A Better Look at Learning: How Does the Brain Express the Mind?


Learning problems in the light of PASS assessment and intervention were studied. Data for 248 subjects with specific learning impairment (SLI), dyslexia, dyscalculia, and non-defined learning difficulty were studied. Hierarchical cluster analysis of PASS scores at baseline was performed. PASS re-assessment was carried out at 6 and 12 months after 6-month period of intervention. Four statistically different cluster groups were identified. All groups, except one, showed cognitive weakness. Planning weakness, associated with other weakness, appears involved in all groups except two where isolated planning and successive weaknesses were identified, respectively. SLI, dyslexia, and dyscalculia are not homogenous entities. A kind of dyslexia is clearly linked to isolated successive weakness. SLI-expressive (SLIe) and a minority of both dyslexia and dyscalculia appear linked to successive weakness although associated with planning and additionally with attention in the case of SLIe. SLI-expressive-receptive (SLIe-r) and Dyscalculia appear linked to simultaneous weakness, although associated with planning weakness. Other kind of SLIe-r appears linked to isolated planning weakness. Other types of SLIe-r and Dyscalculia appear liked to combined planning + successive + attention weakness. Isolated dysfunctional attention does not appear in any case. After 6 months of intervention, planning improves statistically in all cases. Attention improves in few cases. Successive and simultaneous do not improve. The best result is in dyslexia, SLIe and a minority of Dyscalculia. The worst result is in those without cognitive deficiency. The effect of intervention at 6 months remains with minor changes at 12 months after 6 months without intervention.

Share and Cite:

