Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Interdisciplinaria]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/rss.php?pid=1668-702720110001&lang=es vol. 28 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.ar <![CDATA[Disociaciones en el rendimiento práxico en pacientes con demencia tipo alzheimer: Imitación de gestos transitivos, intransitivos y no familiares]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000100001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es En el contexto de evaluación de praxias, los gestos pueden clasificarse en tres categorías: transitivos, intransitivos y no familiares. Si bien ha sido reportada la disociación entre los distintos tipos de gestos, es usual que en la evaluación de praxias o en el análisis del desempeño de los pacientes no se consideren por separado estas tres categorías de gestos, o se varíe la definición de ellas. El objetivo del estudio que se informa fue evaluar si en un mismo grupo de pacientes con demencia tipo Alzheimer se encuentran disociaciones entre gestos transitivos, intransitivos y no familiares, previamente descriptas en el rendimiento práxico de pacientes con lesiones focales (González Rothi, Mack, Verfaellie, Brown & Heilman, 1988; Negri et al., 2007). Se evaluaron 50 pacientes con diagnóstico de demencia tipo Alzheimer probable en imitación de praxias (gestos transitivos, gestos intransitivos y gestos no familiares) y uso de objetos. Los estímulos fueron tomados de la batería cognitiva de evaluación de praxias (Politis, 2003). Los gestos eran inicialmente realizados por el examinador, quien mantenía su ejecución durante la imitación del paciente. El grupo con diagnóstico de demencia tipo Alzheimer rindió significativamente peor que el grupo de los controles sanos. En el grupo de pacientes, las cuatro pruebas de praxias correlacionaron entre si. Sin embargo, se hallaron disociaciones en el rendimiento individual de cada paciente en esas mismas pruebas. La disociación entre gestos transitivos, intransitivos y no familiares apoya la posibilidad de que estos diferentes tipos de gestos involucren sistemas de procesamiento distintos.<hr/>Apraxia is classically defined as a difficulty or inability to imitate gestures, produce pantomimes of tool's use, or make gestures to verbal command. In apraxia assessment, gestures can be classified in transitives, intransitives, and non-familiars. The movements are classified according to the purpose of the motor act: if involves manipulation of an object, if serves to communicate ideas or feelings, or if it lack of any practical or symbolical value. Whilst the selective impairment for the processing of transitive gestures was widely reported, a deficit restricted to intransitive gestures was reported only exceptionally. Although it has been reported dissociation between different types of gestures, is usual in apraxia assessment that these three categories of gestures don't be considered separately or that varies the definition of these categories. The aim of this study was verify the presence of dissociations between transitives, intransitives, and non-familiars gestures in a same group of patients with Alzheimer-type dementia, that was previously described in the praxias performance of patients with focal lesions (González Rothi, Mack, Verfaellie, Brown, & Heilman, 1988; Negri et al., 2007). It was assessed imitation of transitives, intransitives and non-familiar gestures, and the use of objects, in 50 patients of the Neurology Department of Eva Perón Hospital (Buenos Aires -Argentina) diagnosed with probable Alzheimer-type dementia, under the diagnostic criteria of NINCDS - ADRDA. The Alzheimer-type dementia group performed the tasks significantly worse than healthy controls. 72% showed deficit in the per formance of at least one of the praxis battery tests. In Alzheimer-type dementia group, each praxis subtest are significantly and positively correlated with the others. However, there were dissociations in the performances at the single-case level analysis. One patient (Case 3) showed a selective deficit in imitation of intransitives gestures, while retaining the imitation of transitives gestures and non-familiar gestures; five patients (Cases 16, 23, 31, 45, and 46) showed an exclusively impairment in the imitation of transitives gestures while retaining the imitation of intransitives gestures and non-familiar gestures; and five patients (Cases 2, 6, 12, 14, and 29) showed a deficit only in the imitation of non-familiar gestures, while retaining the imitation of transitives and intransitives gestures. The dissociation between transitives, intransitives, and non-familiar gestures supports the possibility that these different types of gestures implicate different processing systems. The presence of double dissociations points out that the processes underlying each task, at least, are partially independent, and can be affected in a differentiated way. The finding of alterations in the three types of gestures questions the hypothesis that ideomotor apraxia is a disorder in the representations underlying transitives gestures (Buxbaum et al., 2005). The double dissociation found in theimitation of familiar gestures and non-familiar gestures provides new evidence for a non-lexical path, exclusive for imitating non-familiar gestures (González Rothi, Ochipa, & Heilman, 1991) and contradicts the model of ideomotor apraxia that propose a common substrate for lexical path and non-lexical pathway, linked to body schema (Buxbaum, Giovannetti, & Libon, 2000). The results of this work show the value of the study of multiple cases for the validation of cognitive models in patients with brain injuries. It is transcendent the systematic exploration and analysis of the different types of gestures in apraxic patients, in theoretical terms and with a view to developing clinical advantages in identifying and potentially rehabilitate apraxia. <![CDATA[Programa de intervención, para fortalecer funciones cognitivas y lingüísticas, adaptado al currículo escolar en niños en riesgo por pobreza]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000100002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es En los últimos años las investigaciones sobre la pobreza y su impacto en el desarrollo cognitivo y emocional se han incrementado notoriamente. Estudios previos han indicado que el vivir en la pobreza influye en el desarrollo cognitivo y socioemocional de los niños y en su desempeño en tests cognitivos. El trabajo que se informa tiene como propósito presentar el diseño de estrategias de intervención y su implementación a través de su integración al currículo escolar, para fortalecer recursos cognitivos y lingüísticos en niños que se encuentran en situación de riesgo por pobreza extrema. Se trabajó con una muestra de 98 niños de 6 años de edad, de ambos sexos, residentes en la ciudad de Paraná (Provincia de Entre Ríos - República Argentina) que se dividió en grupo experimental en riesgo con intervención (n = 55) y grupo control sin riesgo (n = 43). Se administraron los siguientes instrumentos dentro del ámbito escolar: (1) Test Breve de Inteligencia de Kaufman (KBIT - Kaufman, A.S. & Kaufman, N.L., 2000), (2) Prueba de Escritura de Palabras (Borzone & Diuk, 2001), (3) Test de Emparejamiento de Figuras Conocidas (MFFT20) y (4) la adaptación de la Tarea Tipo Stroop Sol - Luna (Archibald & Kerns, 1999). Los resultados indican diferencias significativas antes de la intervención y según el riesgo social, en cuanto a las habilidades intelectuales, el desarrollo de la conciencia fonológica, el estilo cognitivo reflexividad - impulsividad (R - I) y la capacidad atencional. Los datos posteriores a la intervención muestran progresos altamente significativos en los procesos cognitivos y lingüísticos, lo que permite inferir que las estrategias utilizadas son adecuadas para el trabajo con niños en riesgo por pobreza y son pertinentes a la tarea educativa debido a la fácil adecuación de las mismas al contenido curricular.