Saturday, June 30, 2007

Brain damage can make you smarter?

Interesting post on the ever great DI blog on a recent study that suggests that brain injury to the prefrontal cortex might actually help with certain kinds of problem solving.

Now...this does not mean you should run out and bang the front of your head on a brick wall.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

IQ Research bytes #1--recent working memory research

Without at doubt, the construct of working memory (Gsm-MW) has been the focus of considerable research and theory the past decade. I, the IQ's Corner blogmaster, can't seem to not download, skim and save articles that have the phrase "working memory" in the journal title (click here for all IQ's Corner posts that have "working memory" tagged; n >40).

Some recent empirical "bytes" include:
  • Point and counterpoint re: the validity of the phonological loop/store as per the most prominent working memory model articled by Baddeley et. al. See defense of the Baddeley model by Baddeley et al. (2007), a criticism by Jones et al. (2007), and a rejoinder by Baddeley et al in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.
  • An excellent overview article on "what we know and don't know" about the relationship between working memory and reading Savage et al. (2007) in the Educational Psychology Review. If for no other reason, check out Figure 3 and the related text. I love the visual schematic of working and short-term memory measures used in development research to date.
  • Check out Imbo et al. (2007), also in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, if you are looking for evidence for the role of components of working memory (phonological loop; executive functions) in mathematics ("carrying" in mental arithmetic, to be specific) .
  • Finally, I've been following the "cognitive load" related working memory literature as I believe it is research that has the potential to facilitate a bridge between theoretical/empirical working memory research and academic interventions. The latest from the "cognitive load" research can be found in Barrouillet et al'.s (2007) article "Time and cognitive load in working memory"

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Recent literature of interest 6-22-07

This weeks (actually the last two weeks) recent literature of interest can be found by clicking here.

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More on reading comprehension (Grw)

Regular readers of this blog will notice that recently I've been particularly focused on reading articles dealing with the development and assessment of reading comprehension (Grw-RC; click here and here).

Today I stumbled across a special 2006 issue of the journal Scientific Studies of Reading dealing with the topic of reading comprehension assessment. A copy of the articles and abstracts can be found by clicking here. Dr. Jack Fletcher provides a nice summary of the content of the entire special issue.

Check it out. A good issue to read.


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IQ's Corner Healines 6-27-07

All the news thats fit for IQ's Corner readers:

This is the 28th installment of IQs Corner Headlines from the Brain and Mind Blogsphere

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Quantoids corner - ROC curve classification

For my fellow quantoids.

A frequent statistical problem faced by us who do research in intelligence theory/testing is how to quantify the accuracy (sensitivity/specificity) of classification from a test score (or collection of test scores). Over the past years I've seen more-and-more published on the use of ROC curves (receiver operating characteristic curves) for evaluation classification accuracy. Typically the readings have been technical in nature. Just this week the Data Mining in MATLAB blog posted a GREAT "ROC for dummies" explanation. I loved it. It explains this procedure in very simple language. Take a peak if you are doing classification research and/or if you find yourself reading articles that use ROC methods.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Reading and rhythm (Ga) abilities research

Check out the post at the IQ Brain Clock blog regarding a new study suggesting a link between rhythm abilities (Ga) and reading.

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IQ testing issues "On Point" radio interview/show

Check out "On Point" radio show today dealing with "IQ testing issues." Host Tom Ashbrook interviews Stephen Murdoch, author of "IQ: A smart history of a failed idea." Below is a description from the web page.

As per usual for a book and discussion directed at the masses from the media, the focus is not complete and balanced...but some good points are mentioned along with the bad. Some of the historical information is accurate and interesting to revisit. Of course, the hot topics of eugenics, hereitability of IQ, etc. are discussed.

New extensions of intelligence theory are mentioned...but are limited, as per usual, to Sternberg and Gardner. Nothing mentioned about the most empirically supported psychometric model - CHC theory. Some of the callers add some needed balance.

For what it is worth. An interesting snapshot of some current popular thinking. Here is the description from the radio web page.
  • For most of human history, we had only words to describe human intelligence -- bright, dim, genius, fool.
  • But in the last century, we've had numbers -- IQ numbers as in "intelligence quotient." IQ testing made intelligence seem measurable, and humans sortable by the numbers. And sort them we have, into schools and sterilization, and even death camps.
  • Today, our understanding of intelligence has expanded. But we're still taking IQ tests. Stephen Murdoch says today it's a failed idea.
  • This hour On Point: the fascinating history of our long romance with IQ.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Recent literature of interest 6-18-07

This weeks (actually the last two weeks) recent literature of interest can be found by clicking here.

