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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764


TEIXEIRA, Rosani Aparecida Antunes et al. Memory span measured by the spatial span tests of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery in a group of Brazilian children and adolescents. Dement. neuropsychol. [online]. 2011, vol.5, n.2, pp.129-134. ISSN 1980-5764.

The neuropsychological tests of spatial span are designed to measure attention and working memory. The version of the spatial span test in the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) evaluates these functions through the recall of sequences of spatial locations presented to the subject.


The present study investigated how age, gender and educational level might affect the performance of the non-verbal system.


A total of 60 children and adolescents aged 6 to 18 years were assessed (25 males and 35 females).


The results showed no gender differences in test performance. Children with six or more years of education showed better performance than children with less than three years of education. Older children had more schooling and thus were able to recall a greater number of items. Span length values proved similar to a previous large normative study which also employed the CANTAB Spatial Span (De Luca et al., 2003).


The similarity in performance of the Brazilian children and adolescents studied and the group of Australian participants examined by the cited authors, despite the socio-cultural and economical differences, points to the suitability of the task for the assessment of attention and working memory in Brazilian children.

Keywords : neuropsychological tests; CANTAB; spatial span; working memory; children; educational status..

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