<hr/>In recent past years, studies on poverty and its impact upon cognitive and emotional development have increased notoriously. A number of works have shown how living in poverty leads to deficits in children's cognitive and socio-emotional development and to a lower performance in cognitive tests. The aim of this work is to present the design of intervention strategies and their implementation integrated to the school curriculum, in order to strengthen cognitive and linguistic resources in children at risk due to extreme poverty. Based on these considerations, we present an intervention programme which aims at favouring emotional and cognitive development by means of adaptation of strategies to school curriculum, so that the latter may adjust itself to the needs of infant population in conditions of social vulnerability. Among other things, it is necessary to emphasize on the development of phonological conscience, ascribable to the scanty experiences related to language these children undergo, and on the development of basic cognitive functions needed for school learning to be positively achieved. A sample of 98 six-year-old children from Entre Ríos (República Argentina) has been analyzed: experimental group (n = 55) and a control group without risk (n = 43). The following instruments were administered within school environment: Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT - Kaufman, A.S., & Kaufman, N.L., 2000), Phonological Conscience Test (Borzone & Diuk, 2001), Matching Familiar Figures Test 20 (MFFT20 -Cairns & Cammock, 1978), Stroop Type Task: Sun - Moon (Archibald & Kerns, 1999). The intervention was carried out involving two axes. One of them, a direct intervention with the children inside the classroom, implemented by team members (interventionists), and the other, consisting in training teachers to be able to device classroom activities, taking into account the different strategies put forward by the programme named Without Affection there is neither Learning nor Growth, modelled on the booklets designed for the intervention. To describe neurocognitive profiles according to risk by poverty, Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) and Univariate Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were employed. Besides, MANOVA and ANOVA the repeated measures were used to get to know the pre- and post-intervention changes in the group at risk. Results indicate significant differences before intervention and according to degree of social risk. Children in a vulnerable social situation scored lower at performances regarding verbal ability and general intelligence, selective attention capacity, and displayed greater cognitive precipitation, lower development of phonological conscience and cognitive style reflexivity - impulsiveness (R - I) depending on social risk. Results concerning the effects of intervention upon cognitive resources show the effectiveness of adaptation of strategies to the curriculum. After intervention, it became evident that children made fewer mistakes and used a greater latency time, both being indicators of a lesser cognitive precipitation. Besides, data following this intervention shows highly significant progress regarding the aforementioned processes, which allows us to infer that the implemented strategies are appropriate to work with children at risk by poverty and are pertinent to the educational task, due to the easy adequacy of these strategies to school curriculum. We think that the programme, inasmuch as it proposes an intervention that takes into account a double mode (direct and indirect), allows children to receive a systematic and controlled stimulus, and offers the teacher the possibility to apply the internalized strategies to every planning, without the need for a permanent face-to-face training. This allows for transfer, generalization and continuity in time of the designed intervention, which will guarantee all children, independently of their social origin, a similar point of arrival. Likewise, knowledge of the cognitive profile allows for guidance of teachers in the design of their curriculum planning, directing and focusing the strategies for a timely development of the teaching-learning process. <![CDATA[Adaptación de la batería de Evaluación de la Memoria Semántica en la Demencia de tipo Alzheimer (EMSDA) a la población de la ciudad de Buenos Aires]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000100003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Se llevó a cabo la adaptación de la Batería para la Evaluación de la Memoria Semántica en Demencia de tipo Alzheimer (Peraita, González Labra, Sánchez Bernardos & Galeote Moreno, 2000)¹ para su aplicación en la Ciudad de Buenos Aires (República Argentina). Esta batería permite evaluar mediante pruebas de modalidad visual, verbal y auditiva, el deterioro del conocimiento de seis categorías semánticas de seres vivientes y no vivientes. Ha sido desarrollada para población de habla hispana con la finalidad de evaluar el deterioro semántico en la Demencia de tipo Alzheimer. Su valor radica en que complementa la evaluación neuropsicológica, donde los aspectos de la memoria semántica por lo general están poco representados, otorgándole valor predictivo al posibilitar la detección temprana de determinadas patologías en las que se encuentra afectado ese sistema de la memoria. Se administró la batería a 30 sujetos sin deterioro cognitivo que tenían entre 61 y 88 años de edad y un promedio de 12 años de escolaridad. Los participantes fueron cuidadosamente seleccionados y se excluyeron a quienes pudieran presentar indicadores de deterioro cognitivo. La evaluación de los ítemes se realizó en base a la frecuencia de las respuestas correctas. Se tomó este criterio considerando que se trata de variables categóricas y el tamaño de la muestra. Se estimó la proporción de respuestas correctas en las seis categorías y dominios de seres vivientes y seres no vivientes. Los nuevos ítemes fueron seleccionados respetando la estructura de la batería y considerando su correlación entre las distintas pruebas.