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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764

Dement. neuropsychol. vol.5 no.2 São Paulo Apr./June 2011

https://doi.org/10.1590/S1980-57642011DN05020012 

Original Articles

Memory span measured by the spatial span tests of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery in a group of Brazilian children and adolescents

Capacidade de memória medida por testes de retenção espacial da bateria neuropspicologica computadorizada de Cambridge em um grupo de crianças e adolescentes brasileiros

Rosani Aparecida Antunes Teixeira1 

Elaine Cristina Zachi1 

Daniela Tsubota Roque1 

Anita Taub2 

Dora Fix Ventura1 

1Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo SP, Brazil;

2Instituto de Psiquiatria, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo SP, Brazil.


Abstract

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.

Objective:

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

Methods:

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

Results:

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).

Conclusion:

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.

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

Resumo

Testes neuropsicológicos de span visuoespacial são construídos para avaliar amplitude atencional e memória de trabalho. Na versão do teste de span visuoespacial da Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) essa avaliação é feita através de sequências de localização espacial.

Objetivo:

O presente estudo investiga como a idade, o sexo e a escolaridade podem afetar o desempenho nesse sistema não-verbal.

Métodos:

Foram avaliadas 60 crianças e adolescentes com idades entre 6 e 18 anos (25 meninos; 35 meninas).

Resultados:

Os resultados não mostraram diferenças no desempenho do teste entre os sexos. O grupo de crianças com seis ou mais anos de escolaridade foi melhor do que a de crianças menores de três anos de estudo. Nossos resultados sugerem que as crianças mais velhas e, portanto, com maior tempo de escolaridade conseguem se lembrar de um número maior de itens. Os valores de amplitude foram similares aos obtidos em um experimento normativo prévio amplo no qual foi utilizado o teste Spatial Span do CANTAB (De Luca et al., 2003).

Conclusão:

Estas concordâncias de desempenhos entre crianças e adolescentes brasileiros e o grupo de participantes australianos examinados pelos autores citados nos mostram que apesar das diferenças sócio-culturais e econômicas existentes, a tarefa é adequada para avaliação de atenção e memória de trabalho em crianças brasileiras.

Palavras-chave: testes neuropsicológicos; CANTAB; spatial span; memória de trabalho; criança; nível de escolaridade.

Texto completo disponível apenas em PDF.

Full text available only in PDF format.

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Received: March 02, 2011; Accepted: May 05, 2011

Rosani Aparecida Antunes Teixeira - Av. Prof. Mello Morais, 1721 / Bloco A / Sala D-9 - 05508-030 São Paulo SP - Brazil. Email: rosanit@usp.br

Disclosure: The authors reports no conflicts of interest.

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