Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Interdisciplinaria]]> vol. 32 num. 1 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Evolution of semantic categorization in older adults with and without neurological disease]]> Tradicionalmente la memoria semántica ha sido definida como un tesoro mental que almacena información sobre las palabras, su significado, como así también la relación entre ellas, los hechos y los conceptos. Una de las vías principales para explicar cómo se organiza la información en la memoria semántica (MS) es a través de categorías. La demencia tipo Alzheimer (DTA) suele estar caracterizada por un deterioro en la memoria episódica. Sin embargo, se debate en torno al deterioro de la misma, en qué momento aparece, a qué se debe y si hay una pérdida diferencial en distintos momentos de la enfermedad. El objetivo del trabajo que se informa fue analizar los procesos de categorización semántica en adultos mayores sanos comparándolos con dos grupos de personas con patologías neurológicas: uno con diagnóstico de deterioro cognitivo leve (DCL) y otro con demencia tipo Alzheimer (DTA), emparejados por edad, nivel educativo y género. Para ello, se utilizaron tareas tradicionales para evaluar la memoria semántica y también un método novedoso, el DISTSEM, que permite evaluar las estimaciones que realizan las personas de las distancias semánticas entre los conceptos. Los resultados mostraron que el grupo de personas sin patología tuvo un rendimiento superior en todas las tareas en comparación con los grupos de personas con patología neurológica. Por otro lado, el grupo con DTA mostró un deterioro semántico afectando en primer lugar a la categoría seres vivos. El DCL preservó la estructura categorial sólo con pequeñas intrusiones. El DISTSEM mostró ser un instrumento adecuado para la discriminación entre sujetos sanos y DTA.<hr/>Traditionally, semantic memory has been defined as a mental trove that contains organized information about words and their meaning, as well as relationships between words, facts and concepts.There are different ways of explaining how the information in such memory system is represented and organized. One of the main ways of explaining this organization is through categories. Categorization starts the very moment that any sensorial perception is associated to an abstract category; it is the ability to organize information in equivalence classes, and it is very important because it allows us to summarize the information that we gather through our senses and thus facilitate its manipulation. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the main cause of dementia among older adults, and it is one of the most pressing sanitary, social and cultural problems of the present times. The main risk factor for the illness is age, for its prevalence augments exponentially from 65 to 85 years old, and due to the rise in life expectancy it is considered that it might be transformed into a world-wide epidemic in the coming years. The start of the illness is insidious and slowly progressing, and it is characterized by a loss of episodic memory from its beginnings. With respect to the deterioration of semantic memory in AD, a debate has arisen about its mode of presentation, its causes, and whether there is a differential loss of categories (live or non-live beings) in different moments of the illness. During the 90s, Petersen proposed the concept of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to label the subjects with a functional cognitive impairment insufficient to diagnose a dementia syndrome. The importance of this syndrome is that between 8 to 15% of those who suffer it evolve to AD annually, while in the general population this evolution is only from 1 to 2%. However, there is a great controversy about the validity and scope of the term MCI, for its etiology can be very varied and it is very difficult to predict its evolution. There are different sub-kinds of MCI, and the amnesic form is the more likely to evolve into AD, for its main characteristic is the subjective deterioration of memory corroborated by standardized test by reference to normative data for the same age and educational level of the subject. The other cognitive functions not present alterations. The main objective of this work was to analyze the semantic categorization processes in healthy older adults comparing them with two groups of people with neurological pathologies, one with diagnosis of MCI and the other with AD, matched by age, educational level and gender. To evaluate this categorization process, two traditional tasks were used together with a novel method, the DISTSEM, which allows the evaluation of the estimation made by people about the semantic distance among a set of given concepts. The results showed that the group of people without pathologies had a superior performance in all the tasks in comparison with the groups of people with neurological pathologies. On the other hand, the group with AD showed a semantic impairment which affected in the first place the category of live beings, which was evident in the all the tasks. The MCI preserved the categorical structure with only minor intrusions. The DISTSEM has shown itself to be a valuable instrument that allows the discrimination between healthy subjects and those with AD. It is expected that this work can provide empirical evidence relevant to the debate surrounding semantic memory, for studies in patients with brain injury offer key information to examine the organizing models of such memory. <![CDATA[The interactional construction of fictional narratives between children of different ages: A study with children from marginalized urban populations]]> El estudio realizado se propuso analizar el proceso de construcción interaccional de narrativas de ficción por parte de díadas de niños de distintas edades (4 y 12 años) que viven en poblaciones urbano-marginadas de Argentina. Las narrativas, elicitadas a partir de una secuencia de imágenes, fueron video-filmadas y luego transcriptas. El corpus incluye 33 relatos producidos por díadas de niños de 4 y 12 años. Se realizó un análisis cualitativo que combina el Método Comparativo Constante (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Strauss & Corbin, 1990) con herramientas de la Sociolingüística Interaccional (Gumperz, 1982) y el Análisis de la conversación (Goodwin & Heritage, 1990). Dicho análisis permitió generar un sistema de categorías que dio cuenta de los roles narrativos (Goodwin, 2007) asumidos por los participantes y el modo en que esos roles eran negociados en la interacción. Los resultados mostraron que los niños adoptaban diferentes roles narrativos que se configuraban a partir de una yuxtaposición de campos semióticos -verbales, gestuales y proxémicos-. Los niños pequeños adoptaban el rol de narrador o el rol de audiencia, mientras que los niños mayores asumían roles de tutor, narrador o audiencia. Asimismo, el análisis permitió mostrar cambios en los roles adoptados durante la situación de interacción. La relevancia de estudiar las narrativas producidas por niños pequeños en interacción con niños mayores reside justamente en los resultados de investigaciones previas (Stein & Rosemberg, 2012) que señalan que en poblaciones urbano-marginadas las interacciones entre niños de distintas edades pueden dar lugar al aprendizaje y el desarrollo infantil.