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J Exp Child Psychol. 2005 Jul;91(3):183-204. Epub 2005 Apr 19.

Working memory and children's use of retrieval to solve addition problems.

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1
Université de Bourgogne, LEAD-CNRS 5022, Pôle AAFE, Esplanade Erasme, BP 26513, 21065 Dijon, France. barouil@u-bourgogne.fr

Abstract

This study tested the hypothesis that children with high working memory capacities solve single-digit additions by direct retrieval of the answers from long-term memory more often than do children with low working memory capacities. Counting and reading letter span tasks were administered to groups of third-grade (mean age=107 months) and fourth-grade (mean age=118 months) children who were also asked to solve 40 single-digit additions. High working memory capacity was associated with more frequent use of retrieval and faster responses in solving additions. The effect of span on the use of retrieval increased with the size of the minimum addend. The relation between working memory measures and use and speed of retrieval did not depend on the numerical or verbal nature of the working memory task. Implications for developmental theories of cognitive arithmetic and theories of working memory are discussed.

PMID:
15925643
DOI:
10.1016/j.jecp.2005.03.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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