ERIC Number: EJ697736
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Representation and Working Memory in Early Arithmetic
Rasmussen, C.; Bisanz, J.
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, v91 n2 p137-157 Jun 2005
Working memory has been implicated in the early acquisition of arithmetic skill, but the relations among different components of working memory, performance on different types of arithmetic problems, and development have not been explored. Preschool and Grade 1 children completed measures of phonological, visual-spatial, and central executive working memory, as well as nonverbal and verbal arithmetic problems, some of which included irrelevant information. For preschool children, accuracy was higher on nonverbal problems than on verbal problems, and the best and only unique predictor of performance on the standard nonverbal problems was visual-spatial working memory. This finding is consistent with the view that most preschoolers use a mental model for arithmetic that requires visual-spatial working memory. For Grade 1 children, performance was equivalent on nonverbal and verbal problems, and phonological working memory was the best predictor of performance on standard verbal problems. For both age groups, problems with added irrelevant information were substantially more difficult than standard problems, and in some cases measures of the central executive predicted performance. Assessing performance on different components of working memory in conjunction with different types of arithmetic problems provided new insights into the developing relations between working memory and how children do arithmetic.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles
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