<hr/>This study aims to analyse the interactional construction of fictional accounts that 4-year-old and 12-year-old children from marginalized urban populations in Buenos Aires (Argentina) produced together. Recent research (Gardner & Forrester, 2010; Rosemberg & Menti, in press) suggests the need to link the study of child development and performance with the micro-analysis of interaction. As these studies point out, the concepts developed by Conversation analysis (Goodwin & Heritage, 1990; Sacks, Schegloff & Jefferson, 1974) and Interactional Sociolinguistics (Gumperz, 1982) allow to study in detail the processes through which children and their partners construct shared meaning in interaction. The narratives, elicited from a sequence of images, were video recorder and transcribed. The data corpus consist of 33 narratives produced by dyads of 4 and 12 year-old children. A qualitative analysis was performed that combined the Constant Comparative Method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Strauss & Corbin, 1990) with tools from Interactional Sociolinguistic (Gumperz, 1982) and Conversation Analysis (Sacks, Schegloff & Jefferson, 1974). This analysis allowed the generation of a system of categories that identified the narrative roles assumed by the participants (Goodwin, 2007) and how these roles were negotiated in the interaction. Findings showed that children adopted narrative roles that were configured from a juxtaposition of information from different semiotic fields -verbal, gestural and proxemic-. 4-year-old children adopted roles of storyteller or audience, and 12-year-old children assumed roles of tutor, storyteller or audience. The tutor role was characterised by the initiations of the sequence employing elicitations. Also, tutors used different types of interventions -feedback, expansions and repairs- to scaffold the narrative elaborated by the young children. The body position, as well as the gaze of the tutor was directed to the story-teller and/or to the images, and also in some cases to the researcher. The storyteller role was characterised by giving verbal information about the narrative. The body position, as well as the gaze of the storyteller was directed principally to the audience and/or to the images. Finally, the audience role was characterised for showing interest in the narrative through different signals such as gaze direction to the storyteller, and a body position close to him and to the images. These results show the productivity of articulating the psycholinguistic perspective (Nelson, 1996, 2007) with tools of the Conversational Analysis (Goodwin & Heritage, 1990) to account for narrative performance. Results showed that while the 12-year-old children tended to adopt in most cases a tutor role, the 4-year-old assumed a storyteller role. The narrative roles adopted by the children show that children from different ages can negotiate narrative co-construction.However, in some cases both children adopted a storyteller role. In these situations the asymmetric relation between the 12-year-old and the younger childled the older child to impose his narrative not letting the 4-year-old to narrate. The microanalysis of the interactional sequences showed that the roles adopted could change during the interaction. This role change did not occur randomly, but responding to the sequence of actions in which each participant analysed the contextualization cues (Gumperz, 1982) provided by the other and acted according to them. The analysis of the exchanges showed the complexity of the interactional process with regard to the construction of the stories, in which it is not possible to comprehend the actions of one participant without referring to the actions of the other (Goodwin, 1984). The relevance of studying the narratives produced by young children interacting with older children lies in the results of previous studies (Stein & Rosemberg, 2012) which reported that in urban marginalized populations interactions be tween children of different ages can lead to learning and child development. <![CDATA[Shared narratives at home: A longitudinal study about the narrative structure and the evaluative language]]> El objetivo del trabajo que se informa fue estudiar la estructura y el lenguaje evaluativo en narrativas producidas por díadas niño-cuidador principal, durante el período comprendido entre los 2 años y 6 meses y 4 años. El corpus estuvo conformado por 81 narrativas producidas en distintos contextos conversacionales -situaciones de lectura de cuentos, conversaciones en torno a eventos pasados y conversaciones en torno a eventos futuros- en los que participaron en el hogar 6 niños pertenecientes a un grupo de sectores medios de Buenos Aires (Argentina). Se realizó un análisis de las narrativas con el fin de dar cuenta de su estructura y de los recursos evaluativos empleados por los niños y sus interlocutores. El estudio contempló también un análisis cuantitativo comparativo focalizado en la identificación de similitudes y diferencias en la estructura -atendiendo en particular el componente evaluativo en las mismas- y los recursos evaluativos entre las narrativas producidas longitudinalmente y en las diferentes situaciones (diferencia de medias y ANOVA). Los resultados mostraron el potencial de la elaboración de narrativas en colaboración para promover diferentes aspectos del desarrollo infantil, en particular aspectos relativos al desarrollo cognitivo y socioemocional de los niños. Tempranamente en la infancia y en los tres contextos estudiados los niños que participaron en el presente estudio elaboran junto con sus cuidadores, narrativas en donde se enfatiza la evaluación como componente estructural, esto es, la interpretación y el posicionamiento personal frente a los eventos.