate a motor program only after several presentations

or common performance whereas the control children assimilated the program after he first

presentation.

Visual-verbal functions development diagnostics (Akhutina T.V., Pylaeva N.M.) [3] allowed

to classify mistakes necessary for the analysis of visual-verbal functions brain organization

state. Thus, visual gnosis tests performance revealed such mistakes as: perceptual-verbal;

near-perceptual; figure and background displacement faults; fragmentariness type; verbal; farperceptual;

perseveration faults and unidentified images.

The research results are presented visually on different tests included into this diagnostic

block. Thus, children with hearing impairment made more mistakes in “Identifying realistic

images” test than children from a control group especially in “unidentified images” (18), which

can be the evidence of primary visual gnosis problems. In the experimental group the following

images proved to be the most sensitive to recognition difficulties: a bench, a fur coat, a suitcase

and a sofa. The children identified a mushroom, a belt, a snake and a watch more often. Verbal

mistakes prevail in this group (38), which is the evidence of left hemisphere speech zones

functional insufficiency. The children often used verbs when naming the objects: to sit- a

bench, a sofa; to water – a hose. Almost all children failed to use the real name of the object

and identified a lamp as light. Unlike the children with hearing impairment there were no above

mentioned types of mistakes revealed in the control group , which is proved statistically by

Mann-Whitney U-test (U=2, p<0.05).

Interesting results were achieved while conducting “Identifying superimposed images” test.

Thus, children with hearing impairment made much more mistakes (104) in this category than

the children without impairment (9). This can be the evidence of left and right hemispheres

functional development inhibition, disorders in visual information interpretation from which

children with impairment suffer and the second - brain part insufficiency. Identifying the

superimposed images : a child, a plate, an apple, an orange; a lamp, a key, a jug was the most

difficult for the children of this group. Fewer mistakes were made in groups: a fish, a fur tree, a

plate, names of animals and geometry figures. However, it should be noted that many geometry

figures were not identified or found. As in the previous task in identifying superimposed images

by the experimental group most mistakes were of verbal type (58). The children substituted

the names of objects by the verbs: a rake – to rake; a glass – to drink, a lamp – light and so on.

Besides there were perceptive verbal mistakes (PV) and a little fewer near-perceptive mistakes

(NP). There were more such mistakes made by a control group (PV-67, NP-36) than by the

experimental group (PV-45, NP-24). Thus, children from the control group and the experimental

group as well had difficulties in recognizing images of the following category: a child, a plate,

an orange, an apple.

At last, statistically significant differences between two test groups were stated (U=29,

p<0.05) by Mann-Whitney U-test in the “Identification of superimposed images” trial.

The experimental group children made more verbal mistakes (27) in “Crossed images” trial.

The control group children made more perceptive-verbal and near-perceptive mistakes (PV44

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17, NP-8). The fragmentariness mistakes are typical of children with difficulties in complete

image perception and holistic (right hemispheric) strategy of visual information interpreting

deficiency, in the given task these mistakes were peculiar only to the control group children.

A number of mistakes in image identification (51) was made by children with hearing

impairment in the trial “Incomplete images”. Such images as a lamp and tongs proved to be the

most sensitive to these mistakes. There were many fragmentariness mistakes (15). The most

difficult images for perception were: scissors (they were identified as a mirror, a spoon, to sew),

scales were seen as a boat, a house, a ship; and a key was recognized as an ear. As in the previous

trials there were statistically significant differences revealed between the group of children

with hearing impairment and the control group (U=12, p<0.05).

While testing “Noise object images” none of the experimental group children performed this

task. A number of unidentified images prove this fact (46). For example, such images as a key

and a jug were nor recognized by anyone. The most typical mistakes in both groups were nearperceptive

(33 and 6). However, the control group children in comparison with the children

with hearing impairment gave imaginative answers, which can be evident by a number of farperceptive

substitutions (14). In general this task proved to be much more complicated for the

children with hearing impairment than for the control group children.

