Comments on the single case approach to the study of memory and other domains of cognition

Max Coltheart*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Juliet Holdstock and her colleagues identify two different kinds of neuropsychological single case study. The first kind focuses on the brain: the aim of this kind of study, they say, is “to identify precisely what deficits relatively selective damage/dysfunction of a specific structure causes and, by appropriately qualified inference to identify what the cognitive functions of the critical structure are when it is working properly.” The second kind of single case study focuses on cognition: for this kind of study, they say, the sole interest is to find behavioural dissociations in order to determine how the normal human mind is functionally organized. The transparency assumption assumes that the inferences drawn “will be assumed to be true of all individuals in the reference population. This argument is only valid if the assumption of universality is true”.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCases of amnesia
    Subtitle of host publicationcontributions to understanding memory and the brain
    EditorsSarah E. MacPherson, Sergio Della Sala
    Place of PublicationNew York, NY
    PublisherTaylor and Francis
    Number of pages9
    ISBN (Electronic)9780429659485, 9780429023880
    ISBN (Print)9781138545557, 9781138545564
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Publication series

    NameFrontiers of Cognitive Psychology


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