<hr/>In this work some items of the Evaluation Battery for Semantic Memory Deterioration in Alzheimer's Disease, were adapted to be used in the population of Buenos Aires city - República Argentina (EMSDA -in Spanish-, Peraita, González Labra, Sánchez Bernardos, & Galeote Moreno, 2000). The original battery presents a series of tasks, elaborated with the aim of assessing semantic deterioration and/or conceptual memory in patients with Alzheimer's disease. It allows specifically, assessing some features of the semantic visual and verbal knowledge of six categories concerning to living / animated beings and inanimate objects as well as the attributes that organize them. The evaluation of attributes belonging to the categories assessed by the EMSDA is implemented following a conceptual representation model, according to which attributes can be grouped in at least nine common conceptual components for the living things and inanimate objects categories. This conceptual representation model was constructed on the basis of an empirical approximation to the study of formation and representation of natural categories and objects representation (Peraita, Elosúa, & Linares, 1992). The various conceptual components vary in their frequency, according to the level of generality of the categories (superordinate, basic, or subordinate), category type, age, and education level, verifying this tendency in samples of patients with dementia of the Alzheimer´s type (DAT). The purpose of this paper is to present the items adjustment of some tasks of the EMSDA to the population of Buenos Aires city. The battery was administered to 30 healthy elderly between 61 and 88 years and 12 years average of education. The participants were carefully selected to be included in the sample. To rule out cognitive deterioration we did not include participants whose performance in the Mini Mental State Examination and the Wechsler Memory Scale Revised were one standard deviation bellow the expected scoring for age and educational level. To study the items we evaluated the frequency of answers, considering them more suitable when 75% or more participants gave the expected target. This criterion was chosen considering the variables were categorical, and the sample was formed with healthy elderly participants, i.e. without cognitive deterioration. To this preliminary analysis, it was estimated the proportion of correct answers to the six categories belonging to domains of living beings and in animate objects with the original and new items. We observed that some of them did not reach the 75% of agreement, and consistently, we determined to change the following tasks: Picture Naming, Spoken Word / Picture Matching, Sentence Verification, and Semantic Analogies. We selected new items taking into account the structure of the original version of the battery, and their correlations between the tasks. This new items were administered to 28 participants of the original sample. The means of each task were analyzed by Students distribution obtaining higher scorings with the adapted items (p < .0001). It is important to note that the proportion of expected answers to the living / animate and non living / inanimate objects were similar. The same results were observed to the supra ordinate and basic level of the category. However, to study the reliability of these results it would be necessary to explore the items in a larger sample. These preliminary results indicate that the new items can be considered an appropriate adjustment to our social culture context and to determine semantics impairments. This is considered a useful tool for the neuropsychological assessment to investigate the category specific deficits and other cognitive processes. <![CDATA[Información complementaria, resistencia y efectos subjetivos en la memoria conversacional]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000100004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es El estudio realizado indagó el papel que tiene la información complementaria en los procesos de resistencia que participan en el desarrollo de memorias colectivas. Se diseñó un experimento con el fin de evaluar si es posible fortalecer los procesos de resistencia proveyendo a los participantes con información complementaria al material estímulo. El experimento constaba de tres fases: El día 1 escucharon historias (cada sujeto escuchó una versión levemente modificada) y desarrollaron un recuerdo libre, individual y escrito acerca de cada una. El día 2 participaron en un recupero grupal acerca de las historias. El día 3 respondieron a tareas escritas de recuerdo libre y de reconocimiento forzado e indicaron el nivel de confianza en sus respuestas. La calidad de los recuerdos se manipuló al proveer dibujos contextualizantes generales y específicos para el material estímulo. Además se generó una situación de desconfianza en uno de los participantes a fines de evaluar los procesos resistenciales. Los resultados indican que la información complementaria reforzante no tiene una incidencia mayor que la información contextualizante general en los procesos de resistencia. Si la fuente que impone no es confiable y escuchó la información sin dibujo que la acompañe, aumenta el nivel de confianza que el sujeto tiene en su propia respuesta. En cambio, si la fuente recibió la información con un dibujo acompañante, el nivel de confianza en la respuesta dada se mantiene igual, tanto si la fuente es confiable como si no lo es.<hr/>This study focuses on the resistance processes involved in the development of collective memories. It is part of a series of studies that consider conversational dynamics as a factor in the development of these memories. Previous studies have shown how conversation participates in the development and the shaping of collective memories. Recall of the past has shown to be very structured according to different roles: those of Narrator, Mentor and Monitor. Narrators, those subjects in a group recall who do most of the telling of the past, proved to be very effective in imposing their version of the past onto other members of the group. This fact would explain one of the ways memory converge and how collective memories are formed. When a group of subjects recall together the past, some of the processes involved are those of resistance and appropriation. In conversational recalls, participants have resisted the rendering of the past of some members and appropriated those of others. There are several studies that consider how different factors -psychological as well as social- have an impact on the formation of collective memories through conversation. These studies have shown how the quality of the memories affects the levels of resistance, as well as the dynamics of the conversation. Another factor that has had an impact on resistance and appropriation processes is trust. Entrusted subjects can be resisted in a group recall under certain circumstances. Finally, discussions about disagreements of the past, as they happen during a conversational recall of the past, have also proven to be an important factor that has had an effect on resistance levels. In this experimental study we investigated how complementary information may play a role on resistance processes. The study was designed in order to find out whether it is possible to reinforce