<hr/>The present study aims to analyze the structure and the evaluative language in narratives produced by child-caretaker dyads from Buenos Aires (Argentina), in different conversational contexts-storybook reading situations, conversations about past and future events- when children are 2 years and a half, 3 years, 3 years and a half and 4 years old. Narrative is not only a type of discourse that organizes communicative exchanges and the transmission and recreation of culture; it is also one of the most important ways in which thought is configured (Bruner, 1986; Nelson, 1996; Rosemberg, Silva & Stein, 2010). The narrative structure and the use of evaluative resources are particularly related to cognitive and socioemotional development (Fernández & Melzi, 2008). Narrative development begins during the preschool years (Nelson, 1996) and occurs through the social interactions that take place in diverse daily situations: play (Pellegrini, 1985), story-book reading (Snow, Porche, Tabors & Harris, 2007) and conversations about past (Nelson,1996) and future events (Hudson, 2002, 2006). A series of studies undertaken in the fields of Psychology and Psycholinguistics have analyzed the structure and the evaluative language in early narratives orally produced by mother-child dyads (Fivush, 1991; Haden, Haine & Fivush, 1997; Peterson & McCabe, 1992, 1994, among others). The results of these studies have shown a relationship between the type of information introduced by mothers when they produce narratives in collaboration with their children and the information provided by children in the production of independent narratives later on (Fivush, 1991; Peterson & McCabe, 1992, 1994). Other studies showed an increase of the information regarding actions as well as descriptive, orientative and evaluative components of the narratives as a function of children's age (Haden, Haine & Fivush, 1997). The great majority of this research has been done with English-speaking and Caucasian families. Although there are some studies with Spanish-speaking population in Latin America (Díaz Oyarce & Mendoza Saavedra, 2012; Fernández & Melzi, 2008; Romero Contreras & Gómez Martínez, 2013; Shiro, 2003) one can hypothesize there will be intra-group differences given the heterogeneity of Hispanic population. There are few studies focused on the comparative analysis of narratives produced in different conversational contexts (Curenton, Craig & Flanigan, 2008; Fernández & Melzi, 2008). The author did not find studies which analyzed the evaluative resources used during the production of narratives about future events. The corpus of the present study consists of 81narratives produced in different conversational contexts: storybook reading situations (34 narratives), conversations about past events (24 narratives) and conversations about future events (23 narratives). The situations, which took place in the homes of 6 middle-income children from Buenos Aires (Argentina), were audio-recorded and transcribed for their analysis. The narratives were analyzed regarding their structure and the evaluative resources used by the participants in order to answer the following questions: What are the characteristics of the narratives collaboratively produced by children-caretakers dyads? In particular, which is the relative weight of the evaluative component regarding the other structural components referred to orientation, action and description? Which evaluative resources are employed by the children and their interlocutors? Are there any longitudinal and between conversation al contexts differences regarding each of the aspects analyzed (structure of the narratives, evaluative component, evaluative resources)? The results showed that the evaluative component of the narratives is the most predominant since 2:6 years and in the different conversational contexts considered. The children who participated in the study jointly produced with their caretaker (primarily their mothers) narratives where the interpretation and the personal stance on the events were emphasized. This fact reveals the potential of collaboratively produced narratives to promote different aspects of child development, particularly those related to cognition and socioemotional development. <![CDATA[Analysis of personality profiles in adult women diagnosed with Turner Syndrome]]> El Síndrome de Turner es el trastorno cromosómico, no heredable, de mayor incidencia poblacional en el sexo femenino, determinado por la deleción parcial o total del cromosoma X. En el desarrollo de las mujeres con este diagnóstico intervienen factores genéticos, familiares, educacionales y sociales que resultan relevantes en la consolidación de la personalidad. El objetivo del trabajo realizado fue caracterizar la personalidad de mujeres adultas con Síndrome de Turner residentes en Latinoamérica. La muestra fue de tipo no probabilístico intencional y corresponde a 60 mujeres entre 18 y 55 años. Los datos se recabaron a través de una versión virtual del Inventario Clínico Multiaxial de Millon II. Se transformaron las puntuaciones directas en puntuaciones Tasa Base y se obtuvieron estadísticos descriptivos de frecuencias y medidas de tendencia central para caracterizar a las participantes de la muestra. Posteriormente se calculó la razón de momios para obtener el índice de la probabilidad que las mujeres con diagnóstico de Síndrome de Turner presentaran trastornos de la personalidad. Los resultados obtenidos muestran que la probabilidad que presenta dicha población de padecer trastornos de personalidad, en comparación con una muestra clínica normativa, resulta superior para todos los trastornos, siendo las escalas autodestructiva, compulsiva y antisocial aquellas que presentan los porcentajes más altos. Los datos obtenidos dan cuenta de la vulnerabilidad que presenta la población estudiada de padecer trastornos de personalidad y son útiles para el desarrollo de terapias específicas que consideren dichas características en pos de una mejor calidad de vida.