Systemic Organization of Perceptive Activity in Children with Different Levels of Mental Development

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Visual evoked potentials (EPs) of the left and right hemispheres in response to relevant and irrelevant stimuli in the structures of the left and right hemispheres have been studied in healthy young schoolchildren, learning-disabled (LD) children, and mentally retarded (MR) children. In healthy children, the largest EP variations depending on the stimulus relevancy have been found in associative structures of the left hemisphere. In LD children of the same age, the amplitude and temporal characteristics of left-hemispheric EPs to target and nontarget stimuli are the same. In MR children, EPs to relevant and irrelevant stimuli do not differ from each other in either the left or the right hemisphere. EP latencies are significantly longer in MR children than in healthy children. The results of simultaneous recording of EPs in the left and right hemispheres during isolated stimulation of the right and left visual half-fields indicate that interhemispheric interaction is impaired in children with deviations in mental development. The results of the study are discussed in terms of the psychological characteristics and learning ability of children.

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