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Neuropsicologia Latinoamericana

On-line version ISSN 2075-9479


PARENTE, Maria Alice de Mattos Pimenta; SCHERER, Lilian Cristine; ZIMMERMANN, Nicolle  and  FONSECA, Rochele Paz. Evidence of the role of education in brain organization. Neuropsicologia Latinoamericana [online]. 2009, vol.1, n.1, pp. 72-80. ISSN 2075-9479.

Schooling has been pointed as a sociodemographic variable with an important role in neuropsychological processing. However, reviews which put together specific evidence of this relevance are still scarce. In this context, the present review article aims to present a panorama of behavioral and neuroimaging evidence from healthy and clinical populations about the influence of the schooling effect in cognitive processes. Among the main data with healthy participants, it is observable that the higher the number of years of formal education is, the better the results in several neuropsychological tasks tend to be, with changes in volumetric and functional cerebral structures. Regarding the data of clinical groups, evidence of this correlation has been found in samples with acquired cerebral lesion and with demential disorders. Such findings are not consensual, but there seems to occur a tendency for an overlap of the schooling effect on the lesion effect, in the first clinical group, and of a relationship between higher schooling with an increase in cognitive reserves in the second group. Despite the considerable advances in the studies on the role of schooling in human cognition, there is still a great lack of research in order to reach a better understanding of the various subfactors which underlie the quantitative factor of the amount of years of formal education. More neuroimaging evidence should be obtained.

Keywords : Neuropsychological assessment; Educational status; Normalization; Cerebrovascular disease; Dementia.

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