The most typical mistakes of both groups in the trial “Separation of images from the background”

were perceptive-verbal, however in the given task they were prevailed with the children having

hearing impairment (30). It is interesting that none of the children of both groups identified all

16 images (maximum 14). Besides, children with hearing impairment made verbal mistakes (13)

and far-perceptive change (2) in comparison with the control group which made no mistakes of

this kind. In general statistically significant differences in performing this task (U=20, p<0.05)

were stated between the children with hearing impairment and the control group.

The same character of mistakes in two test groups can be seen in “Memorizing and recognizing

object images” trial. For example, children of both groups had difficulties in denoting

similar objects (a scoop, a bush). Besides, the children of both groups were not coherent in

naming images after the interfering task. The experimental group children displayed worse

results, confusing the names of the objects or forgetting to point them out after the second

presentation. The greatest number of mistakes in both groups was made while naming in the

group: a thermometer, a goose, a scoop.

In the task “Free associations” the best result according to “object pictures” parameter

was displayed by the control group children (6). In comparison with the experimental group

the children without hearing impairment have no non-object images and reduplication of

the pictures as well. Non-object pictures (more than 4) are the evidence of visual-object

presentations poorness and the right hemisphere functions hypoplasia (one child). The

children with hearing impairment drew primitive pictures more often (1.8), besides there were

more difficulties in representing species character (1.8) than in the control group. There was a

variety of graphical skills – from good to almost unidentifiable and primitive – in the pictures

of the experimental group children. One child drew 6 subject pictures, which is the evidence of

well-developed imagination.

The children with hearing impairment were asked to draw a wider range of pictures: flowers

and trees while testing “Verbal associations. This decision was made taking into consideration

development peculiarities and each child’s abilities. As a result, it was stated that the control

group children created more (1.6) concrete good pictures than the experimental group children

(0.5). A number of simplified pictures (2.6) are also characteristic of this group, which ,in its

turn, is connected with little object-visual experience. The reduplication of a picture during a

detailed verbal description proves this fact. In general, the children stuck to the given topic

(flowers) and only the small number of pictures refers to other plants. To sum up, there were no

inadequate pictures in the group of children without impairment.

The inadequate pictures constitute the major part (0.9) in the experimental group. The

children with hearing impairment failed to understand the task immediately and began to draw

a flag (a tree and a flag are similar in the sign language). It was also noted that children knowing

no types of flowers and plants deviated from the given topic, which can be the evidence of the

coding and control block insufficiency. The children with hearing impairment drew primitive

pictures (poor quality of image), they reduplicated the images (0.7) and generalized the names

of the pictures (a flower, a tree, etc.) (0.6). This is the evidence of left hemisphere features

dysfunction.

According to the results of “Visual associations” methodology it can be stated that the

experimental group children drew primitive pictures with difficulty in representing species

character, the majority of pictures being objective. This group drew a number of generalized

and inadequate pictures with frequent repetitions in their names.

The control group children succeeded in drawing objective and concrete pictures. However

there are a number of simplified pictures during detailed lexical description.

After analyzing the results of each “Diagnostics of visual-verbal functions” methodology

task the conclusions were made by adding the number of mistakes made by the children

while identifying the images, moreover the most frequent mistakes of both groups were

distinguished.

Thus, the biggest number of mistakes of the experimental group (311) was revealed in

“Unidentified images” test, whereas in the control group children such mistakes were much

fewer (50). The mistakes of such a type can be the evidence of visual gnosis initial difficulties

and object-visual experience poorness as well.

The predominance of verbal mistakes is characteristic of the experimental group children

(175), whereas the children without impairment made few mistakes of such a kind (6). Such

mistakes speak for the left hemisphere speech zones functional insufficiency.

Perceptive-verbal mistakes prevail in the group of children without impairment (212) and

are the most frequent. The prevalence of such mistakes can be the evidence of “visual objectword”

relations underdevelopment, which can bу caused by difficulties in left hemispheric

visual information interpreting. However, we realize that at primary school age the left

hemisphere only begins to be involved in the process of information interpreting and objectvisual

experience is not lasting.

