María José Contreras

María José Contreras
National Distance Education University | UNED · Department of Basic Psychology I

PhD

About

65
Publications
20,351
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573
Citations
Citations since 2016
30 Research Items
327 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
Introduction
I am especially interested in the plasticity of visuospatial abilities and the effect that training could have on the transfer of cognitive benefits to other disciplines where spatial thinking can be a key element, such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Furthermore, the effect that these training programs have on performance in other spatial visualization tasks and other cognitive skills, such as intelligence, working memory and math is evaluated.

Publications

Publications (65)
Article
Full-text available
Background: Mannheim Dream Questionnaire (MADRE) is an instrument used to retrospectively measure various aspects of dreams. The current study has two objectives: First, to provide a reliable Spanish validation of the Mannheim Dream (MADRE) questionnaire related to the study of dreams, and second, to compare the actual recall frequencies with those...
Article
Full-text available
Visuospatial processing is key to achieve optimal performance in academic activities, among others. In the field of spatial cognition, it has been found that practice with spatial tasks can reduce the gender gap in this type of reasoning. However, an increase in spatial scores does not always compensate the differences that exist between participan...
Article
Full-text available
El procesamiento visoespacial es clave para lograr, entre otros, un rendimiento óptimo en actividades académicas. En el ámbito de la cognición espacial se ha encontrado que la práctica con tareas espaciales puede reducir la brecha de género en este tipo de razonamiento. Sin embargo, no siempre un aumento de las puntuaciones espaciales llega a compe...
Article
It is exceedingly rare to find studies that analyze the effect of gender differences in executive-function tasks in normal cognitive aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). The objective of the present study was to analyze the mean differences in performance in four executive-function tasks, the Clock Drawing Test verba...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Interviews to obtain statements in judicial procedures need to be adapted to the witness’ abilities to testify. Also, knowing the cognitive abilities involved in testifying provides relevant criteria to assess statement credibility. As age or Intelligence Quotient (IQ) are not enough to estimate these capabilities, an instrument to evaluat...
Poster
Full-text available
The main objective of this study was to evaluate whether the number of nocturnal awakenings influences the frequency of dream recall in a sample of 58 healthy young adults. In addition, the influence of other factors (i.e., anxiety trait, vividness of mental images, spatial visualization) over the level of clarity of dream memories was examined.
Method
Full-text available
Cuestionario para la obtención de información del contexto de una víctima de un delito para detectar las necesidades de adaptación de procedimientos judiciales en personas con discapacidad. Su utilización podría ser el paso previo a la aplicación del protocolo CAPALIST para la valoración de las capacidades para testificar en personas con discapacid...
Article
Full-text available
Several studies have tried to establish the factors that underlie mathematical ability across development. Among them, spatial and motor abilities might play a relevant role, but no studies jointly contemplate both types of abilities to account for mathematical performance. The present study was designed to observe the roles of spatial and motor sk...
Article
Previous studies on metacognitive performance have explored children's abilities during primary school (7-11 years) in abstract and mathematical reasoning tasks. However, there have been no studies evaluating the metamemory processes with spatial tasks in primary school children, and even more generally, only a few studies have explored spatial met...
Chapter
We have developed a free, simple and usable online system (called ERMENTAL) with which researchers, teachers and university students can study the effects of training on cognitive processes (e.g., visuospatial as mental rotation and visuospatial memory). So far, similar platforms are usually paid or require specialized training for their use. ERMEN...
Article
Full-text available
Research has shown that mental rotation (MR) can be improved through training. However, studies with preschool children are very scarce, due in part to the lack of consensus as to the age at which this ability arises and can be trained, and due to the difficulties of working on the understanding of this ability when it begins to develop. The presen...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies have reported certain sex differences in motor performance precision. The aim of the present study was to analyze sex differences in fine motor precision performance for both hands under different test conditions. Fine motor tasks were performed by 220 Spanish participants (ages: 12–95), tracing over the provided models – lines of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Previous studies have reported certain sex differences in motor performance precision. The aim of the present study was to analyse sex differences in fine motor precision performance for both hands in different tests conditions. 220 Spanish participants (ages: 12-95) performed fine motor tasks - tracing over the provided models – lines of 40 mm for...
Article
Several studies have shown that spatial skills can be improved and are linked to mathematical reasoning. However, there are few studies that have evaluated the effect of Mental Rotation (MR) training on mathematical performance in children aged 6–8 years. One of the studies has shown a transfer towards a mathematical task, while the other has faile...
