Abstract in English:Color vision consists of the discrimination of objects based on their spectral composition. Among primates, the majority of Platyrrhini monkeys are estimated to have polymorphic and sex-linked dichromacy. The objective of this study was to compare the results produced by different equipment and software for the assessment of tri- and dichromatic conditions in one male and two female Cebus apella. Three experiments were programmed. In Experiment 1, verifying the trichromatic condition of one female subject and dichromatic condition of the remainder of the subjects was possible using an adapted version of the Cambridge Colour Test. Experiment 2 confirmed the results of Experiment 1 using a different array of stimuli of the same test. Experiment 3, which produced results similar to Experiment 2, consisted of a test developed for a standard computer system using stimuli with color properties similar to the ones used in the previous experiment. Favorable conditions for the assessment of color vision in Platyrrhini can be built with low-cost equipment and software. Once data have been gathered with additional subjects and new stimulus arrangements have been tested and confirmed, the procedure can be used for the evaluation of other Platyrrhini species for which behavioral color discrimination data are currently lacking.
Abstract in English:A wide range of animal and human investigations have tested the neurobiological and immunological aspects of noise. Few studies, however, have explored the behavioral characteristics of noise on neuromotor movements. To examine this correlation, we tested the effects of continuous intensive noise on retention and contextual transfer in a spatial memory task in adult male rats. The natural noise was recorded in a football stadium and set at high (HI), moderate (MI), and low (LI) intensities, levels corresponding to 86-90, 64-68, and 52-54 A-weighted decibels (dbA), respectively. Rats were trained in a Morris water maze for 3 consecutive days. On day 4, visible and probe tests were conducted under the same intensities. Retention was evaluated on day 7 with high-intensity noise exposure. The contextual transfer test was held on day 8 after exposure to 30-min high-intensity noise. The escape latency and distance traveled were recorded and used for subsequent analyses. Our results showed significant increases in latency and distance traveled, attributable to increasing the noise intensity during the acquisition period. Additionally, performance in the LI group was significantly impaired in the retention test at the high intensity. In the contextual transfer test, results showed no significant increase except in the LI group, whereas a higher latency and distance traveled were found in the HI group. High-intensity noise appeared to damage the learning process. However, because the most robust results were found in the MI group, training with moderate-intensity noise can promote better performance under continuous high-intensity noise.
Abstract in English:Circadian rhythms are entrained to cyclic environmental cues such as the light-dark cycle and food availability. The suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus is the main circadian oscillator in mammals and is entrained primarily by the light-dark cycle, although in some experimental situations food availability can affect its oscillation. Here we tested whether scheduled restricted feeding is capable of influencing the reentrainment of the motor activity rhythm (i.e., a behavioral rhythm controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus) to a 6-h phase advance of the light-dark cycle. Rats were housed in a standard 12 h:12 h light-dark cycle for 18 days, and then the time of lights-off was advanced. Rats subjected to scheduled restricted feeding starting on the first day of the light-dark shift showed faster reentrainment of the motor activity rhythm compared with control rats maintained with ad libitum food. The results showed that scheduled feeding effectively accelerates reentrainment of a behavioral circadian rhythm and suggest that the procedure may affect activity in the suprachiasmatic nucleus during the stage of reentrainment to light-dark shifts.
Abstract in English:A delay in bedtime occurs in adolescence compared with childhood. However, the early waking that morning school hours impose leads to partial sleep deprivation. Although exposure to light is the most important regulator of circadian rhythm in mammals, physical exercise influences circadian synchronization. To assess the effect of morning physical exercise in sunlight on the sleep-wake cycle (SWC) in adolescents, 160 first- and second-year high-school students were exposed to classes in their usual classroom (Group C) or in a swimming pool exposed to sunlight (Group E) while physically exercising (EE; i.e., swimming) or resting (EL). At baseline, we applied Health and Sleep and Horne & Ostberg chronotype assessment questionnaires. One week later and during the intervention, we applied the Sleep Diary and Karolinska Sleepiness Scale. During the intervention we observed no changes in bedtime, time in bed and in indices of irregularity of bedtime and wake-up time. The changes observed in wake-up time (i.e., a delay in the EE group on Saturday), sleep quality (i.e., an improvement), and sleepiness (i.e., an increase) were also observed in the control group, discarding an intervention effect. We suggest that morning physical exercise in sunlight had no effect on SWC parameters, sleep quality, or daytime sleepiness, possibly because of the large irregularity in the SWC between weekdays and weekends in adolescent students as well as the low frequency and duration of exercise during the intervention. Therefore, studies that evaluate a higher frequency or duration of exercise are needed to assess its effect on the SWC in adolescents.
