Orlando Villouta-Gutiérrez, Doctorate Program in Mental Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción, Chile Cristhian Pérez-Villalobos, Department of Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción, Chile Romina Rojas-Ponce, Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Concepción, Concepción, Chile Fabiola Sáez-Delgado, Department of Fundamentals of Pedagogy, Faculty of Education, Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, Concepción, Chile


Environmental enrichment is a contextual combination of stimuli that facilitate sensory, motor, cognitive, and socioemotional skills. This neuroscientific paradigm enhances experience-dependent neural plasticity, validating it as an intervention model applicable to the educational and neuropsychiatric area in users with intellectual disabilities. The aim is to characterize the neurocognitive effects of environmental enrichment interventions in children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities. A systematic review was conducted according to the guidelines of the PRISMA statement. The search was conducted in Web of Science, Scopus, EBSCOhost, and PubMed databases between 2000 and 2020. Seven studies were selected. Improvements in self-determination, intellectual capacity, social cognition, speech coherence, motor skills, and behavioral regulation were evidenced. The design and execution of the selected protocols are heterogeneous. The application of environmental enrichment protocols in children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities leads to a positive impact on neurocognitive variables.



Keywords: Childhood. Environmental enrichment. Intellectual disability. Systematic review. Teens.