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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764

Dement. neuropsychol. vol.3 no.2 São Paulo Apr./June 2009 

Original Articles

N-Back auditory test performance in normal individuals

Teste N-Back auditivo em indivíduos normais

Vanessa Tomé Gonçalves1 

Letícia Lessa Mansur1 

1Speech pathologist, PhD in Neurogeriatrics. Laboratory of Neurolinguistics. Department of Physiotherapy, Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy of the University of São Paulo School of Medicine, São Paulo SP, Brazil.


The working memory construct refers to the capacity to maintain information for a limited time.


To devise stimuli and adapt the 5-back test and to verify the effect of age in normal Brazilian individuals.


31 healthy adults (15 young adults and 16 older adults) were evaluated by batteries of auditory stimuli to verify the inter-group differences (age effect) in working memory span, total correct answers and intrusions, and the intra-group effect of type of stimulus.


There was no intra-group stimulus effect. Individuals from both groups processed di and tri-syllables similarly. No difference between groups (no age effect) was observed for any N-Back parameters: total score, span, number of intrusions, in either di or tri-syllable presentation.


the processing capacity of 5 elements in phonological working memory was not affected by age.

Key words: age; working memory; cognition.


Memória operacional é um construto que se refere à capacidade de manter a informação acessível para uso por tempo limitado.


Elaborar estímulos e adaptar o teste N-Back auditivo e verificar o efeito de idade em indivíduos brasileiros normais.


31 sujeitos adultos (15 adultos jovens e 16 idosos) foram avaliados por baterias de estímulos auditivos para verificar diferenças inter-grupos (efeito de idade) na capacidade da memória operacional, número de respostas corretas e intrusões e também examinar o efeito do tipo de estímulo intra-grupos.


Não houve efeito significante do estímulo intra-grupo. Indivíduos de ambos os grupos processaram de modo similar di e trissílabos. Não houve diferença entre os grupos (efeito de idade) nos parâmetros: escore total, capacidade de memória operacional, número de intrusões tanto na apresentação com dissílabos como trissílabos.


A capacidade de processar cinco elementos na memória operacional fonológica não foi afetada pela idade.

Palavras-chave: memória operacional; normalidade; idosos.

Texto completo disponível apenas em PDF.

Full text available only in PDF format.


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Received: April 30, 2009; Accepted: May 20, 2009

Vanessa Tomé Gonçalves - Rua Cipotânea, 51- 05360-000 São Paulo SP - Brazil. E-mail:

Disclosure: The authors report no conflicts of interest.

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