Abstract in English:Although the levels of processing framework have evolved over its nearly 40 years of existence, the essence of the idea has not changed from the original. The original article published in 1972 suggests that in the encoding stage of a stimulus, there is a series of processing hierarchies ranging from the shallowest level (perceptual processing-the subject initially perceives the physical and sensory characteristics of the stimulus) to the deepest level (semantic processing-related to pattern recognition and extraction of meaning). The depth processing is associated with high levels of retention and long-term memory traces. After extensive research and criticism, the authors added several concepts that aided in a better understanding of levels of processing framework and the items that subjects can recall such as transfer-appropriate processing and robust encoding. However, there are still some gaps in this framework that call for new scientific investigations, ranging from experimental paradigms with lists of words with healthy or pathological conditions subject to neuroimaging studies to confirm, refute or improve the framework. The aim of this article is to review the publications (articles and book chapters) dating from the original article to the present day to better understand the mnemonic process in terms of levels of processing and to highlight some of its contributions.
Abstract in English:In this study we used the dual-task paradigm to investigate the involvement of attention in the binding of verbal and visual information in working memory. A secondary task, backward counting by threes (BCT), was performed during the retention interval of the primary recognition task based on either visual or verbal information or the binding of both. The BCT affected accuracy and response time. Accuracy was affected only in the binding condition; response time was affected only in the isolated information condition. Together these results suggest that storing integrated visual and verbal information requires more attentional resources than storing information received separately. These results are discussed in terms of involvement of the central executive in storing integrated information in working memory.
Abstract in English:The term "social cognition" generally refers to the mental operations that underlie social interactions including the perception and interpretation of the intentions, dispositions, and behaviors of others and the generation of a response to these behaviors. Social cognition has been considered a valuable and promising field that strives to understand the nature and outcome of major mental disorders. This article discusses the concept of social cognition and its relationship to Theory of Mind (ToM). Theory of Mind in autistic spectrum disorders has been studied since the 1980s, and cognitive impairments in these disorders may be restricted to ToM deficits because other cognitive domains and nonsocial intelligence are preserved. This article addresses the issues of human ontogeny, reviews the main findings from research on schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and summarizes the tools commonly used in the assessment of these illnesses.
Abstract in English:In the present study we present Brazilian normative ratings of pleasantness and relevance for a sample of German adjectives, with the aim of contributing to the development of psychosocial and neuropsychological instruments, among other related fields. Three judges validated a preliminary list of 186 German adjectives translated to Brazilian Portuguese. A coefficient of content validity (CCV) was obtained to evaluate the degree of agreement among the judges in two dimensions: equivalence and clearness. The final list contained 136 items. The CCV for the aggregate of the 136 adjectives was .90 for equivalence and .91 for clearness. These adjectives were subsequently rated for pleasantness and relevance by 385 Brazilian participants aged 17 to 68 years. The Brazilian ratings were compatible with the original German ratings. Agreement frequency was 73-99% for pleasantness and 44-96% for relevance. These norms may be useful for both national and cross-cultural studies between Germany and Brazil and can be used in a wide range of fields including social cognition, cognitive psychology, and clinical neuropsychology. Importantly, items from this list of adjectives can be used to develop instruments to assess memory, language, and mental representations, among other cognitive processes.
Abstract in English:Executive functions (EF) is a general term that refers to cognitive processes designed to organize and adapt human behavior in situations that require planning and decision making, problem solving, initiation and inhibition of actions, and adapting to changes. Among the main components of executive processes, we can emphasize the ability to inhibit and to present cognitive flexibility due to changes. Understanding the relationships among the various components of EF in adults and children has been a focus in the literature. However, these processes are complex and multiple. The present study sought to determine whether correlations exist among performances measured by different tools used to evaluate EF in school-age children. The sample comprised 59 children aged 8 to 12 years attending public schools. Participants were assessed using verbal fluency tasks and narrative discourse with the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Communication-MAC Battery, random-number generation, the Hayling Test, the Bells Test, and the n-back test. Correlation analyses were performed using Pearson's correlation coefficient. The results suggested a closer relationship among some components of the evaluation of EF, especially among tasks that assess inhibition and cognitive flexibility.
Abstract in English:Adequate emotion recognition is relevant to individuals' interpersonal communication. Patients with frontal traumatic brain injury (TBI) exhibit a lower response to facial emotional stimuli, influencing social interactions. In this sense, the main goal of the current study was to assess the ability of TBI patients in recognizing basic emotions. Photographs of facial expressions of five basic emotions (happiness, sadness, fear, anger, and surprise) were presented to 32 TBI patients and 41 healthy controls. Emotion recognition was measured by accuracy and reaction time. Overall performance of the TBI group was poorer than control group for emotion recognition, both in terms of accuracy and reaction time. It is suggested that TBI patients show impairment on emotion recognition, and this relation seems to be moderated by the lesion localization.
