Working Memory Training: Does It Improve Math Performance?
Computerized working memory training has recently emerged as a potential intervention to help children improve their academic performance. Although working memory capacity has traditionally been viewed as a fixed entity that is unresponsive to experience and training, studies have demonstrated that interventions may have the potential to increase working memory capacity. Specifically, studies have shown working memory to be predictive of math performance of children both immediately and years later. Emerging research suggests further that working memory training may improve academic performance in children with learning difficulties. In this present study, the utility of Cogmed working memory training on mathematical performance was assessed with children with attention problems including Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Participants were 13 children with varying levels of attention difficulties, aged 5 to 13 years. When children with above average working memory were excluded from analysis, performance on Letter Number Sequencing significantly improved post-training and a trend toward improvement was seen in Math Problem Solving. Significant improvement was not seen in Digit Span, Numerical Operations, or Math Fluency. Training gains in Cogmed were not related to performance improvement. These results suggest that further research regarding working memory training and academics for children with attention problems and working memory difficulties is warranted.
Marion, Sarah DeBoard
Short-term memory, Short-term memory in children
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