BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Defining ‘Normal’: methodological issues in Aphasia and intelligence research

    Lorch, Marjorie (2022) Defining ‘Normal’: methodological issues in Aphasia and intelligence research. Cortex 153 , pp. 224-234. ISSN 0010-9452.

    48163.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript
    Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

    Download (421kB) | Preview


    Theodore H. Weisenburg (1876-1934) and a series of colleagues embarked on a research program in 1927 to develop standardized tests to investigate the nature of language and intellectual impairments in aphasic and non-aphasic individuals. This project culminated in two significant contributions to neuropsychological testing (Weisenburg and MacBride, 1935; Weisenburg, Roe and McBride, 1936). After an initial study demonstrated the problematic aspects of Henry Head’s aphasia tests (1926), Weisenburg developed a new battery of tests which were given to individuals with aphasia. The significant innovation of this work was the original concept of a matched control group. This included those with other neurological impairments, and a range of non-neurologically impaired individuals with the aim of providing a characterization of what was ‘normal’. They identified many crucial participant variables regarding age, education, and socioeconomic status and used population statistics to ensure their control sample was representative. A detailed critical assessment of each of their successive elaborations is examined, focusing on the methodological innovations they represent. The contribution of this work to contemporaries and successive generations of neuropsychologists is examined regarding ongoing issues in clinical testing and research design.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): aphasia, methodology, normal, assessment, control group
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 04 May 2022 12:41
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:53


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item