<hr/>Turner Syndrome is a chromosomal, not inherited, disorder highest population incidence in females, determined by the partial or complete deletion of chromosome X. Is characterized by short stature and digenesia gonadal and, in a psychosocial level, one of the most common traits are the difficulties in establishing interpersonal relationships. In the development of women with diagnosis of Turner syndrome involves genetic, family, educational and social factors that are relevant in the establishment and consolidation of personality. This last one results from the interaction between biological and environmental factors among which are the inheritance and the learnings. The influence of the personality is a determining factor in the behavior and in the way to adapt to the environment, and may be favorable or pathological depending on the degree of flexibility in the situations of stress. The study of the influence of biological and environmental factors on human development is part of the new contributions of the biopsychosocial paradigm, which seeks to understand the psychological processes through a comprehensive vision that takes into account the interaction between biological, psychological and social factors in the development. This interdisciplinary approach oriented perspective becomes more conducive to addressing people with genetic disorders frame, since the differential impact of each of these factors in psychosocial development directly affect their quality of life. The study of personality in people with genetic disorders, and especially in the Turner Syndrome, is currently a vacant area in psychological research. The aim of the present study was to characterize the personality of adult women with Turner syndrome living in Latin America. The sample was intentional non-probability and corresponds to 60 women between 18 and 55 years. The data were gathered through a virtual version of the Millon Multiaxial Clinical Inventory II in the Spanish version. The direct scores transformed on scores Rate-Base and descriptive statistics of frequencies and measures of central tendency were obtained to characterize the sample. Subsequently the odds ratio was calculated to obtain the index of the probability of women with a diagnosis of Turner syndrome present personality disorders. The presence of a personality disorder was considered when the score in the Rate-Base was greater than 84. The results show that the probability that women with a diagnosis of Turner syndrome presents of suffering from personality disorders, in comparison with a clinical normative sample, is higher for all disorders, being antisocial, self-destructive and compulsive scales those presenting the highest percentages. Thus, despite the limitations encountered, it is important to consider that, according to the finding of the scientific literature, personality is partly determined by biological factors, and in this sense the Turner syndrome has a particular specificity to result from loss of genetic material and therefore cause physical and neuropsychological distinctive characteristics. At the same time, environmental factors would be responsible for modular the development of biological predispositions of certain personality traits, and in this sense social relations, the process of socialization and stimulation that provide girls with a diagnosis of Turner Syndrome from the early years of life, could have a strong impact on the development of what in future will be formed personality style. The results are important for therapeutic work with women diagnosed with Turner syndrome because as having empirical information about their characteristics and personality disorders may be possible to diagramming programs specific treatments they consider their particular way of relating to themselves and the environment, seeking to develop new strategies to improve their quality of life. And at the same time, suggests possible interventions at the family level, especially during childhood, aimed at the prevention of development of dysfunctional personality characteristics. <![CDATA[Teaching words through picture-books: Early learning of nouns and adjectives]]> El objetivo del trabajo que se informa fue investigar el aprendizaje de adjetivos y sustantivos mediante libros ilustrados en niños de tres años de edad. Se diseñaron dos estudios con una metodología cuasi-experimental en los que se enseñó a los niños un sustantivo o un adjetivo. Luego los participantes debían extender la palabra aprendida primero al objeto representado por la imagen, y luego a un nuevo ejemplar de la misma categoría de objeto (sustantivo) o propiedad de objeto (adjetivo). El Estudio 1 comparó el aprendizaje de sustantivos y adjetivos. Se encontró que los niños aprendieron el sustantivo pero no el adjetivo, lo que indicaría que para ellos aprender adjetivos a través de libros con imágenes es más difícil que aprender sustantivos. El Estudio 2 exploró el impacto de la información descriptiva sobre el aprendizaje de un adjetivo que refería a una propiedad visual (estampado). Esta información destacaba, por un lado, el núcleo del concepto, el estampado, y por otro la intención comunicativa del interlocutor. Se contrastó la ejecución de los niños en función de la información provista por la experimentadora. Los datos obtenidos muestran que si los niños reciben información descriptiva sobre el aspecto de la imagen que debe conectarse con la palabra, logran relacionarlo con la propiedad a la que refiere, aprendiendo el adjetivo. Los resultados de esta investigación aportan información relevante acerca de la relación entre el aprendizaje del léxico y el desarrollo conceptual y subrayan la relevancia del contexto sociopragmático en el aprendizaje de palabras.<hr/>Picture-books reading are a very common practice between children and adults. In these interactions parents assume that their children learn lots of things, especially words. But, is this interaction effective as a word learning device? Is it the same to teach different kind of words? The main question of this research arises in the intersection of two fields: symbolic comprehension of pictures and word learning. Three main ideas guided this research. Symbolic understanding of pictures is a very complex process that involves cognitive and social skills. The socio-pragmatic context has an impact in the cognitive processes involved in word learning. There is a strong relationship between word learning and conceptual development. The aim of this research was to explore 3-year-old children´s learning of nouns and adjectives in a picture-book reading situation. We designed two studies using a cuasi-experimental approach. In Study 1 we compared two groups of children: one learned a noun (category condition) and the other an adjective (property condition).The noun was pompe, a word that does not exist but has a Spanish morphologic structure. The adjective, pompeado, was built based on the word pompe, adding the suffix-ado; suffix marks that the word is an adjective. Toddlers were exposed to the new words during a picture-book reading interaction with the experimenter, then, they had to solve two successive tests. In the first test of the category condition participants had to apply the new noun learned via pictures to