Abstract

Figure copying and constructional abilities were examined in 15 healthy adult participants qualifying for illiteracy, following UNESCO criteria. A set of 14 figures was used for copying, 3 of them in perspective. Four figures of the same protocol were used to reproduce with sticks. Mean age of the sample was of 63.86 years old. They were matched for age and gender to schooled (6–7 years) controls. Illiteracy was due to social, cultural or economic factors. The most frequent and relevant findings were an inability to reproduce the perspective (13/15), unfolding (4/15) and unstructured copying (3/15). No errors were made on the stick construction task. None of these findings appeared in control subjects. The pattern is similar to that reported mostly in left-hemisphere lesion patients. Neglecting the cultural or academic background may, then, bias interpretation in these tasks.