Article
Full-text available
The well-known burnout syndrome includes psychological facets that have been analyzed with respect to professions with systematic and persistent social contact. However, the context is just one side of the coin, albeit important. There might be some differential vulnerability to the development of the syndrome (the other side of the coin). The stud...
Book
Full-text available
Este libro presenta el instrumento “CAPALIST: Protocolo de Valoración de Capacidades para Testificar”. El CAPALIST supone una herramienta para la evaluación por parte del psicólogo/especialista policial de las capacidades de personas especialmente vulnerables, como personas con discapacidad intelectual, menores en periodos iniciales de desarrollo (...
Article
Full-text available
El objetivo del trabajo fue analizar la situación de las mujeres que ejercen la prostitución en el entorno de la Comunidad de Madrid (España), en el contexto de locales de alterne y la posibilidad de encontrar víctimas de redes de trata de personas. Se analizaron entrevistas a 180 mujeres que ejercían la prostitución en locales de la periferia de M...
Article
Full-text available
Currently, there is evidence that spatial skills training leads to an improvement of such skills, although studies with children in the Preschool stage are very scarce. This paper aims to examine the effectiveness of mental rotation (MR) training and sex differences in preschool children. Two experiments were carried out. Experiment 1 included 59 c...
Data
The objective of the present work was to carry out a study on the situation of women practicing prostitution in the community of Madrid (Spain), within the specific context of strip clubs and the possibility of them being victims of human trafficking networks. A total of 180 interviews were conducted on women practicing prostitution in strip clubs...
Article
The results of several studies suggest that spatial ability can be improved through direct training with tasks similar to those integrated in the tests used to measure the ability. However, there is a greater interest in analyzing the effectiveness of indirect training such as games or of learning subjects that involve spatial processes to a certai...
Article
Full-text available
Psychology undergraduates can benefit from direct experiences with laboratory procedures of psychological phenomena. However, they are not always available for students within a distance education program. The present study included students from the Spanish National Distance Education University (UNED) that were to take part in a Basic Psychology...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, the interest in Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and its relation to deficits in working memory (WM) and more specifically the different executive functions (EFs) has grown, to the point of confirming that these are quite frequent in this disorder. The aim of this study was precisely to explore differences in exe...
Article
Full-text available
Background/Aims To date, there are few studies on gender differences in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer disease (AD). In the present study, the existence of differences between sexes in verbal and visuospatial working memory tasks in the evolution of cognitive and pathological aging was examined. Method Ninety participa...
Article
Full-text available
The testimony of pre-school children is, in many cases, the main and only circumstantial evidence in criminal proceedings. Memory and language are two main components in the statement of the child and they require special analysis, not only because of the important role they play, but also because of the relationship between the two capacities. The...
Article
Full-text available
La prueba testifical de menores de corta edad es, en muchos casos, la principal y única prueba indiciaria en los procesos penales. La memoria y el lenguaje son dos de los principales componentes en la declaración del menor que requieren un especial análisis, no sólo por el importante papel que juegan, sino también por la relación existente entre am...
Article
This study adapted a new task to assess visuospatial and verbal working memory impairments in patients with Alzheimer Disease (AD), including an executive strategy of information suppression. The aim was to examine the visuospatial and verbal difficulties, and additionally to explore the average sex differences, during a 2-year follow-up study. The...
Article
Given the importance of visuospatial processing in areas related to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines, where there is still a considerable gap in the area of sex differences, the interest in the effects of visuospatial skills training continues to grow. Therefore, we have evaluated the visuospatial improvement...
Article
Full-text available
From the field of embodied cognition, previous studies have reported evidence of metaphorical mapping of emotion concepts onto a vertical spatial axis. Most of the work on this topic has used visual words as the typical experimental stimuli. However, to our knowledge, no previous study has examined the association between affect and vertical space...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to testify in victims with intellectual disabilities is commonly considered according to stereotypes, rather than its reality, taking into account the big heterogeneity that exits within this collective. It is because of this that a procedure that allows us to specifically know the cognitive characteristics of each of the victims with a...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to testify in victims with intellectual disabilities (ID) has commonly been based on stereotypes, rather than on reality itself, considering the large heterogeneity within this collective. This warrants the need for a procedure that explores the cognitive characteristics of ID victims with the aim of adapting police and judicial procedu...
Article
In the present study, the intuitive ability of police to discriminate between real and false statements of people with mild and moderate (IQ range=50-80, average=60.0) intellectual disabilities (ID) was analyzed. The assessments issued by groups with different levels of experience in police techniques (psychology students, and police officers) were...
