Vol. 6 nº 2 - Apr/May/Jun de 2012
Original Article Páginas: 91 a 96

Visual reproduction test in normal elderly: influence of schooling and visual task complexity

Authors Paulo Roberto de Brito-Marques1; José Eulálio Cabral-Filho2; Rafael Moura Miranda2


keywords: visual reproduction, visual memory, schooling.

Tests of visual reproduction are used to assess visual memory. However, when the test is based on geometrical elements results could be influenced by schooling.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the influence of different schooling levels on performance of a visual reproduction task.
METHODS: A sample of 253 individuals (66 male and 187 female), aged 60 to 92 years were evaluated on a visual reproduction task comprising three geometric pictures of increasing complexity. Each individual was shown a picture for 8 to10 seconds and a drawing of it was then immediately elicited. Four groups were defined according to the following schooling levels: illiterate, 1 to 4 years, 5 to 8 years and over 8 years. Individual performance was measured by summing the items correctly reproduced for the three pictures.
RESULTS: A significant difference for age was found between the illiterate and other three schooling groups. The reproduction of picture one was better reproduced than pictures 2 and 3 for all schooling levels (p<0.001). Pictures 2 and 3 did not differ among the schooling levels. Picture reproduction among the schooling levels showed that the group with over 8 years of schooling performed better on pictures 1 and 2 (p<0.001) but not on picture 3.
CONCLUSION: Individuals aged 60 years or older, with 8 years' schooling or less, showed a reduced capacity to reproduce geometric pictures of a high degree of complexity. Clinical evaluations that use geometrical tests could be misinterpreted when not controlled for schooling level.


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