Perez-Alvarez, F. , Perez-Serra, A. & Timoneda-Gallart, C. (2013). A Better Look at Learning: How Does the Brain Express the Mind?. Psychology, 4, 760-770. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.410108.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Aldenderfer, M. S., & Blashfield, R. K. (1984). Cluster analysis. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.
[2] American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: APA.
[3] Bargh, J. A., & Ferguson, M. L. (2000). Beyond behaviorism: On the automaticity of higher mental processes. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 925-945. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.126.6.925
[4] Bishop, D. (1994). Is specific language impairment a valid diagnostic category? Genetic and psycholinguistic evidence. The acquisition and dissolution of language. Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences, 346, 105-111. http://www.jstor.org/stable/56025
[5] Bishop, D., & Leonard, L. (2001). Speech and language impairments in children. Hove: Psychology Press.
[6] Bravo, L. (1979). Cuestionario de evaluación de problemas de aprendizaje CEPA. Estudios Pedagógicos, 4, 113-123.
[7] Cabeza, R., & Nyberg, L. (2000). Imaging cognition II: An empirical review of 275 PET and fMRI studies. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 12, 1-47.
[8] Catani, M., Jones, D. K., & Fytche, D. H. (2005). Perisylvian language networks of human brain. Annals of Neurology, 57, 8-16.
[9] Das, J. P., & Kendrick, M. (1997). PASS reading enhancement program (PREP): A short manual for teachers. Journal of Cognitive Education, 5, 193-208.
[10] Das, J. P., Kar, R., & Parrila, R. K. (1996). Cognitive planning. The psychological basis of intelligent behavior. London: Sage Publications Ltd.
[11] Das, J. P., Naglieri, J. A., & Kirby, J. R. (1994). Assessment of cognitive processes. The PASS theory of intelligence. Massachussets: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
[12] Das, J. P., Garrido, M. A., González, M., Timoneda, C., & Pérez-álvarez, F. (1999). Dislexia y dificultades de lectura. Barcelona: Ediciones Paidós Ibérica SA.
[13] Davis, M. H., Coleman, M. R., Absalom, A.R., Rodd, J. M, Johnsrude, I. S., Matta, B. F. et al. (2007). Dissociating speech perception and comprehension at reduced levels of awareness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104, 16032-16037. http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0701309104
[14] Dobbins, I. G., Schnyer, D. M., Verfaellie, M., & Schacter, D. L. (2004). Cortical activity reductions during repetition priming can result from rapid response learning. Nature, 428, 316-9.
[15] Greicius, M. D., Krasnow, B., Reiss, A. L., & Menon, V. (2003). Functional connectivity in the resting brain: A network analysis of the default mode hypothesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100, 253-258.
[16] Guyton, A. C. & Hall, J. E. (1996). Textbook of medical physiology (9th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders Company.
[17] Hampson, M., Peterson, B. S., Skudlarski, P., Gatenby, J. C., & Gore, J. C. (2002). Detection of functional connectivity using temporal correlations in MR Images. Human Brain Mapping, 15, 247-262.
[18] Le Bihan, D., Mangin, J. F., Poupon, C., Clark, C. A., Pappata, S., Molko, N., & Chabriat, H. (2001). Diffusion tensor imaging: Concepts and applications. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 13, 534-546. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmri.1076
[19] Maggiolo, M., & Pavez, M. (2000). Test para evaluar los procesos fonológicos de simplificación (TEPROSIF). Santiago: Universidad de Chile.
[20] Maldjian, J.A. (2001). Functional connectivity MR imaging: Fact or artifact? AJNR American Journal of Neuroradiology, 22, 239-240.
[21] Matute, E., Rosselli, M., Ardila, A., & Ostrosky-Solis, F. (2005). Evaluación neuropsicológica infantil. México: Universidad de Guadalajara.
[22] Mc Crea, S. M. (2009). A review and empirical study of the composite scales of the Das-Naglieri cognitive assessment system. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 2, 59-79.
[23] McCloskey, M., Caramaza, A., & Basili, A. (1985). Cognitive mechanism in number processing and calculation: evidence from dyscalculia. Brain Cognition, 4, 171-196.
[24] Mesulam, M. M. (1998). From sensation to cognition. Brain, 121, 1013-1052. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/121.6.1013
[25] Morgane, P. J., Galler, J. R., & Mokler, D. J. (2005). A review of systems and networks of the limbic forebrain/limbic midbrain. Progress in Neurobiology, 75, 143-160.
[26] Naglieri, J. A., & Das, J. P. (1997). Cognitive assessment system. Rolling Meadows, IL: Riverside Publishing.
[27] Naglieri, J. A., & Das, J. P. (1995). A reply to Kranzler and Weng’s shooting in the dark. Journal of School Psychology, 33, 159-167.
[28] Pérez-álvarez, F., & Timoneda, C. (2007). A better look at intelligent behavior. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
[29] Perez-Alvarez, F., Fàbregas, M., & Timoneda, C. (2009). Procesamiento cognitivo, fonémico o temporal? Neurologia, 24, 40-44.
[30] Perez-Alvarez, F., Serra-Amaya, C., & Timoneda-Gallart, C. (2009). Cognitive versus behavioral ADHD phenotype: What is it all about? Neuropediatrics, 40, 32-38.
[31] Pujol, J., Reixach, J., Harrison, B. J., Timoneda-Gallart, C., Vilanova, J. C., & Pérez-Alvarez, F. (2008). Posterior cingulate activation during moral dilemma in adolescents. Human Brain Mapping, 29, 910-921.
[32] Raichle, M.E. (1991). Memory mechanisms in the processing of words and word-like symbols. Ciba Foundation Symposium, 163, 198-204.
[33] Raichle, M.E.. (2000). A brief history of human functional brain mapping. In: Toga, A. W., & Mazziotta, J. C. (Eds.), Brain mapping: The systems (pp. 33-75). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
[34] Rapin, I. (1998). Understanding childhood language disorders. Current Opinion in Pediatrics, 10, 561-566.
[35] Rapin, I., & Allen, D.A. (1983). Developmental language disorders: Nosologic considerations. In: U. Kirk (Ed.), Neuropsychology of language, reading and spelling. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
[36] Rosselli-Cock, M. E., Matute-Villasenor, E., Ardila-Ardila, A., Botero-Gómez, V. E., Tangarife-Salazar, G. A., Echeverría-Pulido, S. E., et al. (2004). Una batería neuropsicológica para la evaluación de ninos con edades entre los 5 y 16 anos. Un estudio normativo. Rev Neurol, 38, 720-731.
[37] Sederberg, P. B., Kahana, M. J., Howard, M. W., Donner, E. J., & Madsen, J. R. (2003). Theta and gamma oscillations during encoding predict subsequent recall. Journal of Neuroscience, 23, 10809-10814.
[38] Shalev, R. S., Manor, O., Auerbach, J., & Gross-Tsur, V. (1998). Persistence of developmental dyscalculia: What counts? Results from a 3-year prospective follow-up study. The Journal of Pediatrics, 133, 358-362. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0022-3476(98)70269-0
[39] Shinkareva, S. V., Mason, R. A., Malave, V. L., Wang, W., Mitchell, T. M., & Just, M. A. (2008). Using fMRI brain activation to identify cognitive states associated with perception of tools and dwellings. Plos One, 3, e1394. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0001394
[40] Swaiman, K. F., Ashwal, S., & Ferriero, D. M. (2006). Pediatric neurology. Principles & practice (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Inc.
[41] Swanson, L. W. (2007). Quest for the basic plan of nervous system circuitry. Brain Research Reviews, 55, 356-372.
[42] Swanson, L. W., Grant, G., Hokfelt, T., & Jones, E. G. (2007). Morrison JH. A century of neuroscience discovery: Reflecting on the Nobel Prize awarded to Golgi and Cajal in 1906. Brain Research Reviews, 55, 191-192.
[43] Tallal, P., Miller, S., & Fitch, R. (1993). Neurobiological basis of speech: A case for the preeminence of temporal processing. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 682, 27-47.
[44] Vannest, J., Karunanayaka, P. R., Schmithorst, V. J., Szaflarski, J. P., & Holland, S. K. (2009). Language networks in children: Evidence from functional MRI studies. American Journal of Roentgenology, 192, 1190-1196. http://dx.doi.org/10.2214/AJR.08.2246
[45] Vuilleumier, P., & Pourtois, G. (2007). Distributed and interactive brain mechanisms during emotion face perception: Evidence from functional neuroimaging. Neuropsychologia, 45, 174-194.
[46] World Health Organization (1993). International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems: Diagnostic criteria for research. Tenth Revision (ICD-10), Geneva: World Health Organization.

Copyright © 2021 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.