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Learning and short-term memory in infants with complex congenital heart diseases in the mobile paradigm at 3 months of age: preliminary data

Research Scholar

Thais Invencão Cabral, PhD candidate in physical therapy, Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR) (Brazil)
Jill Heathcock, faculty mentor


  • Hometown: São Carlos, Brazil
  • Degrees received: Master of Education in special education, Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR), Brazil.

What is the issue or problem addresses in your research?

Infants with congenital heart diseases (CHD) can have structural abnormalities of the heart or intrathoracic great vessels. Approximately a quarter of these cases are complex and need surgical intervention within the first year of life. However, newer surgical strategies have been increasing the survival rate of infants with CHD and, consequently, the mortality rate has decreased. Otherwise the morbidity has become an increasingly relevant outcome.

What methodology did you use in your research?

Ten infants with CHD (5 males, 5 females) were examined and 753 kicks were analyzed. Two researchers analyzed the kicks and the concordance index inter-rater was 93.7% and intra-rater was 87.1%. The paradigm was administered on two successive days. Kicks were coded during all phases.In the mobile paradigm the infant is positioned in supine and the ankle is tethered to a mobile. When the infants kicks with that leg, cause a mobile movement.

What are the purpose/rationale and implications of your research?

The purpose of this study was to examine learning and short-term memory through the mobile paradigm in infants at 3 months of age with complex Congenital Heart Defects. Infants with CHD do not showed learning (p=0.725) and short-term memory (p = 0.521) across periods of the mobile paradigm.