the real object. In the second test they had to extend the new noun to a new exemplar, an object with the same shape but different color. In the first test of the property condition, participants had to apply the new adjective learned via pictures to the real object with the property. In the second test they had to extend the adjective to a new exemplar, a new object with the same target-property. The second tests were taken as strong indicators of word learning as they involved some kind of generalization. In the first test both groups, category and property, applied the word to the real object. In the second test, while children in the category condition extended the noun to another exemplar, children in the property condition did not extend the adjective to another exemplar with the same property. In a second study we explored if children need more cues to extend the adjective to another exemplar with the same property, and truly learn the adjective. Study 2 investigated the impact of descriptive information in word learning. We set two groups on the basis of the information provided by the experimenter. One group received descriptive information highlighting the specific aspect of the picture that had to be mapped with the property. The other group did not receive this additional information. We found that only the participants that received descriptive information extended the word pompeado to a new exemplar with the target property. We propose that the descriptive information worked highlighting the communicative intention of the experimenter as well as the core of the concept. Underscoring the perceptual feature allowed much more than making a superficial association, as the descriptive information pointed directly to the heart of the concept. Overall, the results of this research are consistent with previous studies that found that it is more difficult for young children to learn adjectives than nouns. The results also highlight the strong relationship between word learning and conceptual development. This research provides strong evidence concerning the importance of socio the pragmatic context on referential understanding and word learning. <![CDATA[Socially skillful children: How much influence do positive emotions and empathy have?]]> El análisis de los factores que propician el desarrollo de habilidades sociales en la niñez constituye un reto de gran relevancia para la psicología actual. El objetivo del estudio realizado fue analizar si la empatía y la experiencia de emociones positivas impactan significativamente sobre la ejecución de habilidades sociales en la niñez media, y en qué medida lo hace cada una. Se seleccionó una muestra no aleatoria de 406 niños (227 niñas y 179 varones), comprendidos mayormente entre los 10 y 12 años de edad, quienes completaron los siguientes instrumentos, previo consentimiento de sus padres: (a) la Subescala de Habilidades Sociales Adecuadas (Matson, Rotatori & Helsel, 1983), validada a la Argentina por Schulz (2008), (b) la Escala Multidimensional de Empatía para niños argentinos (Richaud de Minzi, Lemos & Oros, 2013) y (c) el Cuestionario Infantil de Emociones Positivas (Oros, 2014). Para analizar la acción conjunta de las emociones positivas y la empatía sobre las habilidades sociales apropiadas, se ejecutó un ANOVA factorial con un diseño 3 (alta, moderada y baja emocionalidad positiva) x 3 (alta, moderada y baja empatía). La variable dependiente estuvo constituida por los valores brutos de la Subescala de Habilidades Sociales Adecuadas. Los resultados indicaron que las emociones positivas y la empatía facilitan el despliegue de conductas socialmente habilidosas, siendo mayor el impacto de las emociones positivas en comparación a la empatía. Es tos resultados son importantes a la hora de comprender la dinámica de los procesos implicados y de diseñar programas de intervención para promover habilidades sociales en la niñez.<hr/>The implementation of social skills, such as maintaining eye contact with another person during a conversation, giving and receiving compliments, helping others, sharing something, giving thanks, asking for permission, apologizing, asking for favors, etc. enables the suitable expression of feelings, desires or opinions, promotes successful management of criticism, and minimizes the probability of interpersonal conflict, allowing people to relate to others in an effective and mutually satisfactory way. As social skills are learned and have radical consequences on the social-emotional health of children and adolescents, psychological research has devoted considerable effort to study what factors may facilitate their development and consolidation, as well as other dimensions of social competence such as assertiveness and prosociality. Reviewing the available literature, it can be seen that empathy has been one of the most largely studied personal precursor in relation to child and adolescent social functioning. Empirical research has shown that this variable acts as a strong motivator of prosocial behavior, social responsibility, cooperative conflict resolution, altruistic behavior and general help; while it negatively correlates with social inadequacy, antisocial behavior, aggression and isolation of children and adolescents. Probably for this reason, it is argued that empathy can also be the basis for the establishment of the social skills, and a requirement to properly master these interaction skills. However, although there exists ample evidence of the relationship between empathy and some negative aspects of social skills, such as aggression, there are very few studies that have specifically explored the dynamics between empathy and appropriate social skills. On the other hand, although the predominance of empathy on social functioning is undeniable and its study has been favored by many researchers, some evidence suggets that positive emotions may have a similar powerful influence on the development of certain skills and social skills. Specifically, in the stages of childhood and adolescence, it has been found that joy and sympathy prevent peer rejection; that sympathy and serenity ease assertive and prosocial responses, while decreasing aggressive behaviors; that gratitude is also negatively related to aggression, and that together with personal satisfaction and serenity, it predicts a successful management of interpersonal conflicts. However, while the motivational role of empathy has been widely discussed, the influence of positive emotions on social skills, and specifically on the social skills has not yet reached the attention it deserves. The aim of this