2.0 CE Credits: JINS Special Issue: INS 50th Anniversary - Pediatric Disorders (JINS 23:9-10, 2017): CE Bundle 4

2.0 Hours of Continuing Education credits are available for reading this series. You must read ALL THREE critical reviews in order to receive credit, and you must pass the evaluation with a score of at least 75%.

On this page you may review the learning objectives for this series, as well as the titles, authors, and abstracts for each critical review.

CLICK HERE to view this overall issue on the Cambridge University Press website.


At the completion of reading these materials, learners will be able to:
  1. Describe the major defining features of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and discuss major obstacles to ASD research
  2. Explain influential theories of behavior and neuropsychological function related to ADHD
  3. Discuss contemporary approaches to neuropsychological assessment and intervention of learning disabilities


Facilitating Autism Research

Deborah Fein and Molly Helt

Early autism research focused on behavior and cognition. In recent decades, the pace of research has accelerated, and advances in imaging and genetics have allowed the accumulation of biological data. Nevertheless, a coherent picture of the syndrome at either phenotypic or biological level has not emerged. We see two fundamental obstacles to progress in basic understanding of autism. First, the two defining features (impairment in social interactions and communication, and restricted, repetitive behaviors and interests) are historically seen as integrally related. Others hold that these two major traits are fractionable and must be studied independently, casting doubt on autism as a coherent syndrome. Second, despite much recent research on brain structure and function, environmental factors, and genetics/genomics, findings on the biological level have not generally aligned well with those on the phenotypic level. In the first two sections, we explore these challenges, and in the third section, we review approaches that may facilitate progress, such as (1) including in studies all individuals defined by social impairment without regard to repetitive behaviors, (2) forming narrowly defined subtypes by thorough characterization on specific features, both diagnostic and non-diagnostic, (3) focusing on characteristics that may be relatively robust to environmental influence, (4) studying children as early as possible, minimizing environmental influence, and including longitudinal course as an important part of the phenotype, (5) subtyping by environmental risk factors, (6) distinguishing between what participants can do and what they typically do, and (7) aggregating large data sets across sites. (JINS, 2017, 23, 903–915)

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Historical Neuropsychological Perspective

E. Mark Mahone and Martha B. Denckla

The behavior patterns of hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention that would ultimately become recognized as Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have been described for centuries. Nevertheless, in the past 35 years, advances in diagnostic methods, identification of biomarkers, and treatments have advanced at an exponential rate. ADHD is now recognized as the most common behavioral disorder of childhood, with risks extending well into adulthood for both males and females, leading to its identification as a significant public health issue. This historical neuropsychological review of ADHD emphasizes scientific highlights in the past 35 years related to ADHD, including the evolution of the diagnosis (from Hyperkinetic Reaction of Childhood to ADHD), influential theories (executive functions, cognitive-energetic, delay aversion), landmark treatment studies (Multimodal Treatment of ADHD [MTA] and Preschool ADHD Treatment Study [PATS]), and advances in brain mapping techniques (anatomic, functional, and resting state magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging). The review concludes by highlighting the challenges of studying and treating a heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder like ADHD, with emphasis on associated disorders and conditions (learning disabilities, sluggish cognitive tempo), special populations (girls, preschoolers, adults), and recommendations for scientific inquiry in the next 35 years. Neuropsychologists are well positioned to address the clinical and research challenges of the next generation of studies, especially involving advances in understanding the sexual dimor.phism, full developmental course, and dynamic risks associated with ADHD. (JINS, 2017, 23, 916–929)

Neuropsychology of Learning Disabilities: The Past and the Future

Jack M. Fletcher and Elena L. Grigorenko

Over the past 50 years, research on children and adults with learning disabilities has seen significant advances. Neuropsychological research historically focused on the administration of tests sensitive to brain dysfunction to identify putative neural mechanisms underlying learning disabilities that would serve as the basis for treatment. Led by research on classifying and identifying learning disabilities, four pivotal changes in research paradigms have produced a contemporary scientific, interdisciplinary, and international understanding of these disabilities. These changes are (1) the emergence of cognitive science, (2) the development of quantitative and molecular genetics, (3) the advent of noninvasive structural and functional neuroimaging, and (4) experimental trials of interventions focused on improving academic skills and addressing comorbid conditions. Implications for practice indicate a need to move neuropsychological assessment away from a primary focus on systematic, comprehensive assessment of cognitive skills toward more targeted performance-based assessments of academic achievement, comorbid conditions, and intervention response that lead directly to evidence-based treatment plans. Future research will continue to cross disciplinary boundaries to address questions regarding the interaction of neurobiological and contextual variables, the importance of individual differences in treatment response, and an expanded research base on (a) the most severe cases, (b) older people with LDs, and (c) domains of math problem solving, reading comprehension, and written expression. (JINS, 2017, 23, 930–940)