Het verbaal– en visueel-ruimtelijk werkgeheugen in relatie tot schoolsucces
Mat, F.A.C. Le
Vliet, P. van
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Background. Working memory is involved in the temporary storage, processing and manipulation of information. The two components of working memory focused on in this study are the phonological loop (verbal working memory) and visuo-spatial sketchpad (visual-spatial working memory). Aim. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between the verbal- and visual-spatial working memory and school success (language and mathematics), focusing on children between five and eight years old. This research also examined age differences. Method. The study involves an experiment in which 98 children participated. The digit span and dot matrix forward and backward tasks were used to measure verbal- and visuospatial working memory. Language- and mathematics scores were obtained from the participating schools. Results and conclusion. Concerning verbal working memory, there was a relationship between both mathematics (for children five until eight) and several aspects of language (from children six until eight). These aspects were single words reading, spelling and reading comprehension. The strength of the relationship between verbal working memory and language varied between the different ages. With regard to visual-spatial working memory there were correlations with mathematics, but no correlations were found with language. The strength of the relationship between visual-spatial working memory and mathematics were stronger with five and six in kindergarten and seven year olds. In conclusion, working memory is related to some aspects of school success. It seems that the backward condition, in multiple correlations, is a stronger predictor for school success than the forward condition. This condition is more involved in manipulation of information.