It is definitely not sufficient to categorise these cases as language deficits- it is evident that language deficits can assume a broad array of forms. In every cognitive sphere, comprising language, memory, visual perception, abstract reasoning, and attention, it is likely to discover fascinating instances of dissociations within a particular cognitive function or if not interesting alterations of the normal mechanism (Bradshaw & Mattingley 1995). The implication these cases present is obvious, and not unforeseen to clinicians and researches in the discipline of neuropsychology (Maruish & Moses 1997): ‘within any given cognitive function, a whole range of things can go wrong; conversely, a specific deficit in memory, attention, or language can manifest itself in a variety of interesting ways’ (p. 59). Therefore, how can practitioners approach and understand this wide range of deficits? To what level can experimental neuropsychology inform practitioners what type of disorders may take place and how they manifest core brain processes? To what level can clinical neuropsychology help practitioners to develop frameworks of cognitive functioning that can explain both disordered and normal performance?
In the recent decade, there has been a remarkable and functional union of framework within the clinical and experimental branches of neuropsychology (Stirling 2002). It can be seen in these two fields the increasing application of component process analysis in formulating paradigms of cognitive functions and in formulating assessment methods to diagnose the nature of different disorders (Vasterling & Brewin 2005). This paper attempts to review the model for this kind of approach, and then to explain how it could be relevant in two distinct areas: spatial attention and visual imagery. These illustrations demonstrate how clinical and experimental viewpoints can be integrated within a potent and descriptive