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Int J Neurosci. 1996 Apr;85(3-4):231-6.

The attentional system in brain injury survivors.

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Human Cognitive Neuropsychology Laboratory, University of Sevilla, Spain.


The present study was designed to check the model of attention proposed by Posner and Petersen (1990), in patients with traumatic brain injury. We analyzed a series of neuropsychological tests administered to these patients after they were discharged from the hospital. Scores obtained from this group were subjected to factor analysis. The results of this analysis could be characterized by four factors which accounted for 85.4% of the variance. According to our data, factor 1 (perceptual and motor speed) and factor 2 (vigilance and alertness) represent Posner's posterior attention system. Factor 3 (encoding) and factor 4 (shifting) represent Posner's anterior attention system (AAS), but we have to consider that the AAS is not only attention but is shared by other cognitive processes. The results also suggest that the attention system could be stable and could be defined independently from the type of patient and type of illness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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