resistance by providing the subjects with information that complements the stimuli material. It took place on three consecutive days. The sample was composed of 80 participants that conformed 20 groups of four subjects each. On the first day, subjects listened to some stories (each one heard a slightly different version), then they were exposed to a distracter, and then responded to a free recall task. On the second day, subjects were assembled around a table and asked to recall the stories together. Before the recall, a warning was provided over one of the subjects, who was not aware of the situation. Finally, on the third day, they completed a free recall and a forced recognition task remembering the stories as they heard them on the first day. In order to evaluate their confidence on the response, subjects had also to indicate how confidence they were in a 1 to 6 Lickert scale. By providing the subjects with specific and general contextual drawings together with the stimuli material, we manipulated the quality of the memories. Subjects with a contextual drawing would be able to form better memories of the stories, thus, more resistance to imposition. Would a specific drawing generate even more resistant memories? The mistrust situation generated on day 2 would allow enquiring on resistance processes. The findings indicate that reinforcing complementary information has no major incidence on resistance processes than general contextualizing information. Results on recognition have shown that. On the other hand, confidence rating analysis show that if the source imposing its version is not trusted and heard the story without complementary information, subjects tend to trust more on their own answers. Also, if the source imposing its version was provided with complementary information, subjects' confidence on their own answers remains the same whether the source is trusted or not. <![CDATA[Ecolocación humana: Revisión histórica de un fenómeno particular - Segunda parte]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000100005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es La ecolocación es una habilidad que usaría inconscientemente la mayoría de las personas. Resulta crucial para la movilidad independiente de la persona ciega e implica utilizar sonidos autoproducidos y sus reflexiones para localizar y reconocer objetos que no se ven. Dos nuevos paradigmas han enriquecido el estudio de esta sorprendente habilidad: el del acoplamiento sensoriomotor y el de la sustitución sensorial. El primero sostiene que los sistemas perceptivo y motor constituyen procesos acoplados que requieren un insoslayable tratamiento unificado. El segundo considera que es posible ver con los oídos o con la piel en virtud de la plasticidad cerebral. En esta segunda parte se presenta la temática en el contexto teórico de la cognición corporizada y de recientes avances en neurociencias; se desarrollan además los estudios realizados en el tercer período. En esta revisión se reflejan cambios paradigmáticos en las ciencias del comportamiento y el valor científico acrecentado de la ecolocación humana.<hr/>Echolocation is an ability that can be used daily by human beings, even without being conscious of it. It turns out to be crucial to the efficient independent mobility of the blind person, an aspect that is severely affected by blindness. It implies using the information that emerges from self-produced sounds and their reflexions in order to locate and recognize unseen objects. According to the new cognitive and ecological paradigms in perception, it is believed that the primary function of the auditory system is to determinate, i.e., to localize and recognize, the characteristics of the sound source through the sounds emitted by it. Within this context, it has been very recently argued that echolocation (i.e., the ability to locate and recognize biologically relevant secondary sound sources through the information contained in the direct-reflected couple) is a variant of that general process of primary sound sources determination. Two recently established scientific paradigms have specially enriched the study of this amazing ability: the sensorimotor contingency theory and the sensory substitution perspective. The first approach claims that the perceptual and motor systems are coupling processes that demand a thoroughly unified treatment. The second approach considers that, for example, vision loss does not mean loss of the ability to see since it is possible to see with the ears or the skin. The central idea is that the information usually captured by vision may instead be captured by touch or audition, on account of brain plasticity. In this way, in echolocation (which represents a kind of 'seeing with the ears' natural sensory substitution system that is part of the human endowment) action consists of the exploratory activity that the subject carries out through self-generation of sounds and head and/or cane movements while sensation refers to certain tonal or spatial percepts related to the presence and characteristics of the objects that the subject (implicitly) learns to perceive probably as auditory Gestalts. In the first part of this article the main theoretical aspects and a revision of the studies throughout two of the three delimited periods were developed: FIRST APPROACHES (1700 - 1935) and SIENTIFIC STUDY OF HUMAN ECHOLOCATION (1940 -1980). The questions that researchers formulated during these periods were firstly concerned with discovering if blind persons actually possessed this ability, which of the sense organs was involved and which sensory stimulation was its necessary and sufficient condition. Secondly, they inquired into the scopes of echolocation and its possible underlying psychoacoustic mechanisms. The thorough investigations carried out allowed to unequivocally establishing that audition is the sensory basis of this ability and that changes in pitch are its necessary and sufficient condition. It was also demonstrated that not only blind subjects but also appropriately trained sighted subjects were able to precisely localize and recognize the characteristics of the experimental objects. In this second part, we present the object of study within the context of theories of embodied cognition and recent developments in the field of the neurosciences; we also elaborate upon studies carried out during the third period, named RECENT STUDIES, that extends from 1990 to present days. We show how the blind person with good echolocation ability becomes an excellent experimental model to study behavioral and neurophysiological aspects involved in implicit learning. The article illustrates the paradigm shifts that occurred in recent scientific history through the study of this particular human ability that, within the mentioned recent theoretical context, has acquired a renewed interest. <![CDATA[Valores y política: Análisis del perfil axiológico de los estudiantes universitarios de la ciudad de Buenos Aires (República Argentina)]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000100006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Para Rokeach (1968), los