Soft signs refer to subtle abnormalities in sensory-perceptual, motor, or other central nervous system functions. They are findings that are pathological at any age but more subtle manifestations of hard signs or behaviors that are abnormal because they persist beyond a normal age. In contrast to hard neurological signs, they are nonspecific indicators of impairment and are not associated with focal brain dysfunction or any specific disease process. They may not cause functional impairment. Examples of neurological soft signs (NSS) include clumsiness, motor incoordination, motor overflow, difficulty with motor sequencing or rapid successive movements, stereognosis or graphesthesia, right-left confusion, and extinction in response to double simultaneous stimulation.
The concept of soft signs originated in the early twentieth century. Samuel Orton was the...
References and Reading
- Deuel, R. K. (2002). Motor soft signs and development. In S. J. Segalowitz & I. Rapin (Eds.), Handbook of neuropsychology, Part I (Vol. 8, 2nd ed., pp. 367–383). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
- Spreen, O., Risser, A. H., & Edgell, D. (1995). Soft neurological signs and their significance. In Developmental neuropsychology (pp. 347–362). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar