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Stimulus equivalence class formation and expansion in infants and children with visual impairment

Grant number: 14/15921-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2014
Effective date (End): September 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Experimental Psychology
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Maria Stella Coutinho de Alcantara Gil
Grantee:Alessandra Corne Canosa
Host Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


The model of Stimulus Equivalence has contributed to understanding the emergence of new behaviors, as well as used to the study of symbolic behavior. Research has favored the use of auditory and visual stimuli to participants with intellectual disabilities or deafness, and few studies with participants with visual impairments. Aiming to extend the investigations on learning of complex behaviors in this population, this project aims to evaluate the expansion of equivalence classes for children with visual impairment, from the inclusion of conventional and arbitrary stimuli (Study 1) and teach and assess emergence of conditional relations between stimuli for babies and children with visual impairments (Study 2), experimental tasks adapting to the conditions of the natural environment of the participants, by analyzing mother-child interaction (Study 3). Participate in Study 1 three 6 years old children with visual impairment. Apart from two sets of stimuli in the modality auditory and four in tactile modality used in the formation of equivalence classes by participants in a previous study, two sets with names in braille will be included to evaluate the expansion of classes. The participants were exposed to a matching-to-sample (MTS) procedure to maintenance probes, teach and expansion tests. It is hoped the expansion of the equivalence classes of auditory and tactile stimuli by children with visual impairments. In Study 2, participants will be up to four babies / children between 12 and 60 months of age with visual impairments. The stimuli are familiar objects, conventional objects (familiar or unfamiliar) and abstract presented at an set in the auditory modality and three different sets in the tactile modality. Arbitrary stimulus relations will be taught and tested by the MTS. It is expected that the participants show the formation of equivalence classes three and four stimuli. (AU)

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