Article
Versión traducida de: Manzanero, A.L., Quintana, J.M., y Contreras, M.J. (2015). (The null) Importance of police experience on intuitive credibility of people with intellectual disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 36, 191-197. En el presente trabajo se realizaron un experimento para analizar la capacidad intuitiva para discriminar...
Article
Full-text available
Several experimental studies have shown that there exists an association between emotion words and the vertical spatial axis. However, the specific conditions under which this conceptual-physical interaction emerges are still unknown, and no study has been devised to test whether longer linguistic units than words can lead to a mapping of emotions...
Article
The largest average sex differences in cognitive performance derives from spatial tasks (Voyer, Voyer, & Bryden, 1995). Analyses performed to date have not been able to satisfactorily explain this difference in performance. Frequently, the “sex” variable is considered a causal factor. However, “sex” is a broad category that entails so many confound...
Article
Full-text available
El objetivo del presente trabajo consistió en analizar el efecto del formato de presentación y las instrucciones sobre la capacidad para identificar a personas desconocidas vistas durante un breve periodo de tiempo en personas con discapacidad intelectual. Con este objetivo se presentó a dos grupo de participantes con discapacidad intelectual liger...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this work was to analyze the effect of presentation format and instructions on the ability of people with intellectual disability to identify individuals they did not know and had seen only briefly. With this objective in mind, 2 groups of subjects with mild to moderate intellectual disability were shown a photograph of a person and, aft...
Article
Full-text available
Responses in eyewitness identification of a person in a line-up may be based on two types of recovery experiences, remember and know experiences. Remember responses involve eyewitness identification of the target person as an episodic memory task, because it implies retrieving information about the target person in the place and at the time of the...
Article
Individual differences in performance when solving spatial tasks can be partly explained by differences in the strategies used. Two main difficulties arise when studying such strategies: the identification of the strategy itself and the stability of the strategy over time. In the present study strategies were separated into three categories: segmen...
Article
Full-text available
Can the abilities be learning? Although there is some consensus that abilities are developed, there is little consensus on how this development might occur (Lohman & Nichols, 1990). One approach in spatial ability has been the study of feedback and practice effects. The aim of the present study was to analyse these effects on dynamic spatial abilit...
Article
Full-text available
Can the abilities be learning? Although there is some consensus that abilities are developed, there is little consensus on how this development might occur (Lohman & Nichols, 1990). One approach in spatial ability has been the study of feedback and practice effects. The aim of the present study was to analyse these effects on dynamic spatial abilit...
Article
Full-text available
Computerized tasks allow a more fine-grained analysis of the strategy deployed in a task designed to map a specific ability than the usual assessment on the basis of only the level of performance. Manipulations expected to impair performance sometimes do not have that effect, probably because the level of performance alone can confound the assessme...
Chapter
Full-text available
Se realizó una investigación sobre el efecto de interferencia que provocan las fotografía previas sobre los procesos de reconocimiento de personas con sospechoso presente y sospechoso ausente. Los resultados muestran una gran cantidad de falsas identificaciones en las ruedas de sospechoso ausente. La rueda de sospechoso ausente previa provocó una d...
Article
When individuals perform spatial tasks, individual differences emerge in accuracy and speed as well as in the response patterns used to cope with the task. The purpose of this study is to identify, through empirical criteria, the different response patterns or strategies used by individuals when performing the dynamic spatial task presented in the...
Article
A battery of dynamic tests was developed for measuring spatial orientation, spatial visualization, trajectory estimation, and time estimation. The present work shows the tasks designed and some interesting data. In the Spatial Orientation Dynamic Test-Revised (SODT-R; Santacreu, 1999) and the Spatial Visualization Dynamic Test-Revised (SVDT-R; Sant...
Conference Paper
A battery of dynamic tests was developed for measuring spatial orientation, spatial visualization, trajectories estimation and time estimation. The present work shows the tasks designed and some interesting data. In the Spatial Orientation Dynamic Test-Revised (SODT-R) and Spatial Visualization Dynamic Test-Revised (SVDT-R) (Santacreu, 1999) the pa...
Article
Full-text available
Males and females differ in several cognitive abilities, although the largest gap can be found in spatial ability. Some published studies make the claim that performance factors, which can be either subject- or task-related variables, explain these differences. However, previous studies in which performance factors were measured have focused on sta...
