WM domain & math abilities

Published: 9 November 2021| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/yhx2nycjy5.1
Lucie Attout


These data belong to the paper submited and entitled "The distinct contribution of verbal and visuospatial working memory abilities to arithmetic development". Many studies have shown that both verbal and visuospatial working memory (WM) abilities predicted arithmetic abilities but we do not know if they represent a modality-specific contribution or reflect the involvement of an often shared WM aspect: the serial order WM. We administered verbal and visuospatial WM tasks with variable serial order processing requirements and a mental calculation task in children. We observed that verbal serial order WM abilities predicted early mathematical abilities independently of verbal item WM and visuospatial WM abilities. For visuospatial WM abilities, a more general link with overall arithmetic abilities was observed in 8-year-old children, with the serial order task predicting additions, and the simultaneous task predicting subtractions. In 9 year-old children, no link with mathematical abilities was observed anymore for any WM measure. These data confirm a specific and complementary role of verbal and visuospatial serial order WM abilities in mathematical development.



Cognitive Psychology, Working Memory, Arithmetic