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WJ III NU (normative update) special pub

Last week a number of questions were asked on the NASP listserv about the WJ III Normative Update (WJ III NU). A number of members provided good responses.

At this time I'd like to announce that a special WJ III NU Assessment Service Bulletin (ASB) will be available (from the Riverside web page) in approximately two weeks. The ASB will provide more in-depth information that addresses the major questions users may have about the WJ III NU. Below is the title of the ASB and the submitted draft (note - the text in the final publication will likely have some minor edits, changes, etc.) of the introduction, inclusive of a list of major questions that are answered in the document.

Once the final ASB is available for download, I will make a post at this blog and on a couple of listservs.

[Conflict of interest disclosure - I'm a coauthor of the WJ III]


WJ III/NU score differences: What the user can expect and why

The Woodcock-Johnson® III Normative Update (WJ III NU®) (Woodcock, McGrew, Schrank, & Mather, 2001, 2007) is a recalculation of the normative data for the Woodcock-Johnson III (WJ III ®) (Woodcock, McGrew, & Mather, 2001), based on the final 2000 U.S.census statistics (U.S.Census Bureau, 2005). The final 2000 census data are reflected in the norms provided by the WJ III NU Compuscore and Profiles Program (Compuscore®) (Schrank & Woodcock, 2007) and in the documentation provided in the WJ III NU Technical Manual (McGrew, Schrank, & Woodcock, 2007).The WJ III NU norms replace the original WJ III norms that were based on the U.S.Census Bureau’s 2000 census projections, which were issued in 1996 (Day, 1996).

The census bureau’s Population Projections Program issues projections of the United States resident population based on assumptions about future births, deaths, and international migration. Census projections are estimates of the population for future dates, and are subsequently replaced by census statistics. The 2000 census statistics produced a somewhat different description of the U.S. population than was assumed from the last projections (issued in 1996). For example, according to the bureau’s Greg Spencer, “when we took the 2000 census, we found about 6.8 million more people than we were expecting. When we went in and looked at the sources of that growth, we found that during the late 1990s, there was more migration than we had been measuring.” (Landphair, 2004, p. 1). Other unanticipated changes in the population were documented (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005), including shifts in age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, and residence. Some states grew at three times the national rate, and people had tended to cluster in locations were jobs were available and climate was preferred. For users of the WJ III, the normative update (NU) provides the most current comparisons to the U.S. population.

In addition, the WJ III NU utilized innovative statistical advancements to calculate the new norms. The use of bootstrap resampling procedures (Efron & Tibshirani, 1993) allowed for estimates of uncertainty and potential bias (in the sample data) to be incorporated into the calculation of the WJ III NU norms. The bootstrap-based norm development procedures used to recalculate WJ III NU norms results in more precise estimates of an individual’s tested performance.

Collectively, the refinement of the demographic characteristics in the WJ III NU norm data, based on updated U.S.Census statistics, and the utilization of “state-of-the-art” statistical methods for estimating the sample statistics used to calculate norms, allows users of the WJ III to have greater confidence in the accuracy of the WJ III NU-based scores.

Purposes

The following four general categories of questions are presented and discussed:
  • What score differences can I expect between test scores based on the original WJ III and WJ III NU norms? If there are differences, are the differences more noticeable with certain age groups?
  • Did the year 2000 U.S.Census population demographic final statistics change enough (since the year 2000 census projections) to make a real difference in the scores subjects will receive on the WJ III? That is, are the NU norms needed to provide better estimates of scores for comparison to the current U.S. population?
  • What is “bootstrap sampling” and, more importantly, how does this innovative statistical method provide more accurate norms than those published with the WJ III data in 2000?
  • What WJ III/NU scores should be used to track and compare test performance for individuals across time. What is the suggested best practice for tracking student growth from the WJ III to WJ III NU?

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Random tidbits from mind blogosphere 6-18-07

  • Check out BPS Research Digest for interesting post on how to tap into our earliest childhood memories
  • Tech tidbit. My favorite site for monitoring new web-basedsoftware tools (Download Squad) strongly recommends a new "task list" application called Toodledo. I plan to check it out.
  • More on the neuropsychology behind multitasking at the ENL.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

More on the psychology of reading

My post re: recommended reading comprehension readings apparently hit a need. I've received a number of emails from practicing school psychologists. Thanks, in particular, to Allison Gunne, a practicing psych. of 15 years who is now back working on her doctorate. She nominated an article by Rayner et al (2001) titled "How Psychological Science Informs the Teaching of Reading". Thanks Allison.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Auditory processing (Ga) malleability/intervention


Check out the post on auditory timing/processing (Ga) malleability posted at IQ's Corner sister blog...the IQ Brain Clock.