study was to include both variables in a model of analysis of variance to investigate the statistical weight that each of them has, and their possible interaction on the appropriate social skills in childhood. A empirical comparative and cross study was developed. This work included 406 Argentine children (227 females and 179 males), mainly between the ages of 10 and 12 years old (M = 11.11; DE = 1.04), who completed the Appropriate Social Skills Subscale of The Matson Evaluation of Social Skills of Youngsters (MESSY) of Matson, Rotatori and Helsel (1983), adapted in Argentinean population by Schulz (2008); The Multidimensional Scale of Empathy for Argentine children, developed by Richaud de Minzi, Lemos & Oros (2013); and the Child Questionnaire of positive emotions, created by Oros (2014). To analyze the joint action of positive emotions and empathy on the appropriate social skills, 3 (high, moderate and low positive emotionality) x 3 (high, moderate and low empathy) Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) factorial designs were used. The results indicated that positive emotions and empathy facilitate the performance of socially skilled behaviors, being greater the impact of positive emotions compared to empathy. These results are important in understanding the dynamics of the processes involved, and for the further design of intervention programs to promote social skills in childhood. <![CDATA[Transfer of artificial syntax functions among equivalence - related stimuli: An event - related brain potentials study]]> La formación de clases de equivalencia entre estímulos ha sido propuesta en el campo del Análisis Experimental del Comportamiento como un prerrequisito conductual para el lenguaje. Adicionalmente, existe evidencia de que la transferencia de función entre estímulos equivalentes podría explicar la adquisición de estructuras sintácticas simples. No obstante, la simplicidad de las funciones sintácticas estudiadas no capturó la complejidad combinatoria de la gramática natural. Si la transferencia de funciones en clases de equivalencia es un modelo posible del desarrollo de estructuras gramaticales, debería ser verificado en contextos más válidos para el estudio del lenguaje. Los objetivos del trabajo realizado fueron los siguientes: (1) analizar la transferencia de funciones sintácticas en clases de equivalencia en un contexto válido para el estudio de la adquisición de reglas gramaticales, utilizando para ello el paradigma de gramáticas artificiales y (2) analizar los potenciales cerebrales relacionados con el procesamiento de esta transferencia de función, en secuencias gramaticales y no gramaticales. Se encontró evidencia comportamental de transferencia de función en un subgrupo de los sujetos experimentales. El potencial P600, típicamente asociado al costo de integración sintáctica en contextos lingüísticos, fue observado en estos sujetos ante: violaciones gramaticales con estímulos originales de la gramática artificial y secuencias con estímulos relacionados por equivalencia (gramaticales y no gramaticales). Se interpretó que el procesamiento de las secuencias artificiales implicó mecanismos neurobiológicos similares a los asociados a la sintaxis del lenguaje y que el patrón de actividad P600 observado puede ser explicado por el aumento del costo de integración de los estímulos al contexto previo.<hr/>Stimulus equivalence class formation has been proposed as a behavioral prerequisite for language within the field of experimental analysis of behavior. Additionally, there is evidence that transfer of function among equivalent stimuli may explain acquisition of simple syntactic structures. However these experiments analyzed sequence functions that did not capture the complexity and versatility of natural grammar. If transfer of function between stimuli that belong to the same equivalence classes is indeed a useful model for the development of grammatical structures, then we should be able to verify it in a more valid context for the study of language. Artificial grammar learning tasks have been applied to the study of several aspects of language acquisition, from word segmentation to phrase structure and syntax rules. Furthermore, it has been shown that patterns of brain activity during processing of artificial grammars resemble those observed in language syntax processing. In particular, structural violations of language sentences and artificial grammar sequences both activate Broca's area. Therefore, artificial grammars provide a valid paradigm to study the learning of syntactic functions. The main objectives of the current work were: (1) to analyze transfer of function within equivalence classes in a valid context for the study of syntax acquisition, applying the artificial grammar paradigm and (2) to analyze brain potentials related to the transfer of function in grammatical and ungrammatical sequences. Fifteen subjects were trained to form two three-stimulus equivalence classes and then performed an artificial grammar learning task. One stimulus from each equivalence class was included as an item in the artificial grammar categories. During a test stage, subjects were asked to classify new artificial grammar sequences as grammatical or ungrammatical, while their EEG activity was registered. Half of these new sequences were built using the original training items and the other half contained equivalence-related stimulus. Subjects were assigned to two groups according to their performance in this test stage. Those participants whose percentage of correct responses was above 50 % were considered to pass, while those below were assigned to the fail group. We found behavioral evidence of transfer of function in the pass subgroup. These participants were able to correctly discriminate grammatical from un grammatical sequences that were built using original or equivalence-related stimulus. Event-Related potential Analysis of the EEG signal indicated a posteriorly distributed positivity with a topography and time-course similar to the P600 potential. Within linguistic contexts, P600 is interpreted as the neural correlate of prediction and integration costs during syntax processing. It has been proposed that sentence comprehension depends on predictive mechanisms that combine lexical, semantic and syntactic information from linguistic input to anticipate future words. Processing of incoming stimuli is facilitated by pre- activation, allowing rapid integration to previous context. However, when the input does not match predictions, this integration becomes slower and more difficult, requiring additional neural resources. The