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Dyslexia defined. by Macdonald Critchley and Eileen A. Critchley Charles C Thomas Springfield il 1978 161 pp illustrated $15

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BOOKS
Reviews
Integrative Functions of the Autonomic
Nervous System
Edited by Chandler McC. Brooks, Kiyomi Koizumi,
and Akio Sato
ElsevierlNorth-Holland Biomedical Press, Amsterdam, 1979
508 pp, illustrated, $85.25
This multiauthored book arose from two symposia on autonomic control, held 1974 in Tokyo and 1978 in New
York. The book surveys many levels of autonomic regulation, from secretion of saliva to behavior. Most chapters are
narrowly focused on the research interest of the authors
and include many complex tables, charts, and raw data. T h e
book is therefore primarily directed to researchers already
familiar with the field and cannot be recommended for the
reader wishing a comprehensive, easily read summary.
Warren Strittmatter, M D
Department of Neurology
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX 77030
Cerebral Motor Control i n Man:
Long Loop Mechanisms
(Progress i n Clinical Neurophysiology, Vol4)
Edited by J . E. Desmedt
S. Karger, Basel, 1978
393 pp, illustrated, $49.00
Physiological T r e m o r , Pathological T r e m o r
and Clonus
(Progress in Clinical Neurophysiology, Vol 5)
Edited by J.E. Desmedt
S. Karger, Basel, I978
218 pp, illustrated, $59.00
These two books are part of a series designed to present a
brief but comprehensive review of the rapidly advancing
field of clinical neurophysiology. Volumes 4 and 5 are devoted to special aspects of the motor system. Only recently,
the results of animal experiments on the motor system have
converged with the results of clinical physiological studies.
This has occurred largely because of the pioneering work
of Evarts and his colleagues in awake, behaving animals and
because of the development of sophisticated technology
and application of quantitative technique to human subjects by investigators such as Nasher, Stein, Houk, and
Desmedt. The books contain chapters by these authors
and others. T h e presentations o n the whole are excellent
and have easily interpreted figures.
Although both volumes feature introductory chapters
setting the stage for later in-depth discussions, the texts will
not be easily understood by the medical student, neuroscience resident, or clinician. However, for any member of
these groups who is interested in the motor system, the
books offer excellent summaries of current methodology
and problems in their respective fields. Works with multiauthor presentations averaging 10 to 15 pages each
would, at first glance, appear to lack continuity. This is not
the case with either volume-the
many chapters are tied
together, probably by the narrow subject matter of each
one.
312
It must be emphasized that a background in basic and
clinical motor physiology is necessary before reading any of
the chapters. With this reservation, each presentation is
easily understood by itself, and chapters need not be read
serially. The volumes should be available to any neuroscientist working in the motor systems or interested in the
latest developments in the field. The Progress in Clinical
Physiology series fills a need, as there are no comparable
texts available.
Wayne E. Crill, M D
Veterans Administration Hospital
4435 Beacon Ave S
Seattle, W A 98 108
Dyslexia Defined
By Macdonald Critchley and Eileen A. Critchley
Charles C Thomas, Springfield, IL, 1978
16 I pp, illustrated, $15 S O
This monograph concisely reviews what is known and surmised about developmental dyslexia. As in Developmental
Dyslexia (1964) and The Dyslexic Child (1970), previous
works by Macdonald Critchley, the style is engaging, the
references classic, the point of view gently but firmly supported. The basic theories and explanations have remained
the same, but there is amazingly little repetition of clinical
exemplar. This reflects the heart of the value of the book: a
wealth of clinical experience allows the authors to take
bounding short cuts through the thick undergrowth of
published opinion that has sprung up around the subject of
developmental dyslexia.
Dyslexia is not so much defined by the book as aptly described and circumscribed. The complex relationships of
reading difficulties to problems with other subjects such as
arithmetic are cogently discussed, helping to counteract a
recent trend toward lumping all developmental learning
problems into the category of dyslexia. The chaprer “Dyslexics Are N o t Necessarily Clumsy” is a good example. An
attempt at a strict division of dyslexia into primary (constitutional) and secondary (resulting from “minimal brain
damage”) types is not particularly successful. Although an
accurate distinction would surely facilitate proper remediation and enhance development of an appropriate parental
attitude, there is no clear means by which to make such a
distinction.
Remediation of dyslexia is stated firmly as a goal that is
both possible and necessary. This view has often been
called into question by others, and it is refreshing to see it
soundly reaffirmed by these respected writers. In summary,
Dyslexia Dt$ned is a succinct progress report on the thinking of a neurologist with a broad perspective and a large
fund of clinical experience. As such it necessarily omits
some important theories, but still has an appeal that more
exhaustive and copiously referenced treatises on the subject cannot exert.
Pages 137 and 13t? were missing from my copy of the
book.
Ruthmary K. Deuel, M D
Department of Pediatria
St. Lou is Children’s Hospital
500 S Kingshighway Blvd
St. Louis,MO 63 178
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defined, springfield, dyslexia, 1978, illustrated, thomas, macdonald, charles, critchley, eileen, 161
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