Visual habituation paradigm with adults with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities: a new way for cognitive assessment?

Journal of applied research in intellectual disabilities : JARID

PubMedID: 25254269

Chard M, Roulin JL, Bouvard M. Visual habituation paradigm with adults with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities: a new way for cognitive assessment?. J Appl Res Intellect Disabil. 2014;27(5):481-8.
BACKGROUND
The use of common psychological assessment tools is invalidated with persons with PIMD. The aim of this study was to test the feasibility of using a visual habituation procedure with a group of adults with PIMD, to develop a new theoretical and practical framework for the assessment of cognitive abilities.

METHODS
To test the existence of the habituation/novelty reaction phenomenon with adults with PIMD, fifteen participants were exposed repeatedly to two different objects, following the principles of a participant-controlled procedure.

RESULTS
Both qualitative and quantitative analyses were carried out. Participants presented the same habituation profiles generally obtained in infancy research.

CONCLUSION
Stimulus presentation has a significant impact on the participants' visual behaviour and fixation measurement appears to be an interesting indicator as to how an individual with PIMD is able to process external information. The elaboration of perceptual tasks based on a visual habituation method is one of the major implications of these results.