P600 has been considered and index of increased integration costs, generated by unfulfilled predictions of word category and morphology based on previous context. In the present experiment, the P600 was observed after: grammar violations with the original artificial grammar lexicon and artificial sequences containing equivalence-related stimulus (both grammatical and ungrammatical). Results showed that artificial grammar processing involved neurobiological mechanisms that are similar to those associated in natural grammar processing. We interpreted the observed P600 pattern in terms of an increased stimulus integration cost, both in the case of grammatical and ungrammatical equivalence-related stimulus. Even though we consider that transference of function and equivalence class formations are by themselves insufficient to explain the complexity of natural grammar, we propose that this processes might be relevant to its acquisition and evolution, constituting a behavioral prerequisite for language development. <![CDATA[An overview on learning to write from a developmental- educational and semiotic perspective]]> Se presenta una revisión en torno al aprendizaje de la escritura integrando aportes relevantes en los últimos 30 años de la Psicología, la Lingüística y la Semiótica. Inicialmente se analizan los usos y funciones que la escritura cumple en la cultura: la preservación, transmisión y modificación del conocimiento compartido socialmente; la regulación de la conducta social, a partir del establecimiento de leyes y la definición de roles sociales; la estandarización de una variedad lingüística y el uso estético en diversos géneros discursivos. Luego se describen los atributos que la caracterizan como objeto semiótico y las particularidades que adoptan los textos escritos según sus funciones en ciertos contextos situacionales y socioculturales. A continuación se abordan características relevantes del aprendizaje de la escritura a lo largo de la vida de las personas. Este proceso, que comienza prácticamente desde el nacimiento y se extiende durante la vida adulta, requiere múltiples dimensiones cognitivas y niveles lingüísticos correlacionados entre sí y vinculados a los contextos de uso. Tomando en cuenta cuatro dimensiones principales (metaconocimiento, conocimientos generales, conocimiento de los atributos de la lengua escrita y conocimiento procedimental) se revisan estudios que, desde una perspectiva evolutivo-educativa, han abordado la alfabetización en escritura. Esa revisión está organizada en tres momentos: antes, durante y más allá de la escolaridad. Al considerar el aprendizaje de la escritura durante la escolaridad, se focaliza en las concepciones de los aprendices acerca del aprendizaje de la escritura. Se concluye destacando la importancia de considerar el aprendizaje de la escritura desde una perspectiva multimodal que articule recursos y concepciones.<hr/>This paper presents a review about the learning of writing. It integrates relevant contributions from fields of Psychology, Linguistics and Semiotics during the last 30 years. We begin by addressing different aspects of writing as a semiotic object and synthesize its uses and functions within a culture. Writing functions as a mnemonic tool through graphic representation, allowing preservation, transmission and modification of collective shared knowledge, enabling its functioning as an epistemic tool. Writing also has regulatory functions on social behavior. It contributes to the organization of social roles and the establishment of hierarchical order through the enactment of written laws. It also contributes to the standardization of a linguistic variety -the one used for writing- in order to fulfill several official functions related to public administration and education. Consequently, the linguistic variety represented in writing usually becomes a linguistic model, outlining diverse social and personal paths in learning to write. Finally, we focus on its aesthetic and imaginative function, which is present in a variety of genres. We then describe the attributes of writing as a semiotic system, including written texts' distinctive features according to their functions in certain situational and socio-cultural settings. All writing systems have a dual nature: they constitute physical objects with an external existence that is relatively independent from its context of production, also are semiotic objects that enable to represent something else. In writing systems, a set of graphic elements are integrated on a surface. Rules conventionally established and formal properties are the base of these graphic elements. These graphic marks endure through time and space, allowing for iterative formal and conceptual revision and change. A dialectic relationship between mind and semiotic system is established, in which representational systems, as external scaffolding, expanding the possibilities of thought. Thereby, this technology of thought entails important cognitive and social transformations by helping to construct a multiple and broadening personal perspective. This will allow the conversion of own representations into meta- representations through their externalization, and the acquirement of new and more complex ways of knowing. In the second part of this article, we tackle relevant characteristics of learning to write along a person's life. This process begins almost from birth and continues through adult life, under the guide of someone with more expertise. Becoming an expert writer requires more than two decades of continuous instruction and practice. The appropriation of writing requires processes correlated at multiple cognitive dimensions and linguistic levels, deeply related to specific contexts of use. The dimensions considered are the following: metaknowledge; general knowledge about writing; specific knowledge regarding graph phonic, syntactic, and textual aspects; and procedural knowledge. We review studies regarding the different dimensions involved in this process from a developmental and educational perspective. We organize such review by considering three moments. The stage named roots of literacy comprises all the activities and conceptualizations of reading and writing that children carry out in the course of early childhood, which precedes conventional literacy. During schooling writing becomes a learning object, and children's main efforts move from mastering the alphabetic code to understanding coherence and cohesion, as well as producing texts of several types. When referring to learning to write during schooling we also focus on learners' conceptions