valores son un concepto clave en las Ciencias Sociales, la principal variable dependiente en los estudios culturales sobre la sociedad y la personalidad y la principal variable independiente en el estudio de las actitudes y la conducta social. Distintas investigaciones en Psicología Política revelan a los valores como importantes para la explicación de los fenómenos políticos (e.g., Barnea & Schwartz,1998; Caprara & Zimbardo, 2004; Delfino, Fernández & Zubieta, 2007). Las dimensiones postuladas o identificadas en los estudios relevantes sobre valores políticos también pueden ser localizadas dentro del marco de su teoría de los valores humanos. Con el objetivo de conocer el perfil de valores de un grupo de jóvenes y sus variaciones en función del posicionamiento ideológico y de aspectos sociodemográficos, se realizó un estudio descriptivo-correlacional, de diseño no experimental transversal sobre la base de una muestra intencional de 500 estudiantes universitarios. Se detectó una relación interesante entre las metas motivacionales, la orientación política y los valores de igualdad y libertad. Quienes optan por la libertad enfatizan valores de autodirección, hedonismo, logro y poder, mientras que quienes priorizan la igualdad valoran más la tradición y el universalismo. Quienes se inclinan por la libertad muestran mayor tendencia a la apertura al cambio y a la autopromoción -acento en la persona-, en tanto los que eligen la igualdad valoran en mayor medida la conservación y la autotrascendencia mostrando una mayor orientación hacia lo social.<hr/>Rokeach (1968) considers values as a key concept in Social Sciences: main dependent variable in cultural studies on society and personality, and main independent variable in attitudes and social behaviour studies. The author defends values utility to represent different political positions. Freedom and equality values would reflect that representation due to the effect of unequal power distribution in society which leads people to perceive that some individuals have more freedom than others and relationships in a hierarchical order. Different researches in Political Psychology reveal values as important factors in political phenomena explanation (e.g., Barnea & Schwartz, 1998; Caprara & Zimbardo, 2004; Delfino, Fernández, & Zubieta, 2007). In this line, Schwartz (2001) points out that identified dimensions in relevant studies on political values also can be localized in the frame of its theory of human values. Caprara and colaborators (2006) analysed the relationship between values, personality traits, and vote in national election in Italy 2001 and found that left wing oriented participants show higher punctuations in universalism, benevolence and self-direction values compare with those right wing oriented participants. On the other side, more right oriented subjects show higher punctuations in security, power, achievement, conformity and tradition motives. It was also verify that values explained a major variance percentage than personality traits when predicting passed and future vote, and political option change. With the aim of exploring values profiles in youth people and its variation in terms of ideological positioning and socio-demographical aspects, a descriptive study was carried out -non experimental transversal design- based on a convenience sample of 500 college students from Buenos Aires city and surroundings. In terms of motivational preferences and coherent with previous studies findings -based on students and general population samples (Zubieta et al., 2006, 2007; Zubieta, Fillipi, & Báez, 2007)-, dimensions with major punctuations are self trascendence -others well being and selfish interest trascendence- and openess to change where hedonism and self direction are emphasize. Participants left oriented political position also reinforce previous findings revealing how political orientation varied in terms of college career. Those oriented to social sciences tend to have left oriented political position. In the same sense, left political orientation is related to self trascendence values and has a lesser emphasis in conservation and self-promotion motives. An interesting relationship was found between motives, political orientation, equality and freedom values. Participants who emphasize self-direction, hedonism, achievement, and power values prefer freedom instead of equality while those who emphasize tradition and universalism prefer equality instead of freedom. Students who prefer freedom show higher tendency to openess to change and self promotion values -individual focus- while those who prefer equality emphasize conservation and self transcendences values-social focus. Following Rokeach (1968) postulation, it can be argued that values may not replace but complement political attitudes and behaviours comprehension in terms of left and right tendencies. Values are interceding factors in world vision framings. Individuals holding social instead of individual values orientations, stressing equality over freedom have attitudes and behaviours different to those who hold opposite ideas. In this sense, motivational goals are associated with institutional self selection or college career preferences which combined with factors such age and sex produce different cognitions and behaviours that can be translate, for instance, in freedom or equality preferences. <![CDATA[Estrategias de aculturación y adaptación psicológica y sociocultural de estudiantes extranjeros en la Argentina]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000100007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Sobre la base del modelo de Berry se diseñó un estudio que tenía como objetivo analizar las estrategias aculturativas empleadas por un grupo de estudiantes extranjeros que habían migrado para realizar estudios universitarios en la Argentina. Se analizó el grado de éxito alcanzado en la implementación de dichas estrategias analizando la adaptación psicológica, la sociocultural, la académica, la satisfacción vital y la discriminación percibida. Se tomó en cuenta la perspectiva del migrante y la de los miembros de la cultura huésped. Participaron del estudio dos muestras de estudiantes universitarios (125 estudiantes extranjeros de diferentes carreras universitarias y 121estudiantes universitarios argentinos). Los instrumentos utilizados fueron los siguientes: las formas real e ideal de la Encuesta de Estrategias Aculturativas de Berry (1997), una escala de discriminación percibida y para examinar las medidas de adaptación, se administraron escalas de adaptación sociocultural y de adaptación académica diseñadas ad-hoc y la Escala de Satisfacción con la Vida (Diener, Emmons, Larsen & Griffin, 1985). Los resultados señalan que la estrategia preferida es la integración y la menos utilizada, la de marginalización. Tanto la percepción del migrante como la del estudiante huésped coinciden con respecto al uso de la estrategia aculturativa preferida, coincidiendo las percepciones tanto del propio sujeto en proceso de aculturación como la de los miembros de la cultura receptora. La integración es la estrategia que trae mejores resultados adaptativos. Aquellos que optaron por el estilo integrativo, eran los migrantes que percibían mayor satisfacción con la vida y un mejor ajuste a la vida académica en general.