We have had a hundred years of testing general intelligence or 'g'. As our research and those of others in cognitive psychology and neuropsychology  have shown, the concept of a global intelligence as measured by standard IQ tests is not very useful  .The variety of investigations into each of the PASS processes get at questions that would not be asked by the so-called 'g' theorists .A special advantage of PASS theory is its application to education. Understanding reading process and interventions rationally guided by the PASS theory are discussed in the presentation.The two intervention programs,PREP&COGENT are illustrated following a brief introduction to PASS theory and Reading.

PASS theory and Word Reading

A.    PASS Theory

Luria (1966) described human cognitive processes within a framework of 3 functional units. The function of the first unit broadly located in the brain-stem and parts of frontal lobe includes the regulation of cortical arousal and attention; the second unit, structurally related to occipital-parietal-frontotemporal lobes, codes information using simultaneous and successive processes; and the third unit linked with the frontal lobe, provides for planning, self-monitoring, and structuring of cognitive activities. Luria's work on the functional organization of brain structures formed the basis of the PASS theory and was used as a blueprint for defining the four components of human intellectual competence.

The PASS theory provides a model to conceptualize human intellectual competence. A practical application of the model to the assessment of cognitive functioning, known as the Das-Naglieri Cognitive Assessment System (Naglieri & Das, 1997), will be discussed later. A logical extension of the theory was the development of the PASS Reading Enhancement Program (PREP), a remediation program for reading difficulties (Das, 1999)

The PASS diagram (see Figure 1) shows the basic division of input, processing and output (Das, Naglieri & Kirby, 1994). First, the input, which is information, received from external sources through our senses and internal sources comprising images, memories and thoughts. Input information can be presented serially, one after another or concurrently, such as when two different words are presented concurrently.

When the sensory information is sent for analyses, the central processes as well as knowledge base become active. There are 4 components that make up the central processing mechanisms. Together these represent the acronym PASS. All 4 processes must be active in the context of an individual's knowledge base. Knowledge can be of two kinds: tacit (spontaneous, experiential) and explicit (formal, instructed). Its base is essentially derived from long-term memory, whose impairment then degrades central processing. The last component of the PASS model is output, which is an action expressed in behavior. By changing the output demand, a change in performance may become evident

B. Successive processes and Reading

Theoretically, successive and simultaneous processing are both important for word reading.  Dual-route theories of word recognition, for example, suggest that a word is recognized either through direct visual access, or through phonological coding of its sounds. The first should relate to mainly simultaneous processing via orthographic processing, and the second primarily to successive processing via phonological processing.  Thus, the two processes should show correlations with word reading.  Figure 2 shows a simplified presentation of these relationships.

The importance of phonological processing in word decoding has been established as discussed in the first part of the present paper. Therefore, successive processes are naturally expected to be more important at the level of word reading.  However, after the initial stages of letter and visual word identification, simultaneous processing may play a secondary role in word reading due to the demand for blending and synthesis to enable the reading of the whole word.  It should, be more strongly related to reading comprehension as confirmed in previous studies (Das, Naglieri & Kirby, 1994). Planning and attention are necessary in all levels of reading, although common decoding tasks are not likely to be affected by minor differences in these executive processes.  Their importance increases as a function of complexity of the reading task. (For further discussion, see Das, Parrila Papadopoulos, 2000)


Figure Captions

Figure 1. Planning Attention Simultaneous Successive (PASS) Model. The diagram shows input and output and processing of information. Processing occurs within the constraints of the individual's knowledge base. Note that each of the four processes is broadly associated with one of the anatomical divisions of the brain. Furthermore, each process involves perception, memory and thinking.

Figure 2. Processes underlying word recognition (adapted from Das, Naglieri, & Kirby, 1994).

            In sum, studies on the relation between reading and PASS demonstrate that simultaneous processing and planning measures with no reading component are good predictors of reading comprehension, whereas successive measures are better predictors of word reading performance. The role of attention is less clear and several studies have found no differences in attention between good and poor readers.  However, if the attention task used involves phonological stimuli, then it can be associated with reading problems. Reading is an interplay between knowledge base on the one hand (such as comprising letter recognition and phonological coding) and proximal and distal cognitive processes on the other. It is suggested that deficient reading can result from problems with any of the PASS components that make up the important distal processes. In the next part, PREP (PASS Reading Enhancement Program) is introduced

Following this,COGENT,a Reading-Readiness programme is briefly introduced.Both sections then are followed by SLIDES from PREP&COGENT programmesproblems

PREP was developed as a cognitive remedial program based on the PASS (planning, attention, simultaneous processing, and successive processing) model of cognitive functioning (Das, Naglieri, & Kirby, 1994). It aims at improving the information processing strategies - specifically, simultaneous and successive processing - that underlie reading, while at the same time avoiding the direct teaching of word reading skills such as phoneme segmentation or blending. PREP is also founded on the premise that the transfer of principles is best facilitated through inductive, rather than deductive, inference (see Das 2001 Reading Difficulties and Dyslexia for details). The program is accordingly structured so that tacitly acquired strategies are likely to be used in appropriate ways.


PREP Manual

The ultimate purpose of this remediation program is to improve a specific academic skill which is reading.  The emphasis up until now has been on removing word-decoding difficulties. The global process training provides children with the opportunity to internalize strategies in their own way, thus maximizing generalization and facilitating transfer.  This remediation program also provides 'bridges', that is, training in strategies that have been shown to be relevant for academic skills of reading and spelling.  These two parts of PREP encourage the application of the strategies to academic tasks through verbal mediation and internalization of processes.

