A review and empirical study of the composite scales of the Das–Naglieri cognitive assessment system
Simon M McCrea
JP Das Developmental Disabilities Center, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Abstract: Alexander Luria’s model of the working brain consisting of three functional units was formulated through the examination of hundreds of focal brain-injury patients. Several psychometric instruments based on Luria’s syndrome analysis and accompanying qualitative tasks have been developed since the 1970s. In the mid-1970s, JP Das and colleagues defined a specific cognitive processes model based directly on Luria’s two coding units termed simultaneous and successive by studying diverse cross-cultural, ability, and socioeconomic strata. The cognitive assessment system is based on the PASS model of cognitive processes and consists of four composite scales of Planning–Attention–Simultaneous–Successive (PASS) devised by Naglieri and Das in 1997. Das and colleagues developed the two new scales of planning and attention to more closely model Luria’s theory of higher cortical functions. In this paper a theoretical review of Luria’s theory, Das and colleagues elaboration of Luria’s model, and the neural correlates of PASS composite scales based on extant studies is summarized. A brief empirical study of the neuropsychological specificity of the PASS composite scales in a sample of 33 focal cortical stroke patients using cluster analysis is then discussed. Planning and simultaneous were sensitive to right hemisphere lesions. These findings were integrated with recent functional neuroimaging studies of PASS scales. In sum it was found that simultaneous is strongly dependent on dual bilateral occipitoparietal interhemispheric coordination whereas successive demonstrated left frontotemporal specificity with some evidence of interhemispheric coordination across the prefrontal cortex. Hence, support for the validity of the PASS composite scales was found as well as for the axiom of the independence of code content from code type originally specified in 1994 by Das, Naglieri, and Kirby.
Keywords: stroke, focal cortical lesions, Alexander Luria, syndrome analysis, Planning–Attention–Simultaneous–Successive (PASS), cognitive assessment system, hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis, specificity
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