Conference Paper
El estudio experimental de las estrategias utilizadas en la ejecución de una tarea, así como el análisis del efecto de la práctica y el feedback, han sido objeto de estudio habitual para los investigadores de la aptitud espacial (Lohman & NichoIs, 1990; Fischer, Hickey, Pellegrino, & Law, 1994; Newton & Roberts, 2000; Peña, 2006). Se ha demostrado...
Article
Several meta-analyses have shown that males outperform females in overall spatial ability, while females outperform males in some verbal ability tests, but not in others. The present article measures sex differences in two computerized tests, one thought to reflect verbal reasoning and one thought to reflect dynamic spatial performance. The sample...
Article
Full-text available
There is disagreement among researchers about the distinction between dynamic and static spatial performance. Given that dynamic spatial performance is supposed to be important for some occupations, such as air traffic control (ATC), it is germane to have evidence about the likelihood of that distinction. In the present study, a battery of printed...
Article
There are some doubts about the nature of cognitive complexity. It has been proposed that the loadings on the first un-rotated factor can be taken as a way to quantify the cognitive complexity of a given task. However, the evidence is sparse. The present study tests 1968 participants in a computerized task that comprises linear syllogisms or three-...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial cognitive ability has to do with how individuals deal with spatial information. Spatial ability is routinely assessed to predict performance in a variety of job positions, air traffic control being an example. Spatial tests are good predictors of performance in those occupations. One of the most valuable pieces of knowledge for psychologica...
Article
The purpose of this research was to assess the consistency and stability of risk-behavior within the interactive style perspective through a betting dice test (Ribes & Sánchez, 1992). We used two different versions of the betting dice test (BDT), in which some parametric values were changed in order to verify the interactive style configuration. Wh...
Article
Reasoning yields a conclusion from percepts, ideas, or assertions. Deduction yields valid conclusions if the premises are true. Some deductions depend on reasoning about relations. For example, «Anne is better than Sue: Julia is worse than Sue:: Who is worst?» Early laboratory studies suggested that reasoners construct mental diagrams (spatial mode...
Article
Full-text available
El razonamiento permite sacar conclusiones a partir de una serie de percepciones, ideas o declaraciones. El razonamiento deductivo produce conclusiones válidas si las premisas son válidas. Algunas deducciones dependen del análisis de relaciones. Por ejemplo, «Ana es mejor que Petra : Julia es peor que Petra: ¿Quién es peor?». Los primeros estudios...
Article
A set of two dynamic tests were developed for measuring spatial orientation and spatial visualization (SODT and SVDT). These dynamic spatial tests were designed for computer administration. A printed battery including reasoning and spatial tests was also administered to a sample of 602 university graduates, 300 females (mean age=27.17) and 302 male...
Article
Deterioration in performance associated with decreased ability to sustain attention may be found in long and tedious task sessions. The necessity for assessing a number of psychological dimensions in a single session often demands "short" tests capable of assessing individual differences in abilities such as vigilance and maintenance of high perfor...
Article
En: Análisis y modificación de conducta Valencia 2001, v.27, n.116; p. 983-1013 En este trabajo se presenta el tratamiento de una mujer de 38 años con dos problemas fóbicos: agorafobia y fobia específica a tragar. Respecto a la agorafobia, evitaba cualquier situación que desencadenara respuestas de ansiedad y únicamente permanecía en los lugares qu...
Article
Full-text available
Cuando en un contexto de selección una de las pruebas utilizadas es demasiado fácil, no permite discriminar adecuadamente las diferencias individuales en las capacidades implicadas en el test. Proponemos una solución al problema cuando la opción de incrementar la dificultad de la prueba no es viable. Consiste en añadir una tarea secundaria para inc...
Article
Full-text available
En: Análisis y modificación de conducta Valencia 2001, v.27, n.112; p. 205-227 Un resultado frecuente en la investigación sobre la transgresión de normas es su asociación con las consecuencias que conlleva la ejecución de la conducta transgresora y el posible efecto de la competencia (capacidad) que puede contaminar la evaluación de la transgresión...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
The present project attempts extend the explanations and control the sex differences in dynamic spatial ability. The purpose of this investigation is to identify, using empirical criteria, the different response patterns or strategies used by individuals when performing a dynamic spatial task .
Project
The present project focuses specifically on the social relevance and scope of the malleability of visuospatial skills, addressing the study of developmental and emotional factors in such skills, using training with educational and development purpose.
Project
Development of procedures for obtaining and assessing witness evidence in particularly vulnerable victims (children, the elderly, people with mental illness, and persons with intellectual disabilities).