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Stimulus equivalence in elderly with and without cognitive impairment using verbs and nouns

Grant number: 15/15458-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2015
Effective date (End): February 28, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Experimental Psychology
Principal Investigator:Andréia Schmidt
Grantee:Flávia Caroline Figel
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


The number of elderly has grown considerably throughout the world, especially due to the increase in life expectancy of the population with the progress made by medicine. This increase in population age, however, is not always accompanied by quality of life, due to the growing number of elderly patients with chronic diseases, especially neurocognitive disorders (TCN). These disorders produce various effects on memory deficits in social functioning and language of the elderly, and pharmacological treatments have yet to reach results that can reverse these deficits or even stabilize them for a long period of time. Studies that clarify the processes involved in memory loss and language resulting from TCN are necessary, with a view to the development of intervention procedures that can assist in the maintenance of symbolic behavior by elderly patients with these disorders. This research focuses primarily on the analysis of formation and maintenance of stimuli involving verbal stimuli classes, and that relate to the elderly language with and without TCN. The objective of this study is to investigate the differences in the formation of stimulus equivalence classes using verbs and nouns in older people without cognitive impairment (controls) with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia (TCN). Will Participate in this survey 18 seniors, divided into 3 groups, according to the assessment of their cognitive impairment. The elderly will undergo a procedure of teaching visual-visual arbitrary relationships involving familiar and unfamiliar written words (verbs and nouns), and their corresponding (pictures, photos or videos). Teaching will take place through a procedure of arbitrary matching-to-sample. Initially they will be taught conditional relations with nouns and subsequently relationships involving verbs. The performances will be analyzed from different groups in the task (learning speed of taught relationships, comparing the learning of verbs and nouns), checking if will be the emergency of the stimulus equivalence classes or not.

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