<hr/>At present the number of foreign university student is one of the largest in modern history. It has been characterized as those who reside voluntarily and temporarily abroad in order to participate in educational exchange with the intention of returning to their country once they have achieved the purpose of their trip. These kinds of student have been classified as sojourners (temporary residents) and they are people who migrate from one cultural context for a relatively long time (6 months to 5 years). In the last decade Argentina start hosting a large amount of foreign university students, attracted by the language, the favorable economic conditions and the prestige of universities in Latin America. University students have to deal with a psychological phenomenon called acculturation and it is the process of psychological and cultural change resulting from intercultural contact. Adaptation to this event can be either psychological or cultural. The psychological is related to the well-being experienced as a result of cultural contact. Cultural adaptation involves the implementation of social skills needed to function effectively within a complex cultural environment. Based on acculturation Berry´s model a study was designed to test the acculturative strategies applied by a group of foreign students who had migrated to carry on university studies in Argentina. Berry propose two separate dimensions: (1) immigrants feel their cultural identity and customs as valuable enough to keep them in the host society (maintenance) and (2) relationships with other people or groups in society are truly valuable to identified and encouraged (participation). These dimensions lead to four acculturation strategies. (a) Integration: the migrant try to maintain their cultural heritage and also maintains contact with the dominant cultural group. (b) Assimilation: the individual does not retain their native culture and attempts to maintain contact only with dominant culture members. (c) Marginalization: occurs when the migrant has no interest or ability to pursue their native culture and it is unlikely to come into contact with the host culture. (d) Separation: this occurs when the migrant is able to maintain their original culture but avoid or cannot have interaction with the dominant group. We analyzed the degree of success achieved in implementing these strategies, assessing the psychological and sociocultural adjustment, academic achievement, life satisfaction, and perceived discrimination. It also was taken into account the perspective of the members of the host culture. This study involved two samples of university students (125 students of different nationalities and 121 Argentine university students). The instruments used were: Acculturative Strategies Survey (real and ideal forms - Berry, 1997), a scale of perceived discrimination, a psychological adjustment scale, a scale of adaptation sociocultural adaptation designed ad-hoc academic, and The Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985). The results indicate that the most preferred strategy is the integration and the least used was marginalization. The acculturation process is carried out taking into account aspects of both cultures. Perceptions of university students and members of the host culture are congruent. Integration is the strategy that brings better adaptive results. Migrants who opted for the integrative strategy perceived more life satisfaction and a better adjustment to academic life. By contrast, students who chose to retain only aspects relating to their cultural identity and avoid contact with the host culture (separation) are those with less sociocultural adaptation and also feel discriminated as a cultural group. Findings presented are important because the research using Berry´s model in Latin American population is scarce. There are also few investigations analyzing differential perceptions taking into account not only the point of view of the minority group (migrant population) but also the majority group (host culture). <![CDATA[Analogías de figuras: Teoría y construcción de ítemes]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000100008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Se describen las bases conceptuales y operacionales de los tests de resolución de problemas por analogía estableciendo énfasis en las analogías de figuras. Se expone brevemente la importancia del estudio de dicho constructo hipotético para el abordaje de la capacidad intelectual. Se citan lineamientos teóricos sobre el mismo y se describen las características y mecanismos cognitivos fundamentales implicados en la resolución de matrices de figuras. En cuanto a este último punto, se aborda la comprensión de las relaciones y correlatos entre relaciones figurales tomando el modelo de proporción A:B::C:D propio de la tradición psicométrica desde principios del Siglo XX. Se establecen además vínculos conceptuales con aportes de autores pertenecientes a la vertiente cognitiva de estudio del razonamiento analógico y con escuelas de la Psicología General. Se pretende brindar un marco ideal para la creación de matrices figurales de 2 x 2 que midan el constructo. Con el objetivo de evitar sesgos en la medición, se plantean seis sugerencias básicas puestas al servicio tanto de la confección de estos reactivos, como de su administración. Dichas sugerencias son las siguientes: (1) considerar el doble camino de resolución de la matriz, (2) desarrollar una estrategia unívoca de resolución, (3) tomar en cuenta n estrategias para generar nk ítemes, (4) crear ítemes a ser resueltos únicamente por la vía del razonamiento analógico, (5) consideraciones en cuanto a las opciones de respuesta y (6) consideraciones referidas a la administración.<hr/>This paper describes the conceptual and operational bases of analogical problem - solving tests, placing emphasis on figural analogies. The importance of the study of such a hypothetical construct to the understanding of intellectual capacity is briefly outlined. The significance of the construct in relation to mental development and individual maturation from childhood to adulthood is also explained in a concise way. Theoretical considerations about analogical reasoning are quoted and the fundamental characteristics and cognitive mechanisms involved in the resolution of figural matrix items are described. In this respect, the nature of relations and correlations between relations of figures is elucidated taking into account the A:B::C:D proportional model which has been researched by psychometrists since the beginning of the 20th Century. This model suggests the existence of two pairs of relations between elements, where element A is to element B as element C is to a missing element D (Figure 2). Items created on the basis of this structure usually contain given answers, only one of which is correct. On the other hand, linkages are established with contributions from experts defending the