Accessibility / Report Error

The generation of visual inferences in normal elderly Influence of schooling and visual complexity

A geração de inferências visuais em idosos normais- influência da escolaridade e complexidade visual


The generation of inferences makes the construction and comprehension of discourse easier, and integrates representations which add coherence to the arguments. Visuoperceptual and inferential deficits merge in the attempt to explain the difficulties that some individuals have in the comprehension of certain kinds of visual stimuli.


a) To examine the performance of cognitively healthy elderly subjects in the execution of visual inferences using pictures of different levels of complexity; b) To compare the performance of subjects according to schooling level.


A total of 45 normal elderly aged from 61 to 82yrs (M=68; SD=0.57) were examined. The subjects were divided into three groups according to schooling level: Group 1 (1 to 4 years); Group 2 (5 to 8 years) and Group 3 (9 or more years). Each subject had to create a narrative based on four figures with controlled visual complexity. The narratives were transcribed, analysed and scored.


For the essential inferences, the high educated group (3) had a better performance in both visually simple and complex conditions. On the visually complex figures, the medium educated group (2) was statistically equivalent to the high educated group for one figure and equivalent to the less educated group (1) for the other. There was no difference among the groups for the accessory propositions.


Visual complexity interferes with the subject's ability to make inferences in low and medium educated individuals. High educated subjects maintain the same performance in making inferences, regardless of the visual complexity level.

Key words:
visual inference; normal elderly; visual and inferential complexity.

Academia Brasileira de Neurologia, Departamento de Neurologia Cognitiva e Envelhecimento R. Vergueiro, 1353 sl.1404 - Ed. Top Towers Offices, Torre Norte, São Paulo, SP, Brazil, CEP 04101-000, Tel.: +55 11 5084-9463 | +55 11 5083-3876 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: |