of this process. The conceptions' viewpoint enables us to understand the learners' own perspective displayed in first person. Beyond schooling learning to write continues developing towards the ability of constructing and reconstructing knowledge through reading and writing. Finally, we analyze contributions on learning to write from a multimodal perspective. We acknowledge a research vacancy which would articulate learners' resources for text production and their conceptions about this process. Based on the idea that learning entails unfolding a variety of resources -particularly semiotic and epistemic- in a situated and contextualized manner, we propose that an articulation among the different approaches reviewed in this paper will help to overcome the deficit perspectives. <![CDATA[Factorial invariance of the Olweus Bully / Bullied Questionnaire according to gender]]> Este trabajo aborda un tema de gran actualidad, pero escasamente evaluado con investigaciones científico-empíricas en la Argentina: el bullying. El Cuestionario Revisado de Agresores / Víctimas de Olweus es uno de los instrumentos más usados en el mundo para medir el ser acosado y acosar a otros alumnos, ya que tiende a funcionar similarmente en las distintas naciones. Estudios extranjeros y preliminares en la Argentina detectaron que dicho cuestionario presenta una dimensión unifactorial tanto para la Escala Ser Agredido como para la Escala Agredir. Así, esta investigación pretendió indagar la equivalencia factorial según género de dichas escalas en una población intencional de adolescentes. Para ello se constituyó una muestra de 1.222 adolescentes (44% varones; media de edad: 14.4 años) que concurrían a escuelas de enseñanza media en la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires y en la ciudad de Paraná (Argentina), quienes completaron dicho instrumento y un cuestionario sociodemográfico. Con este fin, se llevaron a cabo análisis factoriales confirmatorios multigrupos para varones y mujeres con el Programa AMOS 16. Al fijar las cargas factoriales de los nueve ítemes de la Escala Ser Agredido, los resultados indicaron que los mismos tendían a funcionar similarmente para varones y mujeres. En cambio, los resultados de la Escala Ser Agresor sugerían que las preguntas de agresión con golpes / empujones y decir mentiras funcionaban de modo distinto, según el género. En las conclusiones se destacan las implicancias de estos hallazgos, se desarrollan explicaciones de por qué dichos ítemes funcionarían en forma diferente y se brindan sugerencias para futuras investigaciones.<hr/>The purpose of this research was to investigate a problem of great psychosocial and political relevance but scarcely studied with empirical studies in Argentina: bullying in secondary education. Argentina is a developed Latin American country of Italian and Spanish descend. This nation belongs to the high but not to the very high human development group and is the second best positioned nation in Latin America. Bullying is considered to be an important risk factor for mental health of both children and adolescents due to its association with personal, familial and social problems. Victims suffer of internalizing problems (depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, among others), on the other hand, aggressor show higher behavioral problems (antisocial behavior, substance use, among others). Several authors stated that bullying is a subset of aggressive behavior, generally defined as an act intended to inflict injury or discomfort upon another student. It is characterized by certain special features such as an asymmetric power relationship and some repetitiveness. Previous research has shown that this problem is more frequent in adolescence than in childhood. Several studies suggested differences in aggression according to gender; males present higher level of aggression and bullying compared to females due to social and biological factors. Therefore, a vital aspect in this respect is measuring of both victimization and aggression. A well-known tool to measure this problems are self-reports. Although self-reports have disadvantages -as all measures- they are efficient and low-cost techniques. Thus, the main objective was to explore factorial invariance of the Revised Olweus Bully / Victim Questionnaire according to gender. This questionnaire is the most widely used instrument to measure bullying in North America and Northern Europe and several authors suggest that the questionnaire functions similarly in many countries. Besides, studies in first countries and Argentina suggested that this questionnaire showed a unifactorial structure both for the Scale of Being a Bullied and the Scale of Being a Bully as well as good validity and reliability. Even in those countries, however, there are few published studies on their psychometric properties. This instrument asks about being bullied (or bullying other students in a different section of the questionnaire) in the past couple of months, comprising direct physical and verbal harassment and threatening and coercive behaviors as well as indirect ways of bullying. The instrument presents nine items about victimization and nine about aggression. They are rated on a 5-point scale (from 0 to 4). The questionnaire also contains several questions about the reactions of others to bullying. It was administered to a convenience sample of 1222 students belonging to high schools in Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires and Paraná (Argentina), (44% males, average age: 14.4). Besides, a sociodemographic questionnaire was administered to this sample. Questionnaires were administered at school and confidentiality was ensured. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 17 and AMOS 16 were used for processing data. AMOS 16 was used for performing multigrup confirmatory factorial analysis in males and females. Configural model for being a bullied was acceptable (CFI = .904 y SRMR = .026). Configural model for being a bully was good (CFI = .919 and SRMR = .018), as well. After constrainting parameters, results suggested that nine items of being bullied were invariant across gender. As regards being bully, results indicated that questions regarding hitting, kicking or pushing and regarding telling lies were not invariant across gender (CFIs were .013 and .011, respectively). Conclusions highlight the relevance and implications of these findings; explanations about why those items could be not invariant in males and females are provided. Also, limitations of this research and directions for future research are pointed out.