Vol. 6 nº 2 - Apr/May/Jun de 2012
Original Article Páginas: 91 a 96

Visual reproduction test in normal elderly: influence of schooling and visual task complexity

Authors Paulo Roberto de Brito-Marques1; José Eulálio Cabral-Filho2; Rafael Moura Miranda2

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keywords: visual reproduction, visual memory, schooling.

ABSTRACT:
Tests of visual reproduction are used to assess visual memory. However, when the test is based on geometrical elements results could be influenced by schooling.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the influence of different schooling levels on performance of a visual reproduction task.
METHODS: A sample of 253 individuals (66 male and 187 female), aged 60 to 92 years were evaluated on a visual reproduction task comprising three geometric pictures of increasing complexity. Each individual was shown a picture for 8 to10 seconds and a drawing of it was then immediately elicited. Four groups were defined according to the following schooling levels: illiterate, 1 to 4 years, 5 to 8 years and over 8 years. Individual performance was measured by summing the items correctly reproduced for the three pictures.
RESULTS: A significant difference for age was found between the illiterate and other three schooling groups. The reproduction of picture one was better reproduced than pictures 2 and 3 for all schooling levels (p<0.001). Pictures 2 and 3 did not differ among the schooling levels. Picture reproduction among the schooling levels showed that the group with over 8 years of schooling performed better on pictures 1 and 2 (p<0.001) but not on picture 3.
CONCLUSION: Individuals aged 60 years or older, with 8 years' schooling or less, showed a reduced capacity to reproduce geometric pictures of a high degree of complexity. Clinical evaluations that use geometrical tests could be misinterpreted when not controlled for schooling level.

 

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