Error detection in the performance of everyday tasks by patients with frontal lobe lesions: research and literature review

Gerhand, Simon (2003). Error detection in the performance of everyday tasks by patients with frontal lobe lesions: research and literature review. University of Birmingham. Clin.Psy.D.

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The research component of this thesis concerns awareness of when an error is made in the performance of an everyday task. It compares a group of patients with lesions involving the frontal lobes of the brain, to a group of patients whose lesions do not affect this area, and a group of healthy controls. A series of tasks was chosen that people are likely to carry out in everyday life, for greater ecological validity, and participants were videoed carrying these out under controlled conditions. A behavioural coding technique was used to keep a record of the errors made, and also whether there was any indication that the participant was aware of when they made an error. Participants were also asked periodically whether they thought they had made any errors, and what those errors might be. Patients with frontal lesions performed more poorly than healthy controls, although non-frontal patients differed significantly from neither group. When awareness of errors was considered, both patient groups differed from controls, but not from each other. A second experiment was conducted, where participants attempted to identify errors whilst watching their own videos. Under these conditions, frontal patients identified significantly less errors than either non-frontal patients or controls. Reasons for this, and the relevance to different theories are discussed. This paper is prepared for submission to Cognitive Neuropsychology.
The review paper considers the literature on human error detection in general, and its relevance to clinical psychology. The main research paradigms used in this area of study are considered, and emphasis is given to the idea that the human cognitive system has some kind of in-built system for error detection. The literature on error detection in clinical populations is considered. Although this is a relatively new field of study, evidence is accumulating that certain clinical populations do experience difficulty in error detection, and in some cases, this plays a crucial role in understanding the disorder. Data from both clinical and non-clinical populations is considered, and it is concluded that both sources can be used to shed light on the other. This paper is prepared for submission to Clinical Psychology Review.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Clin.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Clin.Psy.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Psychology
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


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