Abstract in English:Recent studies have demonstrated that nondemented patients with Parkinson's disease with visual hallucinations had lower scores on frontal-executive tasks than parkinsonian patients without hallucinations, most likely due to defective cholinergic circuitry. The aim of the present study is to investigate whether development of visual hallucinations in patients with Alzheimer's disease may also be related to more severe frontal dysfunctions. In the present study, 36 patients were included who were affected by probable Alzheimer's disease (18 with visual hallucinations and 18 without) and 38 patients affected by idiopathic Parkinson's disease (19 with visual hallucinations and 19 without). Patients completed a neuropsychological test battery and a short questionnaire to collect information about hallucination types and features. Multivariate analysis showed that patients with Alzheimer's disease scored significantly lower than patients with Parkinson's disease and that patients with hallucinations scored significantly lower than patients without hallucinations. Within both the Alzheimer's disease group and the Parkinson's disease group, patients with visual hallucinations scored significantly lower than patients without visual hallucinations, particularly on tests evaluating frontal-executive functions. These results demonstrate that patients with visual hallucinations show a significant impairment on tests tapping frontal-executive functions in Alzheimer's disease, as previously demonstrated (and verified here) in Parkinson's disease. On this basis it seems likely that analogous cognitive mechanisms underlie development of visual hallucinations in both degenerative diseases. Moreover, we may speculate that a defective circuitry of the prefrontal cortex is crucial for the genesis of hallucinations.
Abstract in English:Panic disorder (PD) is a pluridimensional condition that leads to psychological suffering. Due to advances in neuroimaging techniques, important contributions have been made in the understanding of the neurobiological basis of PD. However, because of diverging research designs and protocols, more conclusive data concerning the neurocircuitry of PD remain difficult to achieve. To address this issue, a bibliographical search was performed using the Institute for Scientific Information Web of Science and Medline/PubMed databases. Fifteen articles were found, and their research methodology including sample, comorbidity, gender, and pharmacological criteria were explored. Although current functional magnetic resonance imaging studies of PD constitute fundamental tools for health sciences, more uniform research protocols must be implemented to provide more consistent and conclusive data concerning the neural substrates of PD.
Abstract in English:Bipolar disorder is a recurrent and chronic disorder with significant morbidity and mortality. Currently, pharmacological treatment is considered indispensable in bipolar disorder. However, despite advances in this area, treatment remains suboptimal. A large body of research has shown that innumerable psychosocial factors influence the emergence of mood disorders. Therefore, in addition to pharmacological strategies, psychological interventions are increasingly recognized as an essential component in the treatment of bipolar patients. Among the various approaches of psychosocial interventions, psychoeducation (PE) has been one of the most used. Thus, the aim of this review was to evaluate the efficacy of PE in the clinical course, treatment adherence, and psychosocial functioning of bipolar patients by collecting data from controlled trials that used solely PE as a psychosocial approach. A systematic review of the literature was performed in the PubMed and SCOPUS databases, without date limits, using the following keywords: Psychoeducation and Bipolar disorder. We found 13 randomized controlled trials. Psychoeducation significantly improved the clinical course, treatment adherence, and psychosocial functioning of bipolar patients. It also reduced the number of relapses and recurrences per patient and increased the time to depressive, manic, hypomanic, and mixed recurrences. The number and length of hospitalizations per patient were also lower in patients who received PE. Although we found a limited number of randomized controlled trials that evaluated the efficacy of PE in bipolar disorder, the studies showed positive results in reducing relapse rates and improving long-term treatment adherence. Additionally, PE intervention improves the knowledge of the illness for both patients and caregivers to reduce their distress and improve overall social functioning.
Abstract in English:We present a review of several hypotheses concerning the possible neurobiological correlates of the main processes involved in analytic therapy. Attachment theory may represent an interesting link between psychoanalysis and neurobiology. According to Bowlby's conception, interactions with parental figures during infancy lead to the formation of an "internal working model." This determines how the individual will relate with others and cope with stress throughout life. The patterns formed are in many cases pathological. The internal working model is stored as implicit memory, which is expressed independently of consciousness. Clinical improvement in analytic therapy ultimately depends on changes in the implicit memory system, which entails structural brain modifications. Implicit memory system changes may be related to alterations in explicit memory systems, which result from interpretative work. They may also occur directly as a result of the emotional experiences in the patient-analyst relationship.