At last one more typical type of mistakes – far-perceptive - was recorded in the control

group (107). The number of such mistakes prove the initial poorness of visual information

interpreting processes or orientative – research activity insufficiency. The majority of such

mistakes were made during the “superimposed images identification” test, i.e. while perceiving

the whole image. The children with hearing impairment made fewer such mistakes (58) while

the maximum number was also made during “superimposed images identification” test.

Thus, in the course of the research the growing number of left-side features was revealed

in the lateral organization profile of children with hearing impairment in comparison with

children without impairment. A deviation from the norm is also recorded in the growing number

of laterally poor functions especially in visual-spatial asymmetry. This data can be the evidence

of hemispheric interrelation formation latency.

While testing dynamic praxis and reciprocal coordination with children having hearing

impairment a lot of problems, faults, difficulties in perception and reproduction of the program

were recorded. All abovementioned data prove the existence of difficulties in building

hemispheric relations. Dysfunctional hemispheric interaction and visual-spatial disorders, poor

visual-motor coordination are the evidence of the dysfunctional right hemisphere. The children

without impairment have more stable test results, the majority of children performing both

tests without difficulties, which is much better than in the experimental group. This proves the

hemispheric interaction being well-formed.

46 47

CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS OF SOCIAL WORK VOLUME 1, No. 2, 2015

To establish connections between methods in each sample Spearman’s rank correlation

coefficient was calculated. Thus, correlation analysis revealed the children with hearing loss

having a connection between a leading hand and the number of perceptive-verbal mistakes

made by them. Thus, difficulties in visual information interpreting because of the insufficiently

developed connection “visual image-word” are characteristic of deaf children with left

hemispheric lateralization (the right hand is the leading one).

Besides, the experimental group children had a significant connection of the leading hand

with the program performance in dynamic praxis and serial number of mistakes as well. Taking

into consideration the previous correlation data it can be concluded that the dynamic praxis

performance of deaf children with left hemispheric lateralization is dramatically low due to

difficulties in visual program pattern interpreting and as a result a difficulty in automatic serial

movement organization formation.

Besides, the correlation analysis in the control group allowed to reveal the lack of connection

between lateralization organization profile, types of mistakes and movement tests. However,

correlations between groups of mistakes, such as: correlation between a figure and background

displacement mistakes and far-change mistakes were recorded, which is the evidence of

children with impairment having difficulties in switching off the insufficiency at the initial

stage of visual perception; correlation between dynamic praxis performance, serial mistakes,

memorizing the program and reciprocal test performance.

To sum everything up, it can be concluded that while researching perception, interpretation

and reproduction of information with hearing-impaired primary school age children a range

of peculiarities in sensomotor functions formation, which is the evidence of left and right

hemispheric insufficiency and interhemispheric interaction deficiency. The significance of

the given lateralized organization profile peculiarities lie in the fact that the research data

allow to understand the children’s difficulties better and to reveal those which are connected

with inter- and intrahemispheric organization and can be corrected by neuropsychological

methods as well.

The research results also provide data for further development of correctional measures

for children of different groups. For example, a peculiarity characteristic of hearing-impaired

children was revealed – a difficulty in the right hemispheric information processing. Traditionally,

the speech - dominant left hemisphere with the speech-impaired children is considered

to suffer more than the other one. Consequently, much time and effort is spent on speech

functions correction and development, which is right, but at the same time right hemispheric

functions – visual-spatial, visual-motor coordination disorders, etc. are left unattended and

it manifests itself in some pictures of hearing-impaired children. That’s why special attention

should be paid on the formation and correction of right hemispheric functions, since normal

speech development is possible only under condition of adequate interhemispheric interaction

providing this function.

The correlation of all diagnostic data (lateralized organization profile, the zone of proximal

development, cognitive processes formation peculiarities, etc.) and thorough understanding

individual development features can contribute to qualitative assistance in the process of

upbringing and teaching a hearing-impaired child.

Ключевые слова/Tags1: lateral organization profile, sensomotor functions, lateralization of brain function, children with hearing loss.