A quantitative study of the "closing-in" symptom in normal children and in brain-damaged patients

Guido Gainotti

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A systematic comparison between the incidence and the qualitative aspects of the "closing-in" sign in normal children (N=118) and in patients affected by localized (N=200) or diffuse (N=132) cerebral lesions was undertaken. The tendency to close-in on the model was observed both in normal children and in patients affected by severe cerebral lesions. This tendency was clearly more frequent in the first stages of the normal infantile evolution (from 2 to 4 years) and in the most advanced stages of the demential dissolution. From the qualitative point of view too, some analogies between the normal evolutive pattern and the demential dissolutive symptomatology were found: • -the youngest children and the most impaired brain-damaged patients showed above all the tendency to scrawl directly on the model; • -in further phases of the normal evolution and in less advanced stages of the demential disintegration other types of closing-in were observed, namely the tendency to trace lines from the models to the surrounding space and to bound, or to overscore the designs to be copied; • -finally, in children of 5-6 years and in the initial phases of the demential dissolution (as well as in focal lesions accompanied by peri-focal cerebral impairment) the main type of closing-in consisted in a slight tendency to make copies as near as possible to the models, which became more evident when the most complicated models were used. The question of why the closing-in sign may be found with such a surprising similarity both in the normal evolutive pattern and in the retrogenic dissolutive symptomatology is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-436
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1972


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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