PROCESSOS COGNITIVOS E PLASTICIDADE CEREBRAL NA SÍNDROME DE DOWN
Maria de Fátima Minetto Caldeira SILVA
Andréia Cristina dos Santos KLEINHANS
ABSTRACT: much has been said about Down Syndrome. But one aspect stands out: their cognitive difficulties. Which areas are most affected? How can they be enhanced? Such questions have instigated many researchers. As inclusion in the schools is being achieved, such issues have augmented the search for answers, since, during the last decades have shown that people with Down Syndrome do have cognitive potential to develop. We would like to point out at this time that we don’t intend to deny the evidence of real lesions due to genetic alterations, but rather to highlight the possibility of minimizing their negative effect. The aim of this article is to address and discuss some of the recent discoveries related to cognitive processes in Down Syndrome, so as to show how important brain plasticity can be in development and acquisition of knowledge. To this end, we aim to discuss cognitive processes present in Down Syndrome, relating them to general concepts of brain plasticity and look at ways such knowledge can favor learning. We acknowledge that it isn’t possible to exhaust the subject, but we do intend to start thinking about this issue. To do so, we begin with a review of the literature, looking at research, from the oldest to the most recent publications, in an attempt to better understand how to make use of these findings.
KEYWORDS: Down Syndrome; brain plasticity; cognitive processes.
 Mestre em Educação/Cognição e Aprendizagem pela UFPR; Docente em Psicologia do Desenvolvimento, Escolar e Necessidades Especiais na Faculdade Evangélica do Paraná; Psicóloga do Ambulatório da Síndrome de Down do Hospital de Clínicas da UFPR. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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