cognitive perspective of the study of analogical reasoning, and also with General Psychology schools like Gestalt and Gardner's theory of multiple intelligence. Finally, an ideal framework for the creation of 2 x 2 figural matrices that can measure analogical reasoning is intended to be provided. With the purpose of reducing item bias, six essential suggestions for the preparation and administration of items are offered. These suggestions are: (1) the constructor should consider the double resolution pathway of a proportional analogy (horizontal as well as vertical, i.e. A:B::C:D and A:C::B:D). In doing so, the probability of generating non-controlled rules of analogical relation to one of these pathways will be reduced. These accidental rules correspond to resolution logics different from those chosen by the designer, therefore affecting item manipulation and control. (2) Strongly related to the latter, given that each rule or combination of rules creates one different resolution strategy, each proportional analogy item should incorporate only one of these strategies to be applied horizontally as well as vertically. (3) Given that one or more rules may be used for the same item, a few rules are more than enough to prepare a large group of strategies and, therefore, a large item bank. Also, it is possible to take into account n strategies to produce nk items, being k the number of items apparently different from each other that nevertheless share the same resolution strategy. (4) Items that can be solved by applying ways of reasoning different from those of the proportional analogies should not be constructed. For instance, the designer should not allow superficial comparisons among some matching attributes of the item as a problem solving method, since this procedure does not require the consideration of the whole matrix structure (Gestalt's) which should serve as a basis for the analogical reasoning task. Therefore, pairing analogies should be rejected as they allow for this kind of resolution pathways (e.g. matching circle C with circle D2 in the 4th item of Figure 2, without taking into account the other matrix figures). (5) Alternative responses should contain one clearly correct answer to be discovered by using only analogical reasoning; wrong answers should not replace the correct one just because they are more appropriate considering alternative non-pretended ways of reasoning; all alternatives should share similarities and be distributed on a random basis. (6) The bias arising from administration conditions should be taken into account, including the possible verbal contamination during completion of this non-verbal test. <![CDATA[Razonamiento espacial y rendimiento académico]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000100009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Se presentan los resultados de una investigación cuyos objetivos fueron evaluar los siguientes puntos: (a) el nivel de razonamiento espacial en alumnos del Ciclo Básico Común (CBC) de la Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Urbanismo de la Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), (b) la relación entre razonamiento espacial y rendimiento académico, (c) la relación entre razonamiento espacial y educación media de origen, (d) el progreso en razonamiento espacial al finalizar el CBC y (e) las posibles diferencias en razonamiento espacial y en rendimiento académico según sexo. La muestra estuvo compuesta por 596 alumnos que cursaban la materia Dibujo. Se usó un diseño cuasi-experimental de clases intactas, con pre y post-test. Resultaron diferencias significativas en el nivel de razonamiento espacial entre el comienzo y el final del CBC, consideradas como un efecto de la enseñanza. Los varones superaron a las mujeres en capacidad de razonamiento espacial. Las mujeres registraron una menor tasa de deserción, mayor incremento en los puntajes de razonamiento espacial post-test y en el rendimiento final, que se interpretan en relación con el rol del esfuerzo. El rendimiento de la primera parte del año, en combinación con el nivel de razonamiento espacial en el momento del ingreso, permitió predecir el 60% del resultado final. Se verifican diferencias en razonamiento espacial y en los índices de deserción en relación con la variable Carrera.<hr/>The paper reports an enquiry aimed at: (1) assessing the spatial reasoning level reached by students admitted to the university entrance course at the Architecture, Design and Urban Planning School of the University of Buenos Aires, (2) examining the relation between spatial reasoning and academic achievement, (3) exploring the relation between spatial reasoning and secondary schooling, (4) evaluating spatial reasoning progress at the end of the course, and (5) ascertaining possible gender - related differences in spatial reasoning and academic achievement. Current literature is reviewed, focusing on the concept of spatial reasoning, the skills involved, gender - related differences and academic achievement, with special reference to technology studies. Two prevailing trends are identified: the factorial approach and cognitive. Explanations of male spatial skills advantage stress biological or environmental aspects or a combination of both. Students' poor spatial reasoning performance at the start of university highlights the need to develop spatial competence at the lower levels of schooling, particularly in secondary school, within an integral education approach. This would en- compass all the essential dimensions of the human being, rather than concentrate on disembodied rationality. Research points to mental visualisation and graphic communication abilities as necessary components of drawing and design. Training in object manipulation, block building and the sketching of observed objects has been found to enhance performance in activities specifically related to the contents taught, although transfer to test situations would seem harder to accomplish. Spatial skills training should, therefore, become part of university curriculum, especially in the case of technology courses. The sample was made up of 596 students enrolled in the Drawing Course. A quasi-experimental pre-test post-test intact group design was used and the results were linked to gender-related attribution patterns. Students' initially low spatial reasoning level would point to secondary schooling shortcomings. Significant differences in spatial reasoning level have been observed between the beginning and the end of the course, which might be ascribed to instructional intervention, consistently with research findings on the effects of training on spatial reasoning ability. Results for the whole sample reveal that male subjects scored higher on spatial reasoning ability, but no significant gender-related differences have been detected in the case of subjects with a technologically oriented secondary education. This might be associated with gender-based differences concerning the role of specific training. Drop-out rates were lower among women, who, together with higher post-test score increases and final achievement scores would point to the