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December 1955

Right-Left Discrimination and Finger Localization in Defective Children

Author Affiliations

Iowa City

From the Department of Psychology, State University of Iowa, and the Woodward State Hospital, Woodward, Iowa.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1955;74(6):583-589. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1955.02330180001001

While right-left disorientation and finger agnosia in adult patients have been described in numerous case reports since the publication of the original descriptions of these perceptual deficits by Obersteiner and by Gerstmann, there have been relatively few observations made on their occurrence in children. In 1938 Strauss and Werner,1 utilizing a test battery which assessed both finger localization and right-left discrimination, reported a relationship between arithmetic achievement and performance on this test battery in a group of subnormal, brain-injured boys. This conclusion seemed to be in accord (or, at least, not in variance) with expectations, in view of the frequent concomitance of impairment in these abilities in the Gerstmann syndrome. However, Benton, Hutcheon, and Seymour,2 reexamining the question, were unable to confirm the contention of a specific association between these somatoperceptual skills and arithmetic achievement. Moreover, an analysis of the Strauss-Werner data indicated that no strong evidence for