The tasks in this program are designed to provide remediation of successive and simultaneous processing deficiencies, but will also have small effects on other related processes, such as planning and attention.  The criteria for the tasks are:

1.     To provide a structure for the child, in which he/she is by design using the targeted process, either simultaneous or successive processing.

2.     To provide a scaffolding network through a series of prompts which provides the child with only the amount of assistance that is necessary for the child to successfully complete the tasks, and yet ensures maximal success for the child.

  1. To provide a monitoring system able to assess when the material is at too difficult a level for the child, as well as when the child is able to progress successfully to a more difficult level.

The structure of the tasks is such that procedures such as rehearsal, categorization, monitoring of performance, prediction, revision of prediction, sounding and sound blending, etc., are an integral part of the task.  As such, the children develop their ability to use these procedures through experience with the tasks.  Rather than being explicitly taught by the tutor, children are encouraged to become aware of the use of underlying cognitive processes through discussion of what they are doing during and following the tasks.  Growth in ability to use the processes and awareness of appropriate opportunities for use are expected to develop over the course of the remediation.

Each task has a global component, which fosters the development of strategies in a particular aspect of either successive or simultaneous processing.  The bridging component of the task is specifically designed to help the child extend that particular strategy to an academic area such as word identification.  Both bridging and global tasks are further divided into three levels of difficulty, to allow children to progress in strategy development, as well as to allow the child who starts the remediation with some strategies already in place to begin at an appropriate level.

Within each level the items become somewhat more difficult, requiring the child to continue to refine his/her strategies at all stages of the remediation.  In order to avoid a feeling of failure, children must meet an eighty percent criterion to proceed to the next harder level.  If they do not, they complete an alternate set of tasks at the same level to provide the additional training they require.

Although these tasks and the system of prompts have been specifically designed to provide the structure the child needs to encourage the development of processes, children bring to the process their own specific strategies, processing abilities, motivational and attentional attitudes.  For maximum individual benefit from the remediation, ongoing adjustments need to be made to accommodate the child's strengths and weaknesses.  The selection of tasks is not exhaustive.  Many others can be designed to expand and adapt PREP to suit the needs of children once the remediation process is understood.

  COGENT Program

COGENT is based on the PASS Theory of Intelligence (Planning, Attention, Simultaneous and Successive Processing) (Das, Naglieri, & Kirby, 1994). As disussed earlier in this book, the PASS theory proposes that cognition is organized into three systems.  The "Planning" system is responsible for controlling and organizing behavior.  The "Attention" system is responsible for maintaining arousal levels, alertness and assuring focus on appropriate stimuli.  The Processing system employs simultaneous and successive processes to encode, transform and retain information.  In "Simultaneous" processing, information is coded so that relations among items can be seen and information integrated.  In "Successive" processing, information is coded so that the only links between items are sequential in nature.

      When you read the description of the 5 Modules of COGENT later, watch  how  far each of the following operations are present  in the tasks that the children are asked to  do. For in each Module, children are engaged in three main mental activities: They perceive, they remember, and they must  think and conceptualize(Das,Kirby&Jarman,1975). Let us elaborate these operations  in one of the Modules .

In one Module(#1), children are asked to squeeze a ball once whenever  the teacher shows the picture of a small animal and squeeze twice when the picture shows a big animal, BUT not squeeze at all when a flower picture is shown. Animal  pictures are a whale, an  elephant, a butterfly  and a cat. 

Perceive: Children have  to look at the picture, all of its features.

Remember: As soon as they have looked at it, they reach into their memory- images of the animal if they have seen one before, of other pictures of the same animal although none of them looked exactly the same,  then recognize it  and give it a name -- an elephant or a butterfly , or...Upon recognizing it they are also reminded of  many things about that animal, but must focus on its size-is it a big animal, or a small animal?

Think and Conceptualize: What am I supposed to do? How am I going to respond? Oh, Yes, Squeeze the ball  once because  it's a  butterfly . It is really a little animal although in the picture, it has the same size as the elephant. Oh well, this is tricky because all pictures are of the same size!

The  four cognitive processes are  used in each one of those mental operations.

For example :

First things first, children have to pay attention to what the teacher is showing them. Attention!

The teacher goes on showing the pictures faster and faster.Children have to maintain their rhythm of squeezes,squeeze faster and faster , in sequence as the pictures are shown.Successive  processing!

The picture has to be recognized and placed in the class of big or little animals.Simultaneous processing!

Then children have to plan how many times they need to squeeze the ball, squeeze  the ball according to their inner voice-Hey!This is a big animal, Squeeze,Squeeze.   Planning.

Some children may be good at one kind of processing, but not so good in the other. But all mental activities use each of these processes to some extent, some  need  more , some less. Cognitive enhancement is a word for promoting the processes, making it easier for  children to do the mental operations that  are appropriate,  to make a habit of using the processes quickly without much effort. COGENT helps the children to use them in academic work.

COGENT should benefit cognitive  growth  of typically developing children as well as children with special needs, such as those with limited exposure to literacy, mild developmental delay, language impairment, and those at risk for developing dyslexia and other learning difficulties. The program is suitable for classroom instruction as well as for one-on-one and small group training in clinical and educational settings.