part played by effort in compensating for skills deficits. Female subjects would appear to make better use of the instruction received. Spatial reasoning has been found to be a good predictor of achievement, with initial spatial reasoning level combined with first semester achievement predicting 60% of the final achievement scores. Academic achievement levels were lower than spatial reasoning ones, especially in the first test. The gap narrowed in the second, which suggests that students learned to use their ability to better advantage during the course. It is concluded that the spatial reasoning capacity of students newly admitted to university may be characterised as limited, which might pose a major hurdle to the completion of technology entrance courses. Secondary schooling should be redefined in terms of the relationship between spatial skills and the capacity to assign representational content to conceptual knowledge, which is required for the latter to become fully possessed and transferable. Far from being restricted to the sphere of technical performance, the need to integrate the conceived and the perceived is rooted in the very nature of human knowledge. A relation has been identified between differences in spatial reasoning and drop-out rates, on the one hand, and degree course choice, on the other. <![CDATA[Resultados de un programa de alfabetización temprana: Desempeño en lectura en niños de sectores en desventaja socioeconómica]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000100010&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es El objetivo del trabajo que se informa fue contribuir al conocimiento del proceso de alfabetización temprana en español en sectores en desventaja socioeconómica y cultural y analizar los resultados de un estudio destinado al desarrollo de habilidades relativas a la lectura de palabras y textos en niños de 4 a 7 años de edad. Se comparó el desempeño de dos grupos de niños (experimental y control) que concurrían a escuelas públicas de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (Argentina) y que habían sido homologados en todas las variables analizadas. Uno de ellos recibió intervención específica en alfabetización temprana durante 2 años. Las evaluaciones se realizaron antes, durante y a mediano plazo, una vez finalizada la intervención. Sobre los datos obtenidos se calcularon estadísticos descriptivos (medias, desvíos estándar y porcentajes de aciertos) y estadísticos inferenciales (prueba t y de diferencia de proporciones). Asimismo, se realizaron análisis cualitativos de los tipos de errores cometidos y de las estrategias utilizadas para la lectura de palabras (pre-analítica,analítica incompleta inicial e intermedia y alfabética consolidada) y lectura de texto (lectura silabeante sin y con recodificación, fluida y expresiva). Los resultados encontrados muestran mejoras evidentes en la lectura de palabras largas y pseudopalabras, con una diferencia al final de la intervención de hasta un 33% entre ambos grupos, a favor del grupo experimental, cuyos niños utilizan mayor porcentaje de estrategias analíticas. En la lectura de textos aparece una diferencia similar (27%) a favor del grupo experimental, entre los niños que pueden leer fluidamente un texto corto. Esto prepara los cimientos para un adecuado progreso en la comprensión lectora y demuestra el alto impacto de la intervención realizada.<hr/>The purpose of this study is to contribute to the understanding of the process of early literacy in Spanish in children with cultural and socio-economic disadvantages. Likewise, it aims at showing the results of a study about reading skills - specifically the reading of words and texts by 4 to 7 year-old children. The study was conducted following research models of Cognitive Psychology and was carried out by comparing the performance of two groups of children, the test group and the control group. These children attended public schools in the Province of Buenos Aires (Argentina) and they were treated as equivalents in all of the analyzed variables. One of the groups received specific early literacy intervention for two years. The assessments were made before, during and midway after finishing the intervention. The reading of words and pseudo words as well as reading and reading comprehension were evaluated. Gough and Juel (1989) propose a simple reading model that states that reading comprehension is the result of the multiplication of decoding and oral language comprehension [RC (reading comprehension) = D*LC (decoding multiplied by language comprehension)]. The multiplying nature of this relationship means that both factors, D and LC, are necessary for comprehension purposes but none of them are sufficient by themselves (Gough, Juel, & Griffith, 1992; Hoover & Gough, 1990). By analyzing the correlation between RC and each of the two factors, it is clearly shown that decoding is the most important step at the beginning of the learning process [r (RC*D) = .61 and r (RC*LC) =.39] and that the values are later reversed at the beginning of secondary school [r (RC*LC) = .68 and r (RC*D) = .39] (Alegría, 2006). Therefore, the differences in the reading comprehension process during the first years of schooling could be due to differences in fluency in reading. At the same time, the automatic word recognition theory (La Berge & Samuels, 1974) provides a strong explanation about the importance of fluency in reading. If the word recognition process is not fluent enough, a lot of energy is placed on paying attention, causing comprehension to be impaired. Taking the above information into account, one of the objectives of the implemented early intervention program has been to promote automatic decoding so that a minimum of other attention resources would be needed. In order to achieve this, it was necessary to develop phonological skills, knowledege of grapheme - phoneme correspondence, as well as the fast ensemble of phonemes. From the data gathered descriptive statistics (means, standard deviations, and achievement percentages) and inferential statistics (t test and percentage difference tests) were obtained. Likewise, a qualitative analysis of the types of mistakes made and the strategies used for word reading (pre-analytical, initial incomplete analytical and intermediate, and consolidated literacy) as well as the different categories in oral text reading (syllabification reading with and without recoding, fluent and expressive) was made. The results of the study show significant improvement in the reading of long words and pseudo words with a 33 % difference between the two groups, in favor of the experimental group, at the end of the intervention. The children from this group use a greater percentage of analytical strategies, which helps them read new words. Regarding text reading, there is a 27% difference among the children who can read a short text fluently in the test group and the ones who cannot do it in the control group. This finding has helped established a good foundation for adequate improvement in reading comprehension skills and shows the high impact the intervention has had on these children.