AACN neuropsychological practice guidelines published


Readers interested in the practice of clinical neuropsychology, if not already aware, might be interested in the publication of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN) Practice Guidelines for Neuropsychological Assessment and Consultation recently published in The Clinical Neuropsychologist (click here)

Abstract
  • This document is the first set of practice guidelines to be formally reviewed and endorsed by the AACN Board of Directors and published in the official journal of AACN. They have been formulated with the assumption that guidelines and standards for neuropsychological assessment and consultation are essential to professional development. As such, they are intended to facilitate the continued systematic growth of the profession of clinical neuropsychology, and to help assure a high level of professional practice. These guidelines are offered to serve members of AACN, as well as the field of clinical neuropsychology as a whole.
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Random tidbits from the mind blogosphere 6-15-07

  • Check out the BPS Research Digest for report on the "doh !" (memory lapse) moments we all experience
  • ENL has an interesting post on "paying attention vs needing to pay attention"
  • Thanks to Mind Hacks for directing us all to CogNews.net,"a website that takes feeds from a number of cognitive science sites and puts them in one place for your viewing pleasure."
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Reading comprehension theory and assessment--recommended reading


Although in education a practical distinction is typically made between intelligence and achievement (reading, math, writing), as per CHC theory, intelligence and achievement are all abilities.....they differ primarily along a continuum (not a dichotomy) based on the degree to which the abilities are learned as a result of indirect or direct formal learning experiences. Thus, theoretical and practical issues surrounding the construct of reading is very germane to this blog.

That being said, I must confess that as a trained school psychologist, my understanding of contemporary theories of reading are not what they should be. I've not kept up with the literature as I should have the past few years. I suspect that most other school/educational psychologists also suffer from a lack of sufficient knowledge of contemporary reading theory and assessment issues.

To rectify this situation I've been doing some reading of select chapters and special reports (recommended to me by others) that address the ultimate goal of reading.....comprehension of text read (reading comprehension). To date I've found two readings particularly informative....as they allowed me to integrate some disparate information I had accumulated into a more coherent reading comprehension knowledge schema. Although the chapter (Assesment of Reading Comprehension--A Review of Past, Present and Future Practices) by Pearson and Hamm (2005) and the special Rand report (2002) are written primarily from the perspective of large-scale group reading assessments, most of the information is relevant to clinical 1-1 reading assessment practices.

I would urge all practicing assessment professionals to take time to skim these two chapters.

Just my 2 cents.

Warning....the files are a bit large and may open/download slow if you are not on a high-speed connection.

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IQ's Corner Headlines 6-15-07

All the news thats fit for IQ's Corner readers:

This is the 27th installment of IQs Corner Headlines from the Brain and Mind Blogsphere

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Random tidbits from mind blogosphere 6-12-07

  • Interesting post at BPS Research Digest on conducting research in virtual worlds available virtual gaming software (e.g., World ofWarcraft)
  • Check out the DI blog for a post on the role of the parietal lobe in the processing of symbols, numbers, tools and attention.
  • Robert Sternberg's thoughts on the cultural context and bright (gifted) children is featured in an ENL blog post.
  • Check out a new brain-related blog I'm starting to monitor - On the Brain by Dr. Michael Merzenich

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Random tidbits from the mind blogosphere 6-8-07

  • Check out the DI blog's "blogging on the brain" post for a number of interesting links to posts regarding (a) fun brain training games, (b) tonal similarities between music and language, (c) genetic differences between speakers of tonal and non-tonal languages, (d) the role of Bayesian networks in motor control, (e) new genetic risk factor for Alzheimers, (f) the potential educational implications of neuroscience, (g) the role of executive function and math.....plus many more interesting tidbits. The DI blog rocks!
  • Thanks to Mind Hacks for the "know blood; know the brain" post - a post directing readers some of the key scientific papers on brain scanning and blood flow.
  • Learn about "multiple cognitive maps" via a Mouse Trap post
  • Though provoking post at Neuroethics and Law Blog re: "the seductive allure of Neuroscience"
  • Intelligent Machines has a post re: the maturation of speech recognition technology

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