Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Kennard Principle

  • Bradley N. AxelrodEmail author
  • Christian Schutte
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1211


The recently disproven assumption that children recover more rapidly than adults suffering from the same type of brain lesion.

Current Knowledge

Initially proposed by Margaret Kennard in 1936 when studying primates, she found that motor impairment from unilateral lesions to the motor cortex was less severe in infants than in adults. This theory was generalized to humans in claiming that children would sustain less impairment and would recover more rapidly than adults if both sustained brain injury.

The initially widely accepted principle loses credibility as it was discovered that children with diffuse impairment did not recover more rapidly than their adult counterparts. Similarly, very young children did not recover as quickly as elderly adults did. In fact, younger children have greater difficulty with recovery of functions and have more developmental delays than older children. Prognosis for recovery is associated with existing cognitive skills as a foundation. Those...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Further Reading

  1. Duval, J., Braun, C. M. J., Montour-Proulx, I., Daigneault, S., Rouleau, I., & Begin, J. (2008). Brain lesions and IQ: Recovery versus decline depends on age of onset. Journal of Child Neurology, 23(6), 663–668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Webb, C., Rose, F. D., Johnson, D. A., & Attree, E. A. (1996). Age and recovery from brain injury: Clinical opinions and experimental evidence. Brain Injury, 10, 303–310.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.John D. Dingell VA Medical CenterPsychology Section (11MHPS)DetroitUSA
  2. 2.Henry Ford AllegianceJacksonUSA