Tool use in profoundly retarded humans: A method of subgrouping

Research paper by Charles C. Cleland, William V. Rago, Ajit Mukherjee

Indexed on: 24 Oct '13Published on: 24 Oct '13Published in: Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society


Tool using among profoundly mentally retarded (IQ r = 1-19) is described as a method of delineating functional subtypes within this narrow intellectual range. Four cases of tool using and problem solving are presented, illustrative of how naturalistic observation of spontaneous tool using can complement intelligence testing in extracting more from less trainable persons in the lowest functioning human group. Although tool use rarely occurs